ATLANTA-Georgia State sophomore guard D’Marcus Simonds announced on Wednesday that he will return for his junior season after leading the Panthers to the NCAA tournament last month.
Simonds, who became the four Panther in program history to earn AP All-America Honorable Mention honors, set several single-season school records this year as Georgia State went 24-11.
“The opportunity to remain at Georgia State with the group we have coming back was just too much to pass up,” Simonds said. “Although we made the NCAA tournament, we also feel as though we have something left to prove. My teammates are more like my brothers and we want to take Georgia State further than it has ever been before and I want to be a part of that.”
The sophomore capped a remarkable season by leading the No. 15-seed Panthers to the Big Dance for the second time in four years. Simonds scored the first 16 Georgia State points of the game against No. 2-seed Cincinnati. The Panthers led midway through the second half of the first round game before falling to the Bearcats.
“D’Marcus had a remarkable season for us and will be a great NBA player in the future,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “He also knows what our program still wants to accomplish. I’m already looking forward to coaching D’Marcus, our returners and our newcomers once practice gets underway this summer.”
Simonds earned Sun Belt Player of the Year honors along with All-Sun Belt First Team honors just a year after garnering the league’s freshman of the year award. He was also named the Sun Belt Conference Tournament MVP after scoring 27 points to lead the Panthers to a second conference title in the last four years.
Simonds finished the year averaging a school-record 21.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He ranked among the top 25 in the country in scoring and was one of just eight players ranked in the top 25 in the NCAA in points per game to make the NCAA tournament. He shattered R.J. Hunter’s single-season school record of 688 points and Ryan Harrow’s single-season school record for made field goals.
Despite being just a sophomore, he currently stands No. 15 on Georgia State’s career scoring list with 1,133 points.