Georgia State set to battle Vanderbilt on Tuesday


Manny Atkins of GSU goes up for a layup – Courtesy of GSU Communications

Coming off a dominating win Saturday at home over Southern Poly, the Georgia State Panthers hit the road for their first taste of an SEC opponent this year in the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Vanderbilt has yet to play a regular season game, but defeated the University of Alabama-Huntsville 66-60 in their only exhibition game last week. The Commodores are led by Eric McClellan, Rod Odom and Kyle Fuller, all of who scored in double digits in the UAH game.

GSU will be significantly undersized in Nashville as the ‘Dores have four players 6’9 or taller, compared to just one for Georgia State in Curtis Washington. GSU also has two players under six feet, while the ‘Dores have none, but the Panthers will try to neutralize all that size with their potent offense.

After putting up 90 plus points in their two exhibition games and regular season opener, the Panthers have shown they know where how to find the bottom of the net. RJ Hunter scored 27 points against Southern Poly, followed by Ryan Harrow with 20, Devonta White with 14 and Manny Atkins with 13, revealing that scoring should not be tough for the perimeter heavy squad.

GSU will have to sure up its rebounding if it wants to win this game, though. The Panthers gave up 41 rebounds to the undersized Southern Poly Hornets, while only pulling down 43 themselves. That could prove costly against a much better SEC foe and will likely be the difference in win or loss for either squad. Southern Poly was able to snag 21 offensive boards and turned those into 20 second chance points.

Atkins lead the way for the Panthers with nine total boards, while Washington and Hunter each had seven respectively. When talking about rebounding after the victory over SPSU, head coach Ron Hunter said “We will continue to work on that.”

According to advanced statistician Ken Pomeroy, Vanderbilt is the 73rd best team in the country while GSU comes in at 114th. Of course, none of that matters once the teams hit the court Tuesday night in Nashville at 8 p.m. Eastern. Here is a look at the probable starters for the Panthers:

G – Ryan Harrow
G – Devonta White
F – RJ Hunter
F – Manny Atkins
C – Curtis Washington

Stay tuned for all the action!