GSU will be entering the 2019-2020 season as the two-time defending Sunbelt Championships. The team finished last year 24-9 and competed in the NCAA tournament as the14th seed in the Mid West Region and the 57th seed overall. The team ended their season last year and losing to Houston, 84-55 in the first round.

This season the team has a new head coach, Rob Lanier. A former associate Head Coach for Tennessee Volunteers, Lanier has been involved in a lot of success during his four years there. The Volunteers ended last season 31-6, advancing to the Sweet 16 during the NCAA tournament. During Lanier’s press conference with the school in April, he spoke on the optimism he had in joining the Panthers program.

He was quoted saying, “I saw energy, aggressiveness, and a vision that matched my own. I know we are in a great conference, and we have a winning program, but I want more.”

Fast forward to eight months and the Panthers are surely showing that energy and aggression. They opened this year with an offensive show in their exhibition win over the Point SkyHawks last Friday. The final score of the game was 101-66. Senior guard, Damon Wilson, finished the game with a double double consisting of 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 steals. Junior, Corey Allen and Sophomore, Justin Roberts both had points in the double figures. On top of it all, the team forced 18 turnovers.

Kane Williams, the Sun Belt Tournament MVP of last year, is one of only two starters who will be returning for the Panthers program this season. Williams, a “homeboy” form Douglasville, GA. was given preseason All-Sun Belt Second team honors. Williams averaged 11.1 points, 3.5 steals, and 1.9 steals per game last season. His steals were ranked 44th in D1 last season and proved him to be a defensive threat

GSU is currently ranked #6 in 2019-20 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll. The Panthers home and season opener will be against Brewton-Parker this Wednesday, Nov. 6. GSU will then go on the road to face Charleston on Nov 9th and then will play #4 Duke in Cameron on Friday, Nov. 15. After two more road games, the Panthers will return home to play UNC Charlotte on Nov. 27.

Georgia State guard Nelson Phillips plays in an NCAA college basketball exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 in Atlanta. (Photo by Symone Stanley)

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