Georgia State coach Ron Hunter has an intriguing philosophy toward recruiting.
Unlike most coaches who only pursue prospects they believe they have a chance to land out of high school, Hunter will also woo players he realizes are far more likely to initially sign with major-conference programs. His thought is that could pay off at a later date if the prospect eventually transfers in search of more playing time or a fresh start.
"If you don’t do that, there’s no way to win these days." Hunter told Georgia State's official athletics site in a Q&A last year. "It didn’t used to be that way when I first got in this business, but now that’s a big part of it. So you have to recruit kids the first time around knowing you won’t get them, but then you might get a chance the second time."
Hunter's approach worked in Georgia State's favor once again Tuesday afternoon when ex-Indiana forward Jeremy Hollowell committed to the Panthers. The 6-foot-8 sophomore will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after he sits next year.
The addition of Hollowell adds to Georgia State's burgeoning reputation as a mecca for high-major transfers in need of a second chance.
Ex-Kentucky point guard Ryan Harrow, former Virginia Tech forward Manny Atkins and onetime USC big man Curtis Washington helped Georgia State go 17-1 in the Sun Belt last year before falling to Louisiana-Lafayette in the conference tournament championship game. Their success helped Hunter land former Louisville guard Kevin Ware a few weeks ago before netting Hollowell on Tuesday.
The addition of Hollowell could be huge for the Panthers if a fresh start helps the Indianapolis native tap into his potential the way he couldn't in Bloomington
A top 50 recruit when he graduated from Lawrence Central High in Indianapolis in 2012, Hollowell played sporadically in two seasons at Indiana, starting 15 games this past season but seeing his production and playing time dwindle late in the season. He averaged a modest 5.7 points and 3.5 rebounds, shooting poorly from the field, committing too many turnovers and gradually becoming a scapegoat for an Indiana team that failed to reach the postseason despite relatively high expectations. He also was suspended for three games during Big Ten play.
"I have learned a lot from my time at Indiana," Hollowell said in a release from the Hoosiers announcing his transfer last month. "My time here has made me much stronger as a person. Things don't always go as planned and I am looking forward to getting a fresh start and I hope to make the most of that opportunity."
One reason Hollowell chose Georgia State instead of a program from a more high-profile conference was the relationship he has with Hunter and his son R.J. Hollowell and R.J. Hunter played together on the summer circuit when they were younger and the elder Hunter was the head coach at IUPUI.
Last Month, Harrow earned first-team all-conference honors at Georgia State after jump-starting a career that had stalled the previous year Kentucky. Perhaps in another year or two, Hollowell can do the same.
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