After six months of training and unorthodox workouts, Georgia State ready for the season

Georgia State Basketball continues to focus on fundamentals as they begin the last preparations for a much-anticipated season. Photo by Matt Siciliano-Salazar | The Signal

As Rob Lanier and the Panthers men’s basketball team gear up for the new season, several things have changed. With their first game set for Nov. 25 against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Georgia State took further measures to maintain a safe and healthy environment for their players.

Lanier said that the team works out in four-man groups to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Individual coaches split and work out with the players.

When asked about the atmosphere in practices with these modified changes, Lanier pointed out how seamless some transitions have been. However, he wishes that the team could have multiple days of training in a row like they did before March.

Lanier said the reason they cannot practice multiple days in a row is not COVID-19-related, but because “minor injuries” continue to occur. These injuries are not significant, but they have been time-consuming.

Lanier went out of the way to praise his whole roster as he has seen the entire team make significant progress.

“Each of the freshmen players [has] had great moments,” Lanier said. “The sophomore players and the new transfer have been impressive, and the upperclassmen have shown improvements as well.”

Lanier cited Sun Belt All-Conference guard and team captain Kane Williams as well.

“Kane has been more vocal than ever and has exhibited more leadership,” Lanier said.

An important aspect of basketball is the competitiveness among teammates in the gym. Lanier pointed out how the new practice guidelines have affected the atmosphere at practices.

“We have not had that many practices,” Lanier said. “We haven’t always had enough guys.”

He then provided an insightful example of the adversity all schools have had to face during the offseason.

“If you got six guys in the gym, you’re trying to find a way to make the most of that time,” Lanier said. “When you have twelve guys, you probably spend a little bit more time doing competitive things and making it competitive and trying to bring that out of them.”

Making the most of that time may not always be easy for the team, and individual drills limit what they can accomplish in practice. As such, the Panthers are working on perfecting their craft by going back to basics.

“Practices revolve around teaching, conditioning and individual skill development,” Lanier said.

As their meeting on Nov. 25 at Georgia Tech is quickly approaching, Coach Lanier says the Georgia State men’s team is not a unit yet.

“This is a talented group of players, but they have not become a team yet,” Lanier said.

With this upcoming NCAA basketball season being an unpredictable one due to COVID-19, the Georgia State men’s basketball team is on the go. Led by Lanier, fundamentals and team identity will both be critical for this forthcoming Georgia State Panthers basketball season.