November 28, 20151st2ndFinal
Stats at a GlanceUNCWETSU
FG Percentage.586 (41-70) .462 (24-52)
3P FG Percentage.368 (7-19) .467 (7-15)
FT Percentage.500 (5-10) .720 (18-25)
Offensive Rebounds114
Defensive Rebounds2820
Total Rebounds3924
Bench Points3418
PointsFlemmings - 18
T.J. Cromer - 20
ReboundsCacok - 7
T.J. Cromer - 5
AssistsPonder - 4
T.J. Cromer - 5
StealsFlemmings - 3
Bryce - 3
T.J. Cromer - 2
Ge'Lawn Guyn - 2
BlocksOgbodo - 1
Bryan - 1
Ge'Lawn Guyn - 2
ETSU men return to Freedom Hall Saturday to face UNCW
First-year head coach Steve Forbes and the Bucs have enjoyed some signature wins already this season, including a victory at ACC foe Georgia Tech.
ETSU men return to Freedom Hall Saturday to face UNCW
Friday, November 27, 2015

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 28, 2015) – The ETSU men’s basketball team will return to Freedom Hall on this holiday weekend to take on non-conference opponent UNC Wilmington Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.

The Seahawks, members of the Colonial Athletic Association, enter the matchup with a perfect 3-0 record. Meanwhile, ETSU sports a 3-2 mark that includes a road win at Atlantic Coast Conference member Georgia Tech and a home victory over Green Bay in a nationally-televised game on ESPN2 earlier this month.

The Buccaneers are glad to be back on their home court after having played three road games in a row during a six-day stretch last week, which began with a showdown at Top 10-ranked Villanova.

For more on the UNC Wilmington game, click on the game notebook link to the right, or read the game notes located below. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2015-16 season, visit and click on the men’s hoops link.


Game Notes

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 and general coaching records and other statistics are available on Page 2 and Page 5 of this media notes package.


Last time out

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (Nov. 24, 2015) – Falling behind by 16 points in the first half, the ETSU men’s basketball team manufactured a valiant rally in the second half, but the comeback ultimately fell one-point short in a 77-76 loss to Charleston Southern inside the Buc Dome. ... Having not led at any point in the game, ETSU junior guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) was fouled and went to the line with 3.6 seconds left on the clock with a chance to give his team its first lead of the night. Unfortunately, Merriweather missed both opportunities and allowed CSU to escape with the victory. ... CSU hurt ETSU from beyond the arc and under the basket on the offensive end. For the game, Charleston Southern was 11-of-19 from 3-point range (57.9 percent) and out-rebounded the Bucs 34-31. That edge in the post also helped CSU outscore the Bucs 34-28 in the paint and 19-14 on second chance points. ... ETSU battled back behind the play of Merriweather, who finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) scored a game-high 23 points. Adding to the offensive output were junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) and senior guard Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.), both of whom finished with 13 points each. ... For Charleston Southern, Armel Potter had a team-high 18 points, while Raemond Robinson and Javis Howard added 14 and 13 points, respectively.


The series vs. UNC Wilmington

The Bucs lead the all-time series with the Seahawks 5-4, having defeated UNCW in the last meeting back on Nov. 29, 2003 in the Dome ... In that game, ETSU won in come-from-behind fashion, 67-62.


Last time out against UNC Wilmington

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 29, 2003) - In a battle between two of the best mid-major programs in the country, East Tennessee State overcame an 11-point, second half deficit and rallied for a 67-62 win over UNC Wilmington at Memorial Center. ... The Bucs -- who shot just 27 percent from the floor in the first half -- did it with their defense, utilizing their fullcourt defense to create 26 turnovers by the Seahawks (2-1 overall). Senior Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) led the way for the Bucs, picking up his 19th career double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. ... The two teams traded baskets to open the game, but with the score tied at 20 with just over six minutes left before halftime, the Seahawks’ defense closed down on the Bucs and allowed just one point until the break. That defensive effort allowed Wilmington to go on a 12-1 scoring run and finish the first half up 30-21. ... In the second half, however, ETSU relentlessly kept the pressure on UNCW. ... The Seahawks finally cracked at the 15:58 mark when the Bucs started a 12-2 run that tied the game at 43-43 with 11:03 remaining. The lead changed hands 10 times from, with the Seahawks’ Ed Spencer and ETSU’s James Anthony (Tampa, Fla.) trading 3-point baskets twice in the final eight minutes. The second of Spencer’s two long-range shots came with 3:20 remaining and gave Wilmington a 60-58 lead, but Anthony answered to make it 61-60 Bucs with 3:01 left. Wilmington grabbed the lead one last time at the 2:35 mark when Spencer hit 1-of-2 from the foul line to make it 62-61 Wilmington. But from there, the Bucs outscored Wilmington 6-0 thanks with three foul shots from Wadood, one free throw from Anthony and a basket from sophomore guard Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio).


Ge’Lawn doing it all for Bucs

Senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn’s game-winning shot at Georgia Tech (11/22) is just the most recent indictation of the play he has displayed so far at ETSU ... Heading into UNC Wilmington matchup, Guyn leads the Bucs in scoring (20.2 ppg), assists (3.0 apg) and blocks (1.2 bpg), and is second on the team in rebounding (4.6 rpg) ... The rebound and block numbers are most impressive considering Guyn plays the point guard position.


Bucs make history with win at Georgia Tech

While ETSU has enjoyed its share of wins over “major” opposition in the past, Sunday’s win over Georgia Tech marked the programs first win over an Atlantic Coast Conference school since defeating N.C. State back in 1991 ... It was also the team’s first win over a “Power 5” Conference team since dropping Arkansas back during the 2009-10 season, and the first win over Georgia Tech since the 1978-79 campaign.


Buc bits

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 864 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 2016-17 class.


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, player 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 217 makes from beyond the arc, Wilson finds himself 59 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.