On a team where everyone is fighting for a spot, Georgia State hopes to find itself on top of the Sun Belt.
The countdown is officially on. For the second straight year, CBB Review has ranked the top 100 teams in college basketball heading into next season. We will reveal the next team daily until we get to number one. Our number 93 ranked team is the Georgia State Panthers.
A very senior-heavy team, the Georgia State Panthers lost all of its starting minutes to graduation and one to the transfer portal. The Panthers are also losing head coach Rob Lanier. However, this team is bringing in former assistant Xavier Coach Jonas Hayes. He immediately went to work bringing in sophomore Guard Dwon Odom (Xavier), Tai Strickland (Temple), Jamaine Mann (Vanderbilt), Jalen Finch (Jacksonville State), and Brenden Tucker (Charleston) from the transfer portal.
To those who have not, click here to learn more about our preseason top 100 teams in the 2022-2023 college basketball season.
Head Coach: Jonas Hayes (1st year)
2021-2022 Record: 18-11 (9-5)
2022 Postseason Finish: NCAA Tournament Round of 64 Exit
Notable Departures: Kane Williams (Graduate), Corey Allen (Graduate), Justin Roberts (Graduate), Eliel Nsoseme (Graduate), Jalen Thomas (Transfer), Nelson Phillips (Transfer), and Jordan Rawls (Transfer)
PG: Dwon Odom (6-1, 180, So.)
2021-2022 stats: 6.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 58.4 FG%, 33.3 3P% (Xavier)
SG: Brenden Tucker (6-2, 180, Jr.)
2021-2022 stats: 11.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 43.2 FG%, 38.5 3P% (Charleston)
SF: Jamaine Mann (6-6, 225, So.)
2021-2022 stats: 4.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.7 steals, 47.7 FG% (Vanderbilt)
PF: Ja’Heim Hudson (6-7, 230, Fr.)
2021-2022 stats: 5.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, 0.4 steals, 43.9 FG%
C: Joe Jones III (6-9, 230, So.)
2020-2021 stats: 3.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.5 blocks, 49.4 FG%
6: Jalen Finch (6-1, 165, Jr.)
2021-2022 stats: 9.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.1 steals, 46.2 FG%, 38.5 3P% (Jacksonville State)
7: Tai Strickland (6-2, 180, Jr.)
2021-2022 stats: 8.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.7 assist, 1.0 steals, 30.6 3P% (Temple)
8: Evan Johnson (5-10, 165, So.)
2021-2022 stats: 5.3 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 31.3 3p%
9: Jamall Clyce (6-6, 195, Fr.)
2021-2022 stats: 1.8 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.4 steals, 0.2 blocks, 33.3 3p%
10: Marquavious Brown (6-4, 180, Fr.)
3-Star 247 ranked player
Team MVP: Ja’Heim Hudson
Being a freshman last year for Georgia State Panthers, Ja’Heim Hudson is about to have to put everything he learned last year into work. He was behind Jalen Thomas and Eliel Nsoseme, both solid players in their rights. While he did get 12 starts last year, Hudson is poised for a big year. With the number of minutes he played as a freshman, he showed he could be an asset.
Even with Jonas Hayes coming in, Hayes did not look for a lot of help in the forward position. While he did not get a lot of scoring opportunities, he was a beast on the boards. Doing the little things, I believe Hayes will see and help him grow into a better player. With his size, footwork, and talent, he has the opportunity to show out and excel against smaller competition.
Make-or-Break-Player: Dwon Odom
I know, this isn’t the best player by stats. However, I believe he will be the spoon for Coach Hayes to stir the pot. With the implementation of the offense and familiarity with the coaching style, Odom will be thrown into leadership for the Georgia State Panthers. The only stat he leads is steals (tied with Tucker) and games played last year. As his first year starts, he will have a lot.
Coach Hayes is hoping he will show the experience needed to lead this team. Georgia State needs him to run the offense, create shots for himself and others, and spark this team when called upon. He has talent, can shoot 3-pointers, isn’t afraid to drive, and has a solid size that can be difficult to guard.
Analytic to Know: 354th in the 2-point percentage
Georgia State Panthers had a couple of glaring weaknesses last year. Looking at this team, there is a lot of room to grow. Coach Hayes hopes to make leaps and bounds of growth in shot selection. While the 2-point percentage was by far the team’s biggest weakness, this team was also 345th in field-goal efficiency. These are two areas that will allow for significant growth on the offensive end of the court and are probably part of why Coach Hayes was hired.
𝘿𝙖𝙮 𝙞𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝘿𝙖𝙮 𝙤𝙪𝙩 👊
— GSU Men's Basketball (@GeorgiaStateMBB) July 18, 2022
Looking at the other end of the court for Georgia State, the Panther’s ranked 292nd in defensive rebound percentage. With his experience from Xavier, Coach Hayes, I am sure, will force his players to find a man when the ball goes up and find players that scrap after the ball. The last issue is the defensive 3-point percentage allowed for going to the ball. Georgia State is 340th in defending against the 3-pointer. These are some glaring issues that I am sure are on the Panther’s list to improve.
After finishing third in regular season play last year, the Georgia State Panthers are looking to claw their way to the top. The Panthers were forced to win the Sun Belt Tournament to seal an NCAA Tournament bid last year. This year this team wants to sweep a regular-season championship and tournament championship. With the new coach and new talent, this team will have a bumpy start but should finish strong on the back of a solid defense.
𝙂𝙚𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙥𝙤𝙥𝙘𝙤𝙧𝙣 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙙𝙮 🍿
— GSU Men's Basketball (@GeorgiaStateMBB) July 12, 2022
This team can cruise through its conference, but it will all depend on how quickly these players gel. Coach Hayes has work to do with this team as he starts a new leadership chapter for Georgia State.