The Georgia State Panthers are 6-6 in the Sun Belt, a far cry from what was expected of them. So there’s not much to see here, right?
Not so fast.
The Panthers have fallen short of expectations this year, with nearly everyone on their roster underperforming through the team’s first 12 games. But don’t count R.J. Hunter as one of them.
Hunter shot from beyond the arc 19 times in Georgia State’s 99-68 win over the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, and he made 12 of them. 36 of Hunter’s 41 points came from behind the three-point line.
His 41 points and 12 three-point field goals made were both career highs for Hunter. The 12 three-pointers that he made are a school record, while the 41 points he scored are tied for fourth most in the program’s history. Hunter is the first Panther to score 40 or more points in a game since Thomas Terrell did it on Jan. 8, 2001.
Hunter ranks 18th in the NCAA with 38 three-point field goals made on the season, but the 12 he made on Sunday is the most made in a game during the 2013-14 season. His 39.6 three-point field goal percentage ranks 155th in the nation and he ranks 152nd with his 17.2 points per game.
Sure Hunter throws up more field goals than he needs to, but his overall stats are hard to ignore. He is averaging 17.2 points per contest, making 87 percent of free throws, converting 43.8 percent of his shots from the field, and getting one block per game.
Hunter is not without his flaws, however. He is a pure scorer, but doesn’t offer much in terms of defense or passing. He averages just two assists and one steal per game.
For now, scoring is all Georgia State needs him to do.
If Hunter can average close to 20 points per game for the rest of this season, Georgia State will have a deadly weapon that will attract double teams and open up the rest of the floor.
It can be argued that the sophomore guard is the best NBA prospect in the Sun Belt, which is full of talent. Shawn Long, Elfrid Payton, and Augustine Rubit could also be in that conversation, but it’s hard not to love what Hunter has done in less than two years in the NCAA.
The Panthers are winners of three straight, which is great considering they open up conference play against the 4-7 Troy Trojans on Jan. 2.