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2011-12 Georgia State University Menís Basketball
Fans of the Georgia State University men's basketball team have much to be happy about this season. At the halfway mark in the 2011-12 season, the Panthers have already put together more wins than they had all of last season. The team had a disappointing performance in 2010-11, with an overall record of 12-19. Georgia State is already 13-4 this year and 5-1 in their conference. The Panthers play NCAA Division I basketball in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Conference rivals in the CAA include Delaware, Drexel, George Mason, Hofstra, James Madison, UNC Wilmington, Northeastern University, Old Dominion, Towson, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and William & Mary.
New head basketball coach Ron Hunter is the impetus behind the positive changes in the GSU program. Hunter comes to GSU with a very successful record as a Division I head coach. He spent 17 years as head coach at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Under Hunter's direction that program transitioned from the NAIA to NCAA Division I. He amassed a record of 274-219 while at IUPUI and led the school to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2003. Hunter is one of 48 college basketball coaches who will participate this year in the Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge. He will be supporting Samaritan's Feet, an organization that collects shoes for underprivileged children around the world. Fans will vote for the coaches, and the winning coach will receive a $100,000 donation for his designated charity.
The GSU Panthers have several home games remaining this season. On January 23 the Panthers will play James Madison University, followed by Virginia Commonwealth on January 28. February 8 is a home game against Northeastern University, followed by Delaware on February 11 and Old Dominion on February 22. All of these are conference games. On February 18 the Panthers will play in the 10th Annual Sears
Bracketbusters. This 3-day event will pit potential NCAA Championship hopefuls against each other. This year's event will feature the largest pool in the history of the Bracketbusters, with 142 teams from 16 conferences participating. GSU is designated as a home team, and the visiting team will be announced on January 30. The CAA Tournament will begin on March 2 in Richmond, Virginia. The Championship final will be played on March 5.
The Panthers play their home games in the Georgia State Sports Arena, located at 125 Decatur Street in downtown Atlanta. Single game tickets are $12. Parking is available in Parking Deck G, with the entrance off Collins Street. Those taking public transportation can exit MARTA at the Georgia State Station on the East/West line.
By: Anne Jiles
University of Sheffield