Five Must Knows for the 2016-2017 Season

5. Starting Five

“I’m probably going to keep tweaking it until the Auburn game.” – Head coach Ron Hunter.

Coach Hunter is keeping the starting lineup a secret for now, but he has a wealth of options to choose from. This year’s men’s basketball team is the deepest Coach Hunter has seen in his tenure, and he has plans for his rotation going ten deep. As for the starting line? I am predicting Isaiah Williams and Freshman D’Marcus Simonds as the starting backcourt, Devin Mitchell at the three, and Jeremy Hollowell and Willie Clayton up front.

4. Four-Star prospect

“My teammates took the pressure off me when I first came in. They let me know I don’t have to put the pressure on myself and I can just play.” – D’Marcus Simonds

The pressure he speaks of is the pressure of being the highest ranked recruit ever to don Panther blue and white. Simonds was a four-star prospect from Gainesville and ranked as the 72nd best player in the country and third best in Georgia. He averaged 25 a night his senior year and is expected to be a big piece for the team right away as a freshman.

3. Three eligible transfers.

“It’s going to be my first time playing in over a year, the butterflies are definitely there, but after about five minutes of game action, the butterflies should go out.” – Willie Clayton

After having to sit out last season because of NCAA transfer rules, UNC- Charlotte transfer Willie Clayton and Alabama transfer Devin Mitchell will both finally make their long-awaited Georgia State debuts this season. The third transfer is Justin Seymour, a graduate transfer from Murray State. These three have all had successful careers before Georgia State and they are all hoping to continue that trend  here.

2. Two new coaches on staff

“What I try to bring is 32 years of experience. We have been a part of six championships and NCAA tournaments in the last 14-15 years, and we know what it takes to get there.” -Assistant  Ray McCallum

Ray McCollum is the new associate head coach for the Panthers. He comes to GSU after a successful eight-year stint as the head coach of Detroit. The other new coach on the staff is Sharman White. He comes from high school powerhouse, Miller Grove, where his tenure includes eight straight State Playoff appearances, seven state championships including six of which were in a row. Even more championship pedigree is now on the coaching staff.

1. Jeremy Hallowell

“Not good. They sleep, really sleep on me. It is what it is; I won’t be on the second team for long.”

That was Jeremy Hollowell’s response when asked how he felt about being named Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team. Hollowell was the Panthers best and most consistent player last season. He averaged 14.8 points per game, which was good enough for tenth in the Sun Belt, 4.9 rebounds, and shot 81 percent from the line in his first season with the Panthers. Hollowell is entering his final season with the Panthers and wants to end his collegiate career with a bang. Hollowell was there to see the way R.J. Hunter, one of his closest friends, end his career, and he hopes to go out in a similar fashion, if not better.

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