Men’s Basketball Number of the Game: 83

Georgia State concludes its stretch of three-straight games on the road facing UL Monroe in a battle of first-place teams on Thursday night at 8 p.m. at Fant-Ewining Coliseum. The two programs, along with Georgia Southern, enter the final two games of the season tied for first-place with the Panthers hosting Georgia Southern on Saturday.

Make sure to listen to tonight’s game on 1340 The Fan 3, WRAS-FM 88.5 or on the GSU mobile apps as Dave Cohen calls the action.

As much as it has been a remarkable season, it really has been an incredible four years under head coach Ron Hunter. The team has already secured its third 20-plus win in four seasons and when you put it all together, it leads to our number today.

As you know, running through the entire season, the InsideGSUSports blog will present the Number of  the Game, a quick number and explanation of its significance before tip-off.

The number will come from a variety of different places, but will always be significant to the team or that specific game.

Tonight’s Number of the Game:

83

A Georgia State win tonight would be No. 83 in the last four years and would tie for the best four-year stretch in program history, accomplished twice. Senior Ryann Green has been a part of those 82 wins entering tonight, one shy of Donnie Davis and Lamont McIntosh who were the only two players apart of each 83-win stretch.

Make sure to come back to the InsideGSUSports blog on Saturday for the final regular season Men’s Basketball Number of the Game as the Panthers return home to face Georgia Southern.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball | Leave a comment

Men’s Basketball Number of the Game: 559

Georgia State continues its stretch of three-straight games on the road facing Troy on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. ET in the Trojan Arena. The two squads have alternated wins and losses over the last 10 games, a trend the Panthers will look to snap to remain no more than a game out of first-place in the Sun Belt with the two leading squads, UL Monroe and Georgia Southern on the horizon.

If you can’t make the trip to southern Alabama, make sure to listen to tonight’s game on 1340 The Fan 3, 1230 The Fan 2 or on the GSU mobile apps as Dave Cohen and Brandon Leak call the action.

R.J. Hunter has had a remarkable season and is currently among the favorites to earn Sun Belt Player of the Year honors. He has already set nearly every career record this year and with one more 3-pointer on Saturday will tie Shellord Pinkett’s school-record of 240 career 3-pointers. However, it is a single-season number that Hunter now has in sight.

As you know, running through the entire season, the InsideGSUSports blog will present the Number of  the Game, a quick number and explanation of its significance before tip-off.

The number will come from a variety of different places, but will always be significant to the team or that specific game.

Tonight’s Number of the Game:

559

R.J. Hunter enters play on Saturday with 559 points scored this season, currently ninth on the single-season scoring list. He is just 76 points shy of Thomas Terrell’s school-record of 635 points. At his current scoring pace (20.0 points per game), Hunter would set the record in the Panthers first game of the conference tournament in New Orleans.

Make sure to come back to the InsideGSUSports blog on Thursday for another Men’s Basketball Number of the Game as the Panthers travel to UL Monroe.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball | Leave a comment

Men’s Basketball Number of the Game: 20

Georgia State, which enters play on Thursday night tied for first-place in the Sun Belt, faces UALR at 8:30 p.m. ET at the Jack Stephens Center looking to win its fifth-straight game and for the ninth time in the last 10 games. The Panthers have held its last six opponents under 30 percent shooting, a stretch that has not occurred in the NCAA in the last 18 years, but our number of the game comes from a different direction.

Be sure to listen to tonight’s game on 1340 The Fan 3, WRAS-FM 88.5 or on the GSU mobile apps as Dave Cohen calls the action.

Coach Hunter has brought a new winning mentality to Georgia State. The Panthers have won 81 games in his first four seasons and with three more wins, will establish the best four-year stretch in program history.

As you know, running through the entire season, the InsideGSUSports blog will present the Number of  the Game, a quick number and explanation of its significance before tip-off.

The number will come from a variety of different places, but will always be significant to the team or that specific game.

Tonight’s Number of the Game:

20

Georgia State can win its 20th game of the season tonight. It would mark the third 20-plus win season in the last four years and sixth since 2000-01. To put that into comparison, but the 2000-01 season, the Panthers had never won 20 or more games in a season.

