On the Road with GSU: Road Warriors

Logan McElroy

Continuing a popular feature on InsideGSUSports, Logan McElroy, a recent GSU gradudate, traveled from his new home in Cary, N.C. to see the men’s basketball team play with some current students at East Carolina. McElroy was a fixture in the student-section the last few years and even made a few road trips. Here is what he saw and what he hopes to see as the season continues.

As of late the Georgia State Panthers have enjoyed their road trips. Four of their last five games have been away from the friendly confines of the GSU Sports Arena (where the Panthers are currently undefeated on the season).  Right now, our beloved Panthers are riding a 7-game winning streak as they return home to face Arkansas State.

I was able to travel to ECU with some friends to watch GSU take on the Pirates.  It was there that I fully began to realize that something special might be happening.  As many disheartened ECU fans filed out of the arena, many had some words to share with me.  Generally as passionate as I get about GSU during games, other fans don’t take too kindly to it (especially in opposing arenas), so I was expecting the worst.  But what ECU fans had to say shocked me.  They simply said have a safe trip home and that they were shocked by how good we were.  This was not one person.  It was a solid stream of people.  You guys were great, congratulations!  What a strong team, good luck the rest of the way.  They said that about our Georgia State Panthers.

I was only a young teenager when GSU was in the NCAA tournament in the early 2000’s, and I didn’t care.  I honestly didn’t even know that until I enrolled at GSU in 2008. However, now knowing all I do about the school and the history, I’m sure that team that beat Wisconsin was good.  I’m sure they were fun to watch.  And of course they had an amazing coach in legend, Lefty Driesell.  However, as far as talent goes, we may be watching the most talented team Georgia State has ever seen.  That is happening right now in front of our eyes.

Last night’s game at Western Kentucky was  just another example of that. We were fun to watch in the second half.  The first half was a little frustrating for me.  I knew we were capable of more, and felt we were better than what we had shown.  As soon as the second half began, the Panthers proved me right.  They went on a 15-0 and never looked back.  When the dust settled, GSU had a 23-point victory.  A 23-point victory over the supposed No. 1 team in the conference.  A 23-point victory in which we really only played strong for one half.  A 23-point victory where hit only three 3-pointers.  And shooting is our strength.  Imagine what may have happened if we had played a complete game for two full halves?

Coach Hunter was right.  We have not played our best basketball yet.  We have not peaked.  This team has gotten better as the season has progressed.  That is the key to success in college basketball.  Because honestly, it doesn’t matter all that much how you play in November, it matters how you play in February, and March.  That being said, we haven’t hit February yet, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves and proclaim ourselves as victorious over all the Sun Belt, but we are certainly earning respect.  Let’s keep that up.

This team has earned the right to have you be in the Sports Arena.  They have earned the right to have a full house.  Panther Nation, now is the time to rise up and change the future of Georgia State.  I’m sick and tired of being in the shadow of other schools.  This team has the potential the change GSU.  This is only the beginning.  The best is yet to come…  This team is so special.  There is no doubt in my mind.  Hopefully, they will continue to do their jobs, well, let’s do ours as fans.  Show up to the games.  Cheer.  Lose your voice.  Be at the Sports Arena to help welcome the road warriors home! They DESERVE it. GO PANTHERS!

–Logan McElroy

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