Opinion: Men’s basketball has impressed so far, but true test awaits them Saturday in Atlanta

Kaitlin Sells is a sophomore psychology major from Savannah, Georgia.

Kaitlin Sells

With only 10 regular season games left the men’s basketball team is about to face their biggest contest of the season- rival Georgia State awaits them on Saturday in Atlanta.

The last time the two teams met GSU took the win over the Eagles which consequentially ended their season as it was in conference playoffs.

While it was a close match points-wise- the Panthers only won by six points- we saw the Eagles were lacking technically behind the ball as they only shot 39.6 percent from the floor as well as only recording 23.8 percent for three-pointers.

The Eagles have looked better this season as they log a team average of shooting 49.8 percent from the floor, but there are still things they need to be aware of and consciously working on while on the court.

Defense is where the Eagles seem to lack the most as they’ve allowed most games this season to get away from them as their opponent has shown to grab an early lead while the Eagles then struggle to catch up.

They’ve done a better job of finding and maintaining the lead earlier in the past two games but there’s always room for improvement.

Although there are some negatives that need to be improved, there are also things the Eagles have been doing right this season and need to focus on continuing to do so. GS has been very good about playing consistently during games for the most part.

Bringing certain intensity to the court and keeping that level of intensity is something the Eagles don’t seem to have a problem with and is something that is vital to a team that wants to win.

The Eagles especially look good when they begin to hit their stride and build momentum as a team. Over half the roster is made up of returning players so the Eagles have had the chance to build chemistry as well as having the advantage of new and talented freshmen to help replace the players which were lost. 

One comparable replacement could be considered in freshman guard Calvin Wishart which helped replace the loss the Eagles took with former guard Jake Allsmiller who graduated last year. Allsmiller was a huge contributor for the Eagles as over his four years he logged 915 total career points and almost broke the school record for most three-pointers as he ended up just falling second in school history.

Wishart himself has already logged 83 points during his first season while playing as a true freshman and has found himself starting the past four games.  

Georgia State will prove to be a big opponent as they’ve always been a strong basketball school. The Panthers sit at a 15-6 overall record and a conference record of 6-2, placing them as tied for first with Texas State in Sun Belt standings.

While the Panthers show themselves to be an impressive opponent by sitting in the first-place position, the Eagles are right on their heels as they sit tied for second with a 5-3 record after taking down TXST with ease at Hanner.

The match is set to take place in Atlanta as the Panthers will host GS on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Kaitlin Sells, The George-Anne Sports Editor, gasports@georgiasouthern.edu