|November 22, 2015||1st||2nd||Final|
East Tennessee State
|Stats at a Glance||ETSU||GT|
|FG Percentage||.474 (27-57)||.407 (22-54)|
|3P FG Percentage||.353 (6-17)||.294 (5-17)|
|FT Percentage||.900 (9-10)||.864 (19-22)|
T.J. Cromer - 2
A.J. Merriweather - 2
Lammers - 1
White - 1
ATLANTA (Nov. 22, 2015) – Fresh off its toughest test of the season so far, the ETSU men’s basketball team will face another stiff challenge Sunday afternoon, taking on Atlantic Coast Conference foe Georgia Tech on the Yellow Jackets’ home floor at 2 p.m. inside the McCamish Pavilion.
The Buccaneers are coming off a loss to No. 8-ranked Villanova Friday evening in Philadelphia and now hold a 2-1 record on the season. ETSU is 1-4 all-time against Georgia Tech and will be looking for its first win over an ACC foe since dropping Virginia Tech back in the 1999-2000 season when that program was a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Georgia Tech is currently 3-0 on the young season with wins over Cornell, Tennessee and Green Bay. The two teams have a common opponent this season in Green Bay, with the Jackets dropping the Phoenix 107-77 and ETSU defeating Green Bay, 103-90.
For more on Sunday’s matchup, click on the game notebook to the right or read the game notes below. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2015-16 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.
We are “ETSU”
The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics would like to ask both the print and broadcast media to honor our request to be called “ETSU” ... East Tennessee State University in first reference is acceptable, but subsequent references should be ETSU ... On TV graphics please use ETSU ... Our nickname is the Buccaneers, but Bucs is also acceptable.
The Steve Forbes era begins
It seems like only yesterday that Steve Forbes was named the 16th head coach in the history of ETSU basketball back on March 30, 2015 ... But seven months later and the Bucs are ready to begin the Forbes’ era ... Having most recently served two seasons as an assistant coach at Wichita State where he helped take the Shockers to the Sweet 16 in 2014-15, Forbes has been heralded for his recruiting ties and his extensive background as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division I level – which included a five-year stop at the University of Tennessee ... Complete bio information on Forbes can be found at ETSUBucs.com and general coaching records and other statistics are available on Page 2 and Page 5 of this media notes package.
Bucs rank among nation’s best in early going
In the most recent NCAA statistical rankings, the ETSU men’s basketball team ranks among the best in the nation as a team and individually ... Most impressive, the Bucs currently rank 4th in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 105 points per game ... The Bucs also ranked 8th in the country in blocked shots ... Individually, senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) ranks 43rd in the country with 22.5 points per game ... For a complete breakdown of ETSU’s national rankings, see Page 4 of this notebook.
Last time out
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Nov. 20, 2015) – Hitting 14 3-pointers and going on a 31-2 offensive run in the first half, No. 8 Villanova won its 29th straight game inside the Pavilion by besting the ETSU men’s basketball team 86-51. ... The Buccaneers (2-1) led 9-4 in the early going, but the Wildcats’ run was fueled by a sharp-shooting effort from beyond the arc and an impressive defensive scheme that held ETSU scoreless for over eight minutes of play. ETSU ultimately faced a 35-11 deficit midway through the first half and was unable to recover. ... For Villanova, forward Kris Jenkins led the way with a game-high 17 points, while 6-foot-11 center Daniel Ochefu posted a double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds, and 2015 Big East Conference Co-Player of the Year Ryan Arcidiacono scored 11 points. For the Bucs, junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) finished with a team-high 12 points. ... For the game, Villanova outrebounded the Bucs 44-32, outscored ETSU 29-12 off turnovers, and held a 28-20 advantage on points in the paint. The Wildcats finished the contest shooting 51 percent from the floor and 41 percent from 3-point range, while ETSU was held to a 32 percent clip from the field and only 18 percent from beyond the arc.
