3 more Georgia State hoops talking points

Kevin Ware defends a Baylor player in last year's NCAA tournament win. Coach Ron Hunter expects big things from Ware this season. (AP)

Kevin Ware defends a Baylor player in last year’s NCAA tournament win. Coach Ron Hunter expects big things from Ware this season. (AP)

I posted four talking points from Georgia State’s basketball media day on Tuesday with a promise to post more.

Well, here they are.

One position has been settled: Point guard

Isaiah Dennis will get the start on Monday in the exhibition opener against Oglethorpe at the GSU Sports Arena. Hunter said Isaiah Williams isn’t healthy enough to start, but said he will play.

Hunter is a big fan of Dennis.

“Just defensively and with his energy, he brings a whole ’nother level,” Hunter said. “If we put weapons around him, it makes him really special. That’s what we are trying to do.

“If you look at the tournament last year, and Kevin Ware and Isaiah Dennis was guarding you, it’s one of the best defensive backcourts in the country and I love that.”

Dennis didn’t make a start in the 28 games he played last year, averaging 2.7 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. But he came up big toward the end of the season when Ryan Harrow suffered his injury. I’ll have more on Dennis in a Q&A that will post later this week, and in the basketball previews that will be in Sunday’s AJC.

There may not be a sixth man, per se

Hunter said he’s not sure if there will be that role because of the depth of the team.

“Right now you have nine guys,” he said. “Of those nine guys who is going to come off in the rotation?”

Hunter said Jordan Session is playing really well, as are the two freshmen. Isaiah Williams is also capable of coming off the bench and providing instant offense.

It seems that the sixth and seventh men will likely depend upon the circumstances of the game and what’s needed.

The team is so versatile that Hunter can bring offense off the bench with Williams, Jeff Thomas or Jalen Brown. Or defense with T.J. Shipes, Session or even Crider if none of them start.

Big things are expected from Kevin Ware

A few weeks ago, Hunter said said that Kevin Ware is going to be a totally different player than he was last year in averaging 7.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.

In his first year at Georgia State after transferring from Louisville, Ware didn’t seem comfortable within the offense with the exception of a few games. He scored at least 10 points 10 times in 35 games, and only once in last 11 games.

Hunter agreed, saying it was hard for Ware to find a rhythm because he often deferred to R.J. Hunter and Ryan Harrow.

“He became the third option,” Hunter said. “He won’t be the third option this year. He’s really worked on his game offensively. I think people will see a much better, smoother Kevin Ware.

“He’s as healthy as he’s ever been in his last 2-3 years.”

Me: Once y’all figured out that he wasn’t a 3-point shooter from the wing (less than 30 percent last season), he seemed to become more comfortable.

Hunter: “Really, he’s not a bad 3-point shooter. He just couldn’t find his place and his rhythm with those other two guys.

Now, he becomes a focal point and we are playing to Kevin’s strengths and not to R.J. or Ryan Harrow’s strengths.”


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