Make sure to come back to the InsideGSUSports blog on Saturday for another Men’s Basketball Number of the Game.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball | Leave a comment

Inside Academics: Beyond the Classroom

On the fourth Monday of every month, a member of the Academics staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming next Monday: Marketing

As important as it is for our student-athletes to succeed in their field of play, it is equally important for them to succeed in the classroom. The Student-Athlete Development staff at Georgia State tries to assist our student-athletes in a wide range of areas, including a couple that we wanted to discuss in this blog.

Career Development

The Student-Athlete Development staff has been working hard to prepare our student-athletes for career development.  Our staff has partnered with the University Career Services to help facilitate resume and cover letter workshops.  We successfully completed multiple workshops in the fall semester which was mandatory for juniors and seniors.  This semester we have two workshops planned and will open these workshops up to sophomores as well.  Our goal is to help each student-athlete establish a cover letter and resume that can be used for upcoming internships, jobs and career fairs.

In conjunction with the cover letter and resume workshops we will also be partnering with Athlete Network for a career forum and fair. The focus of this event is to help prepare our student-athletes for that next step after college. The career forum will include topics such as interview skills, career choices, resume tips and networking.  It is important to start these skills early in your college degree.  You never know the connections you can make during your career as student-athlete.  Employers often seek student-athletes because of their teamwork, leadership, strong work ethic and dedication. Our staff is excited for this event, which is scheduled for Wednesday, March 25th.

It’s On Us Campaign

This past Thursday Georgia State University promoted the “It’s On Us” campaign which was spearheaded by Athletics. ‘It’s On Us” originated in the White House and has been taken on across college campuses throughout the country. The campaign raises awareness about domestic violence and is a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault.

To help promote awareness a video was created by Georgia State student-athletes, 1913 Society members, Student Government Association, Greeks, President Mark Becker, and several members from the Office of Student Health Promotion. Student-Athletes helped promote the campaign by encouraging other students to take the pledge in the library plaza on campus. SAAC also attended the Women’s and Men’s doubleheader basketball game and promoted the campaign by wearing “It’s On Us.” During half time of the men’s game, SAAC asked audience members to join in and take the pledge.

–Jessica Summey

Posted in academics, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports | Leave a comment

Men’s Basketball Number of the Game: 1/2

With a win on Saturday, Georgia State could move back into first-place in the Sun Belt with just under two weeks remaining in the season. The Panthers host Appalachian State in the next-to-last home game at 2 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena.

A win, combined with a UL Monroe loss would move the Panthers into a tie for first with four games remaining after today. If you can’t make it to the game, be sure to listen along on 1340 The Fan 3, 1230 The Fan 2 or on the GSU mobile apps as Dave Cohen, Rodney “Truck” Turner and Brandon Leak call the action. You can also watch the game on PantherVision HD.

As good as the team is playing on defense, rebounding in Sun Belt games and especially as of late has been equally important (which leads to our number of the game).

As you know, running through the entire season, the InsideGSUSports blog will present the Number of  the Game, a quick number and explanation of its significance before tip-off.

The number will come from a variety of different places, but will always be significant to the team or that specific game.

Today’s Number of the Game:

1/2

How good has Georgia State’s rebounding been in Sun Belt games? The Panthers are actually outrebounding opponents by one-half a rebound a game in conference play. Georgia State is averaging 33.7 rebounds per game, while giving up just 33.2 boards per contest. This just shows that every rebound counts.

Make sure to come back to the InsideGSUSports blog on Thursday for another Men’s Basketball Number of the Game.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball | Leave a comment

Men’s Basketball Number of the Game: 30

Georgia State begins a key home stand on Thursday night squaring off against South Alabama in the GSU Sports Arena at 7 p.m. Why is it key? There are only six games remaining in the regular season, three of which are at home and the Panthers trail UL Monroe by 1.5 games for first place. With a win tonight combined with ULM having a bye, Georgia State can cut at lead to just one game with five to play.

If you can’t make it to the game, be sure to listen along on 1340 The Fan 3, 1230 The Fan 2 or on the GSU mobile apps as Dave Cohen, Rodney “Truck” Turner and Brandon Leak call the action. You can also watch the game on PantherVision HD.

Over the last four games, Georgia State has played defensive like it never has before (or at least for as long as anyone can remember) and that leads to our number of the day.

As you know, running through the entire season, the InsideGSUSports blog will present the Number of  the Game, a quick number and explanation of its significance before tip-off.

