When freshman guard R.J. Hunter joined the Georgia State Panthers this fall, many knew him as simply the son of GSU’s head coach, Ron Hunter. Halfway through his rookie season, the younger Hunter has made a name for himself all on his own.
Averaging 16.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game, Hunter is not only the lead candidate for Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Year. Hunter’s already won four CAA Rookie of the Week awards, while no other freshman has earned the accolade more than once. But, he’s also been performing like a top rookie in the nation. Hunter is one of just six freshmen in the nation to average at least 15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game through January 16. He also leads all rooks in the CAA in scoring and rebounding.
Hunter also contributed an incredible performance against Towson Monday night, in which he put up a career-high 27 points and swatted a game-saving block on Marcus Damas.
Towson head coach Pat Skerry was very impressed with Hunter, to say the least.
“He is a terrific talent,” The second year coach told reporters Tuesday. “He’s got next level size and and feel for the game. He made some big plays late.”
Skerry even predicted that Hunter could make a career out of the sport in which he’s received an athletic scholarship for—maybe even in the NBA.
“He can definitely make some money off the game of basketball,” Skerry said referring to Hunter’s professional prospects. “He’s a tough, tough cover.”
For now, the pros will have to wait, as Hunter still hopes to lead his team to a winning record during the remainder of this 2012-2013 season.
Up next, Hunter, his father and the rest of the Panthers will play host to the UNCW Seahawks on Wednesday.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Columnist for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @JakeLFischer.