NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Sun Belt Conference
Past Conferences: Atlantic Sun Conference, Trans America Athletic Conference, Colonial Athletic Association
City: Atlanta, Georgia
Arena: Georgia State Convocation Center
NCAA Tournaments: 6 (1991, 2001, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2022)
National Championships – 0
Conference Titles – 8 (1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2014, 2015, 2019, 2021)
Georgia State began its basketball program in the 1963-64 season and the team was underwhelming at the start, going 11-98 over its first five seasons. The next seven years weren’t a whole lot better, with the Panthers posting a 38-126 season. Georgia State fans had reason to believe the team was turning the corner after going 12-11 in 1975-76, but the Panthers returned to their old ways. Georgia State went 43-193 over the next nine seasons.
The Panthers never finished above .500 for the next five seasons, but went 16-15 in 1990-91, knocking off No. 1 seed UTSA on their way to the surprise conference tournament victory and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Following a 16-14 record the following year, Georgia State had five consecutive losing seasons until Lefty Driesell took over the program beginning in 1997-98. Dreisell still had some magic left in the tank, and, in his five-plus seasons at Georgia State, the team won four conference titles and appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2001, upsetting sixth-seeded Wisconsin in the first round. The Panthers competed in the 2002 NIT.
The Panthers had seven straight losing seasons between 2004-05 and 2010-11, but went 22-12 in the 2011-12 season and earned a berth to the CIT. The Panthers earned a second berth to the NIT after going 25-9 in 2013-14 and winning the regular season conference title. In the 2014-15 season, the Panthers repeated as regular season conference champions and followed that up with a victory in the conference tournament. Georgia State pulled off another upset in its first game of the NCAA Tournament, edging third-seeded Baylor 57-56 before losing to Xavier in the next game.
Georgia State made a second CIT appearance in 2017 and had back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2018 and 2019. Georgia State returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2022.
R.J. Hunter, 1,819
D’Marcus Simonds 1,755
Kane Williams, 1,589
Terrence Brandon, 750
Zavian Smith, 714
Rashad Chase, 707
Rodney Hamilton, 535
Kane Williams, 493
Kevin Morris, 431
Why Are Georgia State Teams Called the Panthers?
The nickname Panthers was chosen by a student vote in 1963 to determine what the university’s nickname should be. “Pounce,” the university’s current mascot was created in 1993 to replace Urbie, the first mascot who debuted in 1989.
What Is Unique About the Largest Crowd To Ever Watch a Georgia State Home Game?
The Panthers’ home game against Stetson on Feb. 4, 1989 drew 4,500 fans. Georgia State has drawn more than 4,000 people on one other occasion, when 4,028 fans came to watch the Panthers play Troy in the 2001 Trans America Athletic Conference finals. But the Stetson game is best known for having Jay Leno perform after the contest was finished.
How Many Georgia State Players Have Been Drafted by NBA Teams?
The Panthers have had three players drafted by NBA teams, including R.J. Hunter, who was taken by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2015 draft. Taken No. 28 overall, Hunter played in the NBA for parts of four different seasons.