InsideGSUSports will have a special guest blogger throughout the 2013-14 academic year as BlueMan gives his thoughts on all things GSU Athletics. Daniel Wilson, aka BlueMan, has set a goal of attending more than 100 GSU sporting events this year. Following a basketball season that ended with 25 wins, second most in school history, here is what BlueMan had to say.
There are many words I could use to define this past season in men’s basketball, but of all the choices I have, these are the ones I would choose: crazy, nail-biting, heart-pounding, thrilling, exciting and fun. This past season provided me with the best memories of college I will ever have, from simply winning the sumo contest at the Troy game to celebrating State’s then record 12th straight victory in the UTA game. Yes, it was a good season to say the least.
Before the season began, we all figured that Georgia State would have a chance to compete, even before it was announced that Ryan Harrow would transfer here. With four starters from 2013 returning, we all figured that we could compete for a top-4 spot in the Sun Belt. Once we found out about Ryan, though, we realized that, barring any chemistry issues, there was a real chance that the Panthers would be a really dominant team night in and night out. Though chemistry issues were evident at the start of the season, dominant they were, going 25-9, including a perfect 13-0 record at home!
As the season progressed, the great memories kept piling up. Every time they happened, I kept thinking that they would be my all-time favorite, but no. Each one kept topping the other. First came the victory over Georgia Southern. That was one I wanted so bad. Then came the trip to Western Kentucky. It was there that the Panthers sent a message that they were the team to beat with a 23-point blowout of the defending champs. Then came Arkansas State, and then finally, the one memory that stands out from all the rest: the UTA game.
What made the UTA game stand out was not only that it was the first game back from the snow jam, but it was also the game in which GSU set the record for consecutive victories at 12. It also scared the heck out of me because we were down for most of the game. The Mavericks were shooting over 50-percent from 3-point territory, something they hadn’t done all year. I was almost certain that we were going to lose, especially with us down by four with 13 seconds left, but no, they came back to win in overtime! It was nice that we got to storm the court too.
With all the success the team had this year, I was almost certain that they would make it through the NCAA tournament. I was devastated when they ended up losing the championship game in New Orleans. We all were. But at the same time, we knew that there was the possibility that it could happen. It’s called a championship game for a reason: it isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to bring the best out of those who compete to call themselves number 1. Though we didn’t win, we should all be proud of this GSU Panthers team. They brought the best out of every opponent they faced all season long. Plus, with Coach Hunter at the helm, Georgia State basketball is in a better place than ever. My time as a student may be coming to an end, but I most certainly look forward to watching this program grow.