The Georgia State Panthers have had an up-and-down start to the 2018-2019 basketball season. University of Alabama head coach Avery Johnson is expecting nothing but the best from GSU when they take the floor against the Crimson Tide on Tuesday night.
Johnson is preparing to face the Panther version that drubbed the Georgia Bulldogs 91-67 in a Cayman Islands holiday tournament, not the team that dropped a surprising 78-52 game at Liberty (an Alabama opponent later this month) on Saturday.
“They beat an SEC team pretty handily,” Johnson said. “They are going to come in here highly motivated. I’ve told our team we are being hunted now, and there is a responsibility to being in that situation.”
After a 68-62 loss at Central Florida in its last outing, the Crimson Tide is starting a stretch of four straight in-state games (three at Coleman Coliseum, one in Huntsville) as it seeks to bolster its record before opening conference play in January.
“Georgia State is picked to win their league,” said Alabama guard Avery Johnson Jr. “We don’t want (Devin Mitchell) to get off threes. He’s a sniper. They’re a good team with a great coach. It’s a basketball school so we have to make sure we lock in on them tomorrow.
They beat Georgia but you can’t let teams come in here and beat you on your home floor. All these wins can help. We’ve got to get these kinds of wins.”
Mitchell originally signed with Alabama in 2015 but played sparingly before transferring to Georgia State. He was one of the nation’s top 3-point shooters last season (making 92 of 205 attempts) but has played in just one game this season due to injury. He is expected to be available against Georgia State.
Alabama may also have an injury issue as 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Alex Reese is listed as a game-time decision after spraining an ankle in Saturday’s practice. Reese, who has seen an increase in playing time over the course of the season, has averaged 14.0 points
per game over the Crimson Tide’s last three contests.
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0225.
Alabama vs. Georgia State
When: 7 p.m. CT
Where: Coleman Coliseum
Records: Alabama 5-2, Georgia State 5-3
TV: SEC Network Plus
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (95.3 FM locally)