Part II of what went wrong for Georgia State hoops


Sure Georgia State was trying to make it back to the NCAA tournament without R.J. Hunter and Ryan Harrow, but things seemed promising without last year’s two leading scorers.

Stepping into their roles were Jeremy Hollowell, predicted by coach Ron Hunter to be a boxscore filler-upper from Indiana, and Isaiah Williams, formerly the freshman of the year in the Southern Conference.

But things didn’t turn out well.

There was no third consecutive Sun Belt regular season title.

There was no second consecutive Sun Belt tournament title.

There wasn’t yet another magical moment in the NCAA tournament.

Instead, the Panthers barely made it to New Orleans. Once there, they were dumped by Texas State 63-61 in the first round in front of a sparse (to be kind) Lakefront Arena crowd.

“This game was the story of our season,” coach Ron Hunter, something he repeated again later in his post-Texas State press conference.

What went wrong? (Read, Part I) Here’s part 2 of a five-part series:

Too late on point guard

It took the coaching staff the entire summer, the fall and two-thirds of the way into the season before they realized that their best point guard was Donaldson, or possibly more accurately, that it wasn’t Isaiah Williams or Isaiah Dennis.

So, why did it take so long? Hunter said the plan was to redshirt Donaldson, so it’s likely that he really wasn’t given a chance to run the team during the summer and the fall. That’s understandable. Why give someone who isn’t going to play time with the first or second team?

Instead, the coaches tried Williams and Dennis, neither of whom really play the position like a point. Williams is a shooter who needs to move into open space without the ball to be effective. When he had the ball at point, there was a lot of dribbling but typically not a lot was accomplished. He played well when moved to off guard, but it will be interesting to see what happens next year when Devin Mitchell, a transfer from Alabama, becomes eligible and D’Marcus Simonds, arguably the second-biggest signee in program history, arrive.

Dennis is a defensive-minded player who other teams rarely guarded because he’s loathe to shoot.

So, the good news the team knows that it has a point guard for the future. It just came too little, too late for this season.

Hunter tried to make Kevin Ware into a point guard. He did OK, but had six turnovers in the Sun Belt tournament game. Donaldson added three more.  Ware isn’t a point, so he was doing the best he could. Donaldson simply didn’t get enough experience to be as effective as needed in a tournament game.

Read Part I, no chemistry

Read Part III, the lack of a fast break.

Here are more posts:

Georgia State football

Georgia State spring game set

Sun Belt schedule superlatives

2016 Georgia State Sun Belt football schedule

Podcast: The Sun Belt retraction excitation

Sun Belt football will condense to 10 teams

10 questions with Georgia State QB Conner Manning

10 questions with Georgia State QB Aaron Winchester

Georgia State and North Carolina schedule home-and-home football series;

Georgia State loses an assistant football coach;

Georgia State schedules home-and-home series with Vanderbilt;

How did Georgia State do on ESPN channels;

Trent Miles reviews Georgia State’s special teams and recruiting

Trent Miles reviews Georgia State’s offense

Trent Miles reviews Georgia State’s defense

Georgia State finds out its Sun Belt opponents for 2016

Georgia State welcomes six early enrollees

Georgia State adds Tennessee State to football schedule

Georgia State’s Hart named All-American

Georgia State basketball

Georgia State shut out of Sun Belt awards

Georgia State’s Bruise Brothers get last home game

An update on Georgia State’s practice facility;

Georgia State/Atlanta bid to host the Sun Belt basketball tournament;

Video: Ron Hunter after the loss to UALR

Ongoing football review/preview series

Offensive line

Wide receivers

Running backs


Ongoing 2016 schedule previews



Air Force

Ball State

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