The number will come from a variety of different places, but will always be significant to the team or that specific game.

Today’s Number of the Game:

30

How good has Georgia State’s defense been as of late? The Panthers have held their last four opponents under 30 percent shooting which is a remarkable number. For the season, Georgia State is holding opponents to 38.1 percent shooting, the 18th-best mark in the NCAA.

Make sure to come back Saturday as the Panthers prepare to host Appalachian State in the GSU Sports Arena at 2 p.m. for another Number of the Game.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball

Inside Facilities: Hosting External Events

On the third Wednesday of every month, a member of the Facilities and Operations staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming Monday: Academics

This past weekend, Georgia State hosted the 32nd annual Peachtree Men’s Invitational for gymnastics. This was the third consecutive year the event has been hosted at the GSU Sports Arena. Although a lot of work goes into the actual event itself, much of the work occurs in the pre-planning stage. This requires a facility walk-thru with the gymnastics event managers; request forms for equipment, parking, and building access; signing a legal contract; and approval from the Georgia State Athletics Compliance Department. Once all of these components are completed, the event timeline and logistics can be finalized.

The event itself started on Friday with our Facilities and Operations Department setting up the arena in preparation for the gymnastics personnel to load in their equipment and ended on Sunday with our staff cleaning up our equipment. For our part, we lay down sections of carpet across the gym floor in order to prevent scratches and any kind of damage that may be caused by the gymnastics equipment. After the floor is carpeted, we begin to set up designated areas with tables, chairs, and coolers for their hospitality, registration, and awards areas.

For rental events, we have someone from our Facilities and Operations staff serve as the Manager on Duty for the event. We usually do not have a direct event management role for an event like this, but we are there to answer any questions about the arena and troubleshoot any facility-related issues that may occur. Following the event, our staff is on site to break down our equipment and reset the arena back to its pre-event status to get it ready for practices.

For gymnastics, the hand chalk used by the participants gets everywhere throughout the gym. This requires a detailed cleaning of bleachers, basketball goal systems, padding, and especially the gym floor. Then following the event, we do an internal recap and address issues as needed with the Peachtree event managers so that we can improve the event operations and our services to rental groups.

We have hosted a variety of events in addition to the Peachtree Men’s Invitational, including celebrity basketball games, high school and college graduations, concerts, cheerleading competitions, and other miscellaneous events. Each event is unique relative to its purpose, size of crowds, staffing, and set-up. Although we work with a lot of different groups, we have one overarching goal: provide each group with the best customer service and hospitality we can!

See you at the game and Go Panthers!

–Thomas Howard

Posted in Facilities, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports

Inside Communications: The Challenges of Winning, Losing and Kevin Ware

On the third Monday of every month, a member of the Sports Communications staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming Wednesday: Facilities and Operations

I will proudly be finishing up my fifth season overseeing communications for our men’s basketball team in the next five, six (hopefully seven or eight) weeks. When I speak to classes or am even just around a group of college basketball fans, I am often asked about the challenges of my position. I could easily make the case that this season has been the most unique of all five.

My first season was the year before coach Hunter’s arrival. It was tough because we were losing and no one really wanted to talk about us. From a sports communications standpoint, you feel like you are not doing your job to generate interest for your program.

Since Hunter’s arrival, there has been winning…a lot of winning, 79 games to be exact. This has created a new challenge, but one that I definitely enjoy. Requests from media for Hunter and all of our student-athletes come in on daily basis and no longer do I have to beg for coverage. This season alone, we have had countless pieces written by ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, USA Today and Fox Sports. Although I say countless, we actually keep track of all of the articles written and try to feature some of those on this blog every week in ICYMI.

This season has created a new challenge with the addition of Kevin Ware. Ware transferred home to Atlanta following three seasons at Louisville, helping the Cardinals to a national championship in 2013. Unfortunately, Ware is most known for a gruesome leg injury in the Elite Eight of the 2013 NCAA tournament that turned him into a celebrity overnight. To put it into context, Ware has more followers on Twitter than every school in the Sun Belt combine. The list of followers includes celebrities and even the White House.

From the time I got the phone call from coach Hunter telling me about Kevin’s addition to the team, I wondered how things would play out. Let me start out by saying that although it has added some extra work to my plate, it has been a joy to have Kevin as he is a great student-athlete who really just wants to be known for his basketball skills and help lead this team to an NCAA tournament appearance (or two).

