The 1-0 Auburn Tigers welcome Georgia State to the Plains for a Monday night matchup. Georgia State is another strong nonconference opponent. The Panthers are coached by Ron Hunter, the man who tore his achilles tendon celebrating Georgia State's 2015 NCAA Tournament win over #3 seed Baylor after his son nailed a three at the buzzer.
Coach Hunter has won 103 games in five years at Georgia State. The man can flat-out coach.
Coach Hunter is apparently a great man. He's very involved with a charity called Samaritan's Feet, which distributes as many as a million pairs of shoes and socks annually to the poor around the world. To raise awareness for this charity, Georgia State plays one game per year barefooted.
The Panthers hope to return to the NCAA Tournament this year. They are picked to finish third in the Sun Belt this year.
On the floor, the Panthers are led by the versatile senior center Jeremy Hollowell. Hollowell is a Vot Barber type player. He came out of high school the #41 small forward in America and signed with Indiana. He transferred to Georgia State where he plays primarily center and power forward. He makes plays inside and out. In their first game, Hollowell scored 23 points in 18 minutes including 2 three pointers and hitting 11 of 12 from the charity stripe. As you might imagine, he handles the ball more like a small forward than a center. He has a great midrange jump shot and is a really clever ballplayer.
In addition to Hollowell, Panthers forward Willie Clayton blocked five shots and grabbed 13 rebounds in 26 minutes of action. Horace Spencer and Danjel Purifoy will have their hands full down-low. The Panthers are a great next-opponent for the Tigers if Bruce Pearl wants to challenge his team to rebound better.
While largely worthless this early in the season, the computer rankings slightly favor the Tigers:
Ken Pom: Auburn 142; Georgia State 153
Sagarin: Auburn 85; Georgia State 162
I'll take the Tigers 88-72.
How to Watch, Stream, Listen
Time: 8:00pm Central
TV: SEC Network
Listen: Auburn Sports Network