The series vs. Georgia Tech
This will be the sixth meeting between the Bucs and Yellow Jackets, with ETSU trailing the all-time series 1-4. The last meeting between the two teams was on Dec. 7, 2013, an 87-57 win for Georgia Tech.
Last time out against Georgia Tech
ATLANTA (Dec. 7, 2013) – Suffering through its worst offensive game of the season, the ETSU men’s basketball team was unable to mount a challenge to Atlantic Coast Conference foe Georgia Tech, falling to the Yellow Jackets 87-57 inside McCamish Pavilion. ... The Buccaneers shot just 32 percent from the floor and were out-rebounded 46-36 for the game, while leading scorers like junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) and senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) were held to a combined two points in the contest. ... The game got off to a nightmarish start offensively for the Bucs, as they shot just eight percent from the field and made only one field goal over the first nine minutes of the game. The result was a 15-point lead for Tech at 24-9 with 10 minutes left before the intermission. ... At that point, the Bucs did rally with a 10-0 run to make it 24-19 with 7:35 remaining, but that would be as close as ETSU would get in the first half, as Georgia Tech closed the first frame with a 20-4 run and led 44-23 at the break. The Bucs shot a miserable 23 percent in the first half compared to Tech’s 49 percent clip.
ETSU vs. the ACC
Over the years, ETSU has enjoyed some success over ACC competition ... The Bucs have nine wins all-time against current ACC member institutions, which includes single victories over Duke, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, along with three wins over Virginia Tech, and an impressive 3-1 record all-time against N.C. State.
It is a new day for the ETSU men’s basketball program, as the Buccaneers welcome first-year head coach Steve Forbes and his assistant coaching staff to the program for the 2015-16 season ... Forbes, a highly successful assistant coach at the Division I level at programs such as Tennessee, Wichita State and Texas A&M, wasted no time revamping the ETSU roster, as the program’s lineup has not seen this much restructuring since the start of the 1997 season ... Returning just six players from last season’s squad, Forbes and company have utilized their vast recruiting ties to bring in 10 new players to the program … This group of 10 will include four transfers from Division I programs such as Cincinnati, Indiana, Missouri and Witchita State, along with four junior college transfers and two incoming high school prospects.
Three-point streak for Bucs dates back nearly 20 years
Since Feb. 16, 1987 in a game against Davidson, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 862 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game. ... The Bucs currently rank as the 7th longest streak in the NCAA.
Bucs postseason resume ranks among mid-major bests
The ETSU men’s basketball team has enjoyed its share of postseason success and ranks as one of the nation’s most prestigious basketball programs ... The Buccaneers have earned berths to the NCAA Tournament nine times (1969, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010) and NIT twice (1983, 2007) ... The Bucs made their second trip all-time to the CIT Postseason Tournament in 2014, marking the program’s 13th postseason tournament appearance all-time ... In the Bucs first CIT appearance in 2011, ETSU went 2-1 with wins over Furman and Ohio, advancing to the tournament semifinals before losing to Iona in a hard-fought 83-80 contest at the Dome ... In 2014, the Bucs went 1-1, defeating fellow Southern Conference member Chattanooga before falling to Towson in the quarterfinals.
Bucs picked 4th; Merriweather named All-SoCon
The ETSU men’s basketball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Southern Conference standings by both the league’s coaches and media, according to the preseason polls released by the league office on Thursday. ... While Chattanooga was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the league and the Mocs’ Casey Jones was selected as the preseason player of the year, ETSU junior guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) was named to the SoCon preseason all-conference team. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams or student-athletes as part of the balloting.
Returning players to be counted on in ’15-16
As for returning players from last year’s squad who are expected to provide valuable minutes this year, junior forward A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) leads the group after averaging 10.3 points and 6.1 rebounds a year ago, while providing the Bucs valuable defensive skills with a 1.3 steals per contest … Along with Merriweather, the Bucs also return senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville), who averaged 12.6 points a game last season, senior guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.), who finished with a team-high 3.1 assists per contest, sophomore guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt), who averaged 4.1 points per game, and junior forward Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.), who finished with 2.9 points and 4.9 rebounds a game in limited action a year ago.
Newcomers galore for Forbes and company
While Merriweather, McClain, Wilson and Bradford return in the backcourt, the Bucs have also added a wealth of talent at those positions with the addition of a pair of Division I senior transfers Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) from Cincinnati and Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.) from Missouri … Both Guyn and Bello completed their degrees at their previous schools, meaning both are eligible to compete immediately at ETSU, and both are expected to play extensive minutes this season … In addition, junior college transfer T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) joins the Bucs after a successful career as a point producer at Columbia State, and true freshman Shemar Johnson (Columbus, Miss.) brings exceptional height to the wing position at 6-foot-6 … In the frontcourt, Banks is the lone returning player but is joined by 7-foot center Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan), who sat out last season with ETSU after transferring from Indiana … Along with those two, the Bucs have also added help for the inside game this season by signing junior college transfers Nigel Holley (Wilmington, N.C.) and Abednego “Benny” Lufile (Burlington, Ontario, Canada), as well as true freshman post Toriano Stokes (Memphis, Tenn.) … Beyond those players that will be eligible this season, the Bucs have also added Indiana transfer Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) and Wichita State transfer Tevin Glass (Greensboro, N.C.) who will miss this season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Forbes announces signing of Williams Jr. to NLI
ETSU men’s basketball head coach Steve Forbes and his staff announced Thursday that Jason Williams Jr. (Detroit, Mich.) has signed his national letter of intent to play for the Buccaneers beginning with the 2016-17 season. ... Williams, a 6-foot point guard out of Detroit Allen Academy, is entering his senior year of high school as a three-year starter and a 1,000-point scorer. In fact, Williams has a total of 1,259 points in three seasons at the prep level and is just 315 points shy of his school’s scoring record. In addition to those offensive numbers, Williams has also accumulated a school record 387 assists and 200 steals in his career, to go along with 292 rebounds. ... Williams is the first signee to the Buccaneers’ 2016-17 recruiting class.
Challenging schedule awaits new-look Bucs
As for the season itself, the Bucs will enjoy several quality matchups, including road games at Villanova (Nov. 20), Georgia Tech (Nov. 22) and Tennessee (Dec. 22), as well as home games against quality opponents such as Green Bay (Nov. 17), UNC Wilmington (Nov. 28), Eastern Kentucky (Dec. 18), Chattanooga (Feb. 13) and Wofford (Feb. 27). ... Even more exciting for the Bucs will be playing the Green Bay game as part of the ESPN 24-hour College Hoops Marathon, as the teams will square off at 6 a.m. on Nov. 17.
VIP Seen publishes first Game Time Magazine for hoops
For the first time ever, ETSU fans can get a comprehensive look at both the men’s ane women’s basketball teams by purchasing the first-ever collector’s edition of ETSU Game Time Magazine published by VIP Seen Magazine. ... Game Time is available for purchase at local Roadrunner Markets, Food City locations, and at the ETSU campus bookstore. ... Full of preseason information, rosters, players profiles, a spring preview, and more, Game Time Magazine makes a perfect gift for any ETSU fan.
Wilson eyeing program’s 3-point record
Already a 1,000-point scorer, senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) has an opportunity to put his name in the ETSU basketball record books again this season as the most prolific 3-point shooter in school history ... Currently ranking 5th on the career list with 216 makes from beyond the arc, Wilson finds himself 64 makes behind the program leader Courtney Pigram (Memphis), who made 276 3-pointers during his career from 2005-09 ... Wilson has averaged 70 makes a year during his previous three seasons at ETSU, meaning if he can replicate his “average” this year he should have a shot to take the top spot.