Georgia State’s Sun Belt basketball undergoes change for coming season

Georgia State coach Rob Lanier. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Georgia State coach Rob Lanier. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Georgia State’s men’s basketball team will face another pandemic-related change.

The Sun Belt Conference announced Thursday afternoon that “with a goal of reducing travel and mitigating any potential spread of COVID-19,” a new format was revealed for the 18-game conference portion of each team’s schedule.

The Panthers will open conference play with games Jan. 1-2 at Coastal Carolina.

In the past, teams played games against two schools in pairs, most often on Thursdays and Saturdays. For example, on a given Thursday-Saturday split, the two Louisiana schools would play at the two Georgia schools, or vice versa. This season, one school will host another school for Friday and Saturday games on a weekend.

Also, each Sun Belt school will play games only against schools in its own division, with two games at home and two on the road against a particular opponent, except for games against its primary conference rival, or “travel partner.” For Georgia State, that school is Georgia Southern, so the in-state rivals will meet twice in the coming season, once at Georgia State (on a Thursday) and once in Statesboro.

The first league games are scheduled for New Year’s Day, and the Sun Belt basketball tournament is scheduled for March 5-8 in Pensacola, Fla.

On Oct. 1, the Sun Belt released an 18-game that would have begun Dec. 31 at Appalachian State.

Georgia State has not revealed the non-conference portion of its schedule. The season is set to begin Nov. 25.

The Panthers are entering their second season with Rob Lanier as head coach. They finished 19-13 last season, including 12-8 in Sun Belt play.

2020-21 Georgia State conference schedule

Jan. 1 at Coastal Carolina

Jan. 2 at Coastal Carolina

Jan. 8 at Troy

Jan. 9 at Troy

Jan. 15 vs. Coastal Carolina

Jan. 16 vs. Coastal Carolina

Jan. 22 at Appalachian State

Jan. 23 at Appalachian State

Jan. 29 vs. South Alabama

Jan. 30 vs. South Alabama

Feb. 5 vs. Appalachian State

Feb. 6 vs. Appalachian State

Feb. 11 vs. Georgia Southern

Feb. 13 at Georgia Southern

Feb. 19 vs. Troy

Feb. 20 vs. Troy

Feb. 26 at South Alabama

Feb. 27 at South Alabama

March 5-8 Fri.-Mon. Sun Belt Championship Pensacola, Fla.

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