Just a few weeks into his arrival at Georgia State, Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George suffered the same type of injury that Kevin did. The injury happened late on a Friday night and I remember waking up on Saturday morning to 13 e-mails and six voice messages of members of the media overnight wanting to talk to Kevin about the George situation (The list quickly grew that day). Everyone from ESPN to NBC’s Today Show wanted to get his reaction. Kevin has always been more than glad to oblige as his goal is to help make those injured feel better and know that they can overcome, just like people reached out to him.

Although with much less fan fair, the same type of thing happened a couple of weeks ago when a high school senior named Bronson suffered the same type of injury. Kevin reached out to him and it has now become a national story. Just last Thursday I spent the entire day with a crew for a piece on Kevin (details coming soon). Although it is a challenge to be away from my desk all day, it is also a reward to see exposure come to someone who is trying to do good after going through something so difficult in life.

Now I just hope for the next challenge…an NCAA tournament appearance and all of the great attention that will come from that. I know that we will be ready for it and look forward to being one of the 68 teams announced on Selection Sunday.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Communications, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Kevin Ware, Men's Basketball

ICYMI: Georgia State Athletics in the News, Feb. 10-16

Each week on Monday, we take a quick look back at the past seven days to review some of the highlights of stories in the media for Georgia State student-athletes, coaches, administrators and, like you’ll see this week, occasionally our university leadership. Enjoy a few minutes today catching up on the headlines you might have missed during your lunchtime.

And always feel free to tweet us @GSUPanthers with headlines you’ve seen around the nation that highlight the Panthers. We’re all one big team, and the few of us here in 125 Decatur don’t always see every article, or hear every interview, that’s posted out there. If you think there’s something we’ve missed, shoot it our way.

SB NationThe big 2015 Georgia State football guide: Luckier, healthier, deeper … better?
In April 2008, with t’s crossed and i’s dotted, Georgia State University officially launched a football program. In February 2009, it signed its first recruiting class. And in front of more than 30,000 in the Georgia Dome on September 2, 2010, the Panthers won their first game. Sure, it was against Shorter University, an NAIA club. But with a schedule that featured NAIA teams, FCS teams, and Alabama (!), GSU still went 6-5 under veteran coach Bill Curry. Read more

WDRB.comKevin Ware, family, teammates coaching Bronson Kessinger’s comeback at Corydon
Kevin Ware provided some inspiration for Corydon Central High School’s Bronson Kessinger after a leg injury just a couple of weeks ago ended his high school playing career.  Read more

The Roanoke Times – Driesell Encouraged Son to Emulate Former Rival Smith
The late Dean Smith has been remembered this week for what a great coach he was. Lefty Driesell remembers what a great recruiter Smith was. Smith, the legendary North Carolina coach who died last weekend at the age of 83, and Driesell faced each other on the court many times when Driesell steered Maryland from 1969 to 1986. They also were rivals on the recruiting trail.  Read more

ESPN.com (Insider)The Statistical Big Board
Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter is having another great season for the Panthers and is showing up all over NBA Draft boards, including the Statistical Big Board. Read more

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, ESPN, football, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Kevin Ware, Men's Basketball

Men’s Basketball Number of the Game: .775

Georgia State concludes a stretch of three-straight road games Saturday facing Texas State at noon ET, a game that will air live on ESPN2. It will mark the Panthers third appearance on ‘The Deuce’ in the last 12 months. If you can’t make it to the game, be sure to listen along on 1340 The Fan 3 or on the GSU mobile apps as Dave Cohen and Brandon Leak call the action.

Success has been nothing new for the Panthers over the last 14 months and when you really look at the numbers, it is extremely impressive (which leads to our number of the day).

As you know, running through the entire season, the InsideGSUSports blog will present the Number of  the Game, a quick number and explanation of its significance before tip-off.

The number will come from a variety of different places, but will always be significant to the team or that specific game.

Today’s Number of the Game:

.775

Georgia State is 38-11 over the course of its last 49 games, a winning percentage of .775. I don’t now about you, but I will take winning 77 percent of the time any day!

Make sure to come back next Thursday as the Panthers return home to face South Alabama in the GSU Sports Arena. Tip time is set for 7 p.m.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball