ATLANTA-Looking to start the season 2-0, Georgia State will open the MGM Grand Main Event traveling to Houston on Tuesday to face Rice at Tudor Fieldhouse at 8 p.m. ET.

Monday’s contest can be heard live on 1340 The Fan 3/103.7 FM and WRAS-FM 88.5 with Dave Cohen, now in his 35th year as the Voice of the Panthers, being joined by 680 The Fan’s Brandon Leak. The game will also air digitally on FloSports.tv. Live statistics and live audio will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com and on most mobile devices.

Georgia State (1-0) opened the season with an impressive 90-50 win over Carver Bible College as sophomore D’Marcus Simonds recorded the first triple-double in school history. The reign Sun Belt Freshman of the Year finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. He was one of four Panthers who finished in double figures.

During the last four-plus season, the Panthers are 8-4 against members of Conference USA but will be playing Rice (0-1) for the first time in school history.

Georgia State will be playing in a non-conference tournament for the second-straight year and sixth time in seven years under head coach Ron Hunter. Last year, Georgia State won the Mayan Division of the Cancun Challenge and are 5-3 in the last eight games of these types of events.

“Our team is excited to go on the road to face a very talented Rice team,” Hunter said. “We have had a couple of good days of practice and are ready for the next challenge.”

Despite an opening night loss to Eastern Kentucky, Rice is coming off a 23-12 season and an appearance in the College Basketball Invitational.

Hunter enters Tuesday night just two wins shy of 400 for his career after becoming Georgia State’s all-time career wins leader last season. He is one of just seven NCAA Division I coaches to be the winningest coach at multiple schools.

Simonds, who was named to the Lute Olsen National Player of the Year and Lou Henson National Mid-Major Player of the Year Watch Lists last week, was one of four Panthers to score in double figures in the opener.

Juniors Devin Mitchell (18) and Malik Benlevi (17), along with senior Jordan Session (10), all finished in double figures against the Cougars. Session just missed a double-double adding nine rebounds, while redshirt-sophomore Jordan Tyson, making his GSU debut, added eight points and seven rebounds.

Notes:

  • Georgia State attempted 35 3-pointers on Friday against Carver, the fifth-most in school history.
  • Georgia State is 6-2 under head coach Ron Hunter in games played in the state of Texas. Although not included in those eight games, the Panthers also beat a team (Baylor) from Texas in the 2015 NCAA tournament.
  • Since returning to the Sun Belt Conference for the 2013-14 season, Georgia State has finished in the top two in the Sun Belt standings three times.
  • Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Panthers have won 87 games, the most of any NCAA Division 1 program in the state of Georgia.
  • Georgia State was selected to finish second in the Sun Belt standings in the annual Preseason Coaches’ Poll that came out last week.

Following the game on Tuesday, Georgia State will return to action on Friday at Ole Miss. Tip is set for 7 p.m. ET. Two years ago, the Panthers trailed the Rebels by just two points with two minutes to play before falling 68-58.

Quick Notes:

• Georgia State meets Rice for the first time in program history in the opening game of the MGM Grand Main Event.

• Georgia State meets Rice for the first time in program history in the opening game of the MGM Grand Main Event.

• Georgia State is 8-4 against Conference USA schools in the last four-plus seasons, including a 1-1 mark last year with a win over Middle Tennessee.

•  Under head coach Ron Hunter, Georgia State is 6-2 in games played in Texas.

• The MGM Grand Main Event will mark the 6th time in 7 years GSU plays in a non-conference tournament.

• Georgia State is 9-10 in tournament action under Ron Hunter. GSU went 2-2 in the Cancun Challenge in 2016, winning the Mayan Division bracket.

• Georgia State improve to 7-0 in regular season home openers under Ron Hunter and have won 10-straight openers in the GSU Sports Arena.

• GSU has won five-straight season openers with the last loss come at Duke to open the 2012-13 season.

• In the Panthers opening night win, D’Marcus Simonds recorded the first triple-double in school history (20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists). 

• Simonds has been named to multiple preseason watch lists, including Lute Olsen and Lou Henson.

• Simonds was named to the All-Sun Belt Preseason Second Team before the start of the season.

• Georgia State was picked to finish second in the annual Sun Belt Coaches’ Preseason Poll.

• Georgia State is ranked No. 25 in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

• The Panthers have won 20 or more games in three of the last four seasons, advancing to postseason play in each of those years. 

• During the last four years, Georgia State has finished in the top two in the Sun Belt standings three times. 

• Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Panthers have won 87 games, the most of any NCAA Division 1 program in the state of Georgia.

• Head coach Ron Hunter, Georgia State’s all-time leader in wins, will enter the 2017-18 season just three wins shy of 400 for his career. 

• Hunter has led the Panthers to four of the seven most successful seasons in program history, including a pair of 25-win season.

• The Panthers continue the MGM Grand Main Event Friday at 7 p.m. ET at Ole Miss on SECN+.