Now that R.J. Hunter has announced that he is leaving Georgia State to make himself eligible for the NBA draft, what where his top moments on Decatur Street?
Let’s count down the top six:
It’s hard to argue with the shot to beat Baylor as No. 1.
After scoring nine of his team’s 10 points, Hunter curled around a T.J. Shipes screen and drained a 30-foot 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds left to lift the Panthers past Baylor.
It was just the second win in the NCAA tournament in Georgia State’s history.
Georgia State seemed doomed when trailing by 12 with less than three minutes left. Hunter had done almost nothing to that point, scoring just four points. But then he got going to complete the improbable comeback.
Georgia State hosted rival Georgia Southern in this year’s regular-season finale with the Sun Belt’s regular-season title and top seed in the conference tournament on the line.
Things didn’t look good for the Panthers when Ryan Harrow left the game with a strained hamstring early in the first half.
Cue Hunter, who scored 24 of his team’s next 28 points to carry the Panthers to the title and top seed.
He finished with 35 points, including 16-of-16 from the free-throw line.
“That’s my kid over there,” Ron Hunter said after the game, pointing at his son. “It’s tough to say that’s my guy, that’s my son. But today, I’m doing it. I don’t care who listens to it. I’m proud of him.”
The career high
Hunter was in the midst of a small slump last season, having not scored more than 17 points in eight consecutive games.
That changed on Dec. 22 when he scored a career-high 41 points against Texas-San Antonio. He hit a school record 12 3-pointers. It was the most points he said he had ever scored.
Much had been said about Hunter when he arrived at Georgia State. It had been documented that schools from “power conferences” recruited him, but no one was quite sure what his potential was.
That changed when he scored 38 points against Old Dominion at the GSU Sports.
“The basket was big tonight, ” Hunter said. He made 12 of his 18 attempts, including 10 of 15 3-pointers. It tied for the most 3-pointers in Colonial Athletic Association history at the time and was the most points scored in the conference to that point that season.
Hunter said on Monday that game made him realize that he had a possible future as an NBA player.
The first one
R.J. Hunter’s first basket came on a steal and layup in his first game at Duke. It was Georgia State’s only lead, but it sent him on his way.
It was also a wake-up call for Hunter. He later said he thought he could coast to the basket before a Duke player quickly caught up. He said it was then he realized that college basketball was going to be played at a different level.
It didn’t happen on the court, but Ron Hunter tearing up when discussing his son’s role in beating Baylor should be included because of the emotional chord struck with people around the country.
R.J. Hunter appears fairly unemotional, but he said on Monday that he was torn up inside.
So, where there any that I left out? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to sign in and share yours in comments section.