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Georgia State Men’s Basketball picked to win Sun Belt Championship

Georgia State men's basketball players, from left, Curtis Washington, R.J. Hunter and Ryan HarrowPhoto credit: Georgia State Athletics
Georgia State men’s basketball players, from left, Curtis Washington, R.J. Hunter and Ryan Harrow
Photo credit: Georgia State Athletics

Release from Georgia State Athletics:

ATLANTA— Georgia State, winner of the 2013-14 Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship, is the unanimous selection to win the 2014-15 league title while leading scorer and 2013-14 Player of the Year junior R.J. Hunter earned distinction as the 2014-15 Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year, the conference office announced on Thursday.

Voting for the Preseason Sun Belt All-Conference Team and Poll was conducted by the league’s 11 head coaches.

The Panthers went 25-9 during the 2013-14 season, including a 17-1 mark in the Sun Belt to win its first conference championship since the 2001-02 season. Georgia State advanced to the Postseason NIT for the second time in program history.

Georgia State returns three starters from last year’s squad in Hunter, senior guard Ryan Harrow and senior forward Curtis Washington. Hunter and Harrow were named to the preseason first team while Washington earned preseason third team honors for the first time in his career.

Hunter earned the 2013-14 Player of the Year award after averaging 18.3 points per game and leading the conference with a school-record 100 3-pointers made (3.03 per game). He also earned A.P. All-America honorable mention recognition and was the Sun Belt Male Athlete of the Year for all sports.

Harrow was an All-Sun Belt First Team selection last season after averaging 17.8 points and 4.2 assists per game. Both Harrow and Hunter were named to the 2014 Sun Belt All-Tournament Team following Georgia State’s run to the tournament championship game.

Washington, in his first season with the Panthers, shot 65.6 percent from the floor last year, the second best mark in school history and tops in the Sun Belt. He averaged 6.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, blocking 78 shots, the third most in a single season in GSU history.

UL Lafayette was unanimously selected second in the poll with UALR coming in third. UT Arlington and Arkansas State rounded out the top five teams in the poll.

Preseason Coaches Poll

(First place votes in parenthesis)

Rank Team Points (1st Place Votes)
1 Georgia State 121 (11)
2 UL Lafayette 110
3 UALR 94
4 UT Arlington 75
5 Arkansas State 73
6 UL Monroe 69
7 Texas State 43
8 Troy 42
9 Georgia Southern 38
South Alabama 38
11 Appalachian State 23

Preseason Player of the Year
R.J. Hunter (Georgia State, Junior, Guard)

Preseason First Team All-Conference
Jelani Hewitt (Georgia Southern, Senior, Guard)
Ryan Harrow (Georgia State, Senior, Guard)
R.J. Hunter (Georgia State, Junior, Guard)
Shawn Long (UL Lafayette, Senior, Forward)
Lonnie McClanahan (UT Arlington, Senior, Guard)

Preseason Second Team All-Conference
Josh Hagins (UALR, Junior, Guard)
James White (UALR, Junior, Forward)
Xavian Rimmer (UL Lafayette, Senior, Guard)
Tylor Ongwae (UL Monroe, Senior, Forward)
Emani Grant (Texas State, Junior, Forward)

Preseason Third Team All-Conference
Tab Hamilton (Appalachian State, Senior, Guard)
Trent Wiedeman (Georgia Southern, Senior, Guard)
Curtis Washington (Georgia State, Senior, Forward)
Jamel Outler (UT Arlington, Senior, Guard)
Kevin Thomas (Troy, Senior, Forward)