Chien-Hao Ma Could Answer Panthers Perimeter Struggles

Freshman Chien Hao Ma opens up on his transition from Taiwan to playing for Georgia State. Photo by Trent Legaspi | The Signal

The Georgia State Panthers are two games into their season and have as many wins through them. The team is well-rounded, returning key players from last year’s 16-6 squad and bringing in the best recruiting class in the Sun Belt Conference this year.

Georgia State’s 2021 class ranked 85th nationally and set a new bar for Georgia State as the highest overall class in program history.  

One of those names from the exceptional class is Chien-Hao Ma, a 6’7 small forward from Taiwan who signed with Georgia State earlier this year in April. Ma is a talented player who excels in shooting. 

The Panthers went into the recruiting trail looking to add quality depth and shooting. Following a disappointing loss to the Appalachian State Mountaineers in the Sun Belt Conference championship, the Panthers went into the recruiting trail looking for more depth. 

Georgia State Rob Lanier is excited to watch Ma grow and develop as the 2021 season progresses. While Ma will come off the bench, expect him to put in quality minutes when the starters are out. 

“We really like his game,” Lanier said. “He’s had good practices and is great with teammates.” 

Ma is also still getting the lay of the land in Atlanta. Since joining the program in April, he’s been steadily improving in learning English and getting to know his teammates. 

“It feels like a big family here,” Ma said. “My teammates are really great.” 

Ma is still growing in his role and will have a slow transition in a deep Panthers lineup this season. He did not see minutes during the Panthers preseason matchup vs. Clayton State on November 6th but managed four minutes against the Brewton-Parker Barons to open up the season. 

While Ma isn’t the biggest name in the 2021 class, he is undoubtedly a player to watch under Lanier. Ma makes the Panthers deeper and could be a key player as Georgia State seeks another NCAA Tournament appearance. 

For Georgia State, anything short of a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Plenty of recruits will need to step in and contribute when asked. Ma will be called upon for his shooting, especially in closer games. 

“I’m really excited for the season,” Ma said with a giant smile across his face. 

The program understands the stakes, and Ma and the rest of the 2021 class will certainly look to make their mark on another run to march madness. The Panthers will need Ma down the stretch in a very competitive Sun Belt Conference schedule this season.