December 10, 20151st2ndFinal
Milligan College222547
ETSU494998
Stats at a GlanceMILLETSU
FG Percentage.304 (17-56) .431 (31-72)
3P FG Percentage.188 (3-16) .381 (8-21)
FT Percentage.714 (10-14) .757 (28-37)
Offensive Rebounds821
Defensive Rebounds2534
Total Rebounds3355
Turnovers2114
Steals812
Bench Points1752
LeadersMILLETSU
PointsKurt Brooks - 11
Ge'Lawn Guyn - 18
ReboundsJulian Bailey - 7
Abednego Lufile - 11
AssistsKurt Brooks - 2
Ge'Lawn Guyn - 3
StealsJames Songster - 2
Milos Petrovic - 2
Julian Bailey - 2
T.J. Cromer - 3
BlocksMilos Petrovic - 4
Toriano Stokes - 2
Bucs back home Thursday for matchup with Milligan
Coach Steve Forbes and the Buccaneers will be back in action Thursday night at Freedom Hall against Milligan College.
Bucs back home Thursday for matchup with Milligan
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 10, 2015) – Following a week-long break to wrap up academic work for the fall semester, the ETSU men’s basketball team will return to action Thursday night, hosting nearby Milligan College at Freedom Hall. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

The matchup will be broadcast live on the Buccaneer Sports Network’s radio and web audio streaming outlets, as well as on live video streaming courtesy of ESPN3.com.

ETSU (3-4) was riding high after a win over ACC foe Georgia Tech back on Nov. 24, but the team has suffered three straight losses since then – two by a combined three points – and will be looking to right the ship against the Buffaloes.

For more on Thursday night’s matchup, 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 ETSUBucs.com 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 ETSUBucs.com and general coaching records and other statistics are available on Page 2 and Page 5 of this media notes package.

 

Last time out

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 2, 2015) – It may be the season of giving, but the charity stripe was certainly not kind to the ETSU men’s basketball team on Wednesday evening inside Tennessee Tech’s Eblen Center. ... Despite holding Tennessee Tech to just three made field goals in the second half, the Buccaneers watched the Golden Eagles go 23-of-26 from the free throw line in the second half to overcome a 15-point ETSU lead and win at home, 63-61. ETSU, which drops to 3-4 on the season, had a shot to win in the final seconds, but three attempts missed the mark on the final possession, including a potential game-tying jumper by senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) at the buzzer. ... In total, TTU – which improved to 6-2 and has won five straight games – shot 38 free throws in the game compared to just nine for ETSU. The Golden Eagles also enjoyed a 51-34 rebounding advantage. ... Tech shot just 29 percent from the floor for the game, but was 31-of-38 (82 percent) at the foul line. The Golden Eagles got a game-high 18 points and 14 rebounds in a double-double effort from forward Ryan Martin, while guard Torrance Rowe added 11. ... For the Bucs, junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) had a team-high 15 points, while junior center Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) netted 10. ... Having struggled on the boards in recent games, ETSU once again watched Tennessee Tech exploit that weakness to out-rebound the Bucs 24-16 in the first half. Combined with ETSU’s issues on the offensive end of the floor – the Bucs shot just 35 percent from the field and 13 percent from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes – the Golden Eagles built a lead of as many as five points and ultimately held at 31-28 advantage at the intermission. A bright spot for the Bucs in the first half was the play of Jurkin, who led ETSU with eight points and six rebounds prior to the break.

 

The series vs. Milligan College

In a series that dates back to 1921, ETSU leads Milligan 37-24 all-time ... The Bucs have won the last five against the Buffaloes, including a 94-46 victory back on Nov. 29, 2012.

 

Last time out against Milligan College

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 29, 2012) – With circumstances limiting the ETSU men’s basketball team’s roster to primarily seven players, the Buccaneers responded by placing four players in double figures en route to a 94-46 thumping of nearby Milligan College in non-conference basketball action at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... All four of those Bucs posted career highs, led by 27 points from redshirt freshman forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville). Meanwhile, sophomore guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) netted 16 points, sophomore post John Walton (Memphis) posted 15, and true freshman guard Mario Stramaglia (Birmingham, Ala.) pitched in 14. ... The Bucs were without the services of junior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.), who missed the game while resting his injured left ankle. Meanwhile, even though he started and played 11 minutes, freshman point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) sat out the majority of the contest simply to rest as well. ... It wasn’t as though the Bucs needed much help on this night. ... ETSU dominated every statistical category in the game, shooting 55 percent from the floor and holding Milligan to just 37 percent shooting. Meanwhile, ETSU held a 43-21 advantage on the glass, forced 19 turnovers, grabbed 10 steals and dished out 20 assists.

 

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 the Milligan matchup, Guyn leads the Bucs in scoring (18.3 ppg), assists (2.6 apg), blocks (1.3 bpg) and rebounds (4.4 rpg) ... The rebound and block numbers are most impressive considering Guyn plays the point guard position.

 

Cromer meeting expectations as offensive threat

When transfer junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) joined the Buccaneers, he was touted as a scoring threat and a player that would provide some offensive bunch ... Cromer has lived up to that billing, and is currently second on the team with 15.4 points per game ... In his last outing against Tennessee Tech, he netted a team-high 15 points.

 

Bucs make history with win at Georgia Tech

While ETSU has enjoyed its share of wins over “major” opposition in the past, the Bucs’ win over Georgia Tech earlier this season 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 866 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.

 

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.