This season was originally penciled in as the farewell tour for the Old Dominion Monarchs and the Georgia State Panthers in the Colonial Athletic Association before they flee for Conference USA and the Sun Belt this spring, respectively. However, that storyline has changed.
Instead, the Monarchs’ season has gone very poorly for head coach Blaine Taylor and the Panthers’ year has turned into the coming out party for freshman guard R.J Hunter.
Hunter, the son of Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter, has been exceptional this season, already winning five CAA Rookie of the Week awards. And, after two phenomenal performances, Hunter looks to have secured his sixth. This week, Hunter scored 27 points against Northeastern on Wednesday and followed that up with a 38-point performance against Old Dominion Saturday. Against the Monarchs, Hunter drilled 10 three-pointers as well, which tied a CAA record for most made three-point field goals in a game.
On the season, Hunter has been averaging 16.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He is one of just six freshmen in the nation to be averaging over 16.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest.
Hunter is clearly the favorite for CAA Rookie of the Year, but as his team continues to win, it’s now becoming a question if Hunter deserves to be awarded with a spot on the All-CAA 1st Team. With his on-court success, Hunter is arguably just as valuable to his team as any other player is in the conference. He’s also been playing better than the likes of Devon Saddler and Sherrod Wright over the past few games as well. However, it is far more likely that Hunter gets rewarded with a spot on the All-CAA 2nd Team.
The only question now is, how bright will Hunter’s star shine before he moves on to play professional basketball?