Q&A with Georgia State’s Sports Editor

Thomas Jilk

This rivalry game always brings out the best of both teams. This is a battle that will determine who gets the No. 3 seed in the Sun Belt Tournament. We reached out to The Signal’s sports editor and talked about the big game on Saturday. 

Q: What have the strengths of the Georgia State men’s team been this season?

A: The strength of this team is certainly the talent. I would say there’s still a solid seven or eight guys that you could interchange in our starting unit. D’Marcus Simonds, Jeremy Hollowell, and Isaiah Williams proved they could all lead the team in scoring before the season, but guys like Malik Benlevi and Jeff Thomas have really stepped up their level of play this year as well.”

Q: What makes Jeremy Hollowell such an effective player?

A: [Jeremy] Hollowell is an effective player in the Sun Belt Conference because of his size. His build is very similar to a Carmelo Anthony as a 6-foot-8 guy who can score with his back to the basket and from the wings, but he plays the four because he’s usually one of the tallest guys on the floor. Scoring comes extremely easy to him and he’s the only one who can stop himself from getting 14 points during a night where he’s being aggressive.

Q: If Georgia State can win the Sun Belt tournament, what will be the attributes that set them apart from the field?

A: Once again, I’ll have to go back to talent. They’ve shown that they’re the best team in the Sun Belt when they all play their best basketball for a full 40 minutes.
They blew a late lead at home against Arlington, they blew a late lead at No.16 Purdue and they won on the road against Mid-Major No. 10 at the time Middle Tennessee. A lot of the team’s bad losses in December came when Simonds was out with his knee injury and he’s back now. Southern has a lot of young guys that have played together the last two-three seasons now and Arlington still probably has the biggest team in the conference, but Georgia State has the most talent.
Take a look at where these transfer players are coming from: the University of Indiana, University of Alabama, Simonds was a four-star prospect who originally decommitted from playing at Mississippi State to come to GSU. When the entire team locks in, they are hands down the most talented team in the conference.

Q: How do State students feel about the rivalry between GSU vs. GS? Is there a lot of animosity towards Southern? Why or why not?

A: I don’t think there’s as much animosity as there once was between the two schools, because of the last two years in football and how well State has done against Southern since the creation of the Rivalry Series, but it’s definitely still the most popular game for students to attend. For the students who can only call-off of work to attend one game in a season and for the students who don’t really care about sports but they want to support their school, this is the game that they attend.