Even without Nsoseme, the Panthers appeared to be rounding into shape before things stopped. They lost in overtime to Georgia Tech before the break and were playing their best before being shut down. Lanier is curious how the team will respond upon the restart.
“As a coach in whatever sport, you get into a routine and you try to develop habits,” Lanier said. “Part of the routine is the availability of the players. So you may have a semblance of a routine, but you know when you stop you may have a certain group and when you restart, you may have guys who weren’t there before who are coming back. There’s just an overall disruption to your routine.”
The Panthers (6-5) had road games canceled last week at Arkansas State and Little Rock, and on Tuesday their game against Texas State on Saturday was canceled. On Thursday, the Panthers host host Texas-Arlington (6-7, 2-0). The game can be seen on ESPN-Plus and heard locally on WRAS-FM 88.5.
Georgia State is led by Corey Allen, who averages 15.9 points but missed three games and doesn’t yet meet the minimum to be included among the Sun Belt leaders. Justin Roberts (13.2 points), Kane Williams (12.7) and Nelson Phillips (10.6) are among the top 25 in the conference.
Williams, a super senior from Douglasville, needs eight points to catch Chavelo Holmes for sixth place on the school’s career scoring record. Holmes scored 1,375 points in four seasons from 1981-86.
Texas-Arlington has won three consecutive games and swept South Alabama and Troy in its conference openers last week. David Azore (15.9 points) ranks fourth in the Sun Belt in scoring for the Roadrunners.
“Getting back on the floor, there was a sense of appreciation for just being in a gym together,” Lanier said.
Georgia State announced that the Jan. 13 game at South Alabama will be nationally televised on ESPN2. It will be the 21st time the Panthers have played on national television since the 2013-14 season, all of them on the road or at a neutral site.