December 18, 20151st2ndFinal
Eastern Kentucky364581
ETSU355287
Stats at a GlanceEKUETSU
FG Percentage.531 (26-49) .545 (30-55)
3P FG Percentage.458 (11-24) .526 (10-19)
FT Percentage.750 (18-24) .654 (17-26)
Offensive Rebounds710
Defensive Rebounds1919
Total Rebounds2629
Turnovers2118
Steals98
Bench Points825
LeadersEKUETSU
PointsREISCHEL - 29
Ge'Lawn Guyn - 27
ReboundsHAWKINS - 9
T.J. Cromer - 7
AssistsJACKSON - 3
REISCHEL - 3
T.J. Cromer - 5
StealsMCGLONE - 2
MAYO - 2
REISCHEL - 2
T.J. Cromer - 2
A.J. Merriweather - 2
Peter Jurkin - 2
BlocksREISCHEL - 1
Abednego Lufile - 1
Bucs host Eastern Kentucky Friday at 7 p.m.
Head coach Steve Forbes and the Bucs will be looking to even their record when they host Eastern Kentucky Friday night inside Freedom Hall.
Bucs host Eastern Kentucky Friday at 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 17, 2015

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 17, 2015) – Playing its final home game before the Christmas holiday, the ETSU men’s basketball team will host Eastern Kentucky Friday evening at 7 p.m. inside Freedom Hall.

The game will air on live video streaming courtesy of the ESPN3, while the Buccaneer Sports Network will provide the radio call on the network’s affiliate stations, as well as live internet audio coverage via ETSUBucs.com.

The Buccaneers (4-5) have a long history with the Colonels, a team which was a fellow Ohio Valley Conference rival during the 1960s and 70s. Having met 50 times over the years, the Bucs trail the all-time series with Eastern Kentucky 28-22, but have won back-to-back games in the series. This season, the Colonels currently hold an 8-4 record.

For more on Friday 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

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 15, 2015) – The ETSU men’s basketball team’s troubles away from home continued at UNC Asheville, as the Buccaneers dropped their third straight road game in an 84-64 loss inside Kimmel Arena. ... Falling behind 9-0 in the opening minutes of the game, the Bucs again struggled with a slow start and never recovered. For the game, Asheville shot 53 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Bucs 43-27 on way to improving to 6-4 on the year. Meanwhile, ETSU falls to 4-5 on the young season. ... For the Bulldogs, Dwayne Sutton and Ahmad Thomas led the way with double-double efforts. Sutton finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Thomas netted a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds. Other Asheville players to reach double figures on the scoreboard included Kevin Vannatta with 13 points and Sam Hughes with 11. ... Meanwhile, ETSU got a team-high 13 points from junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.), while Benny Lufile (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) pitched in 10. ... It was a nightmarish first half for the Bucs, especially on the defensive end of the court. Asheville shot 59 percent from the floor and 46 percent from 3-point range, out-rebounding the Bucs 25-12 and ultimately outscoring ETSU 49-27 before the intermission. ... Senior point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) was the lone bright spot in the first half, scoring seven points, dishing out three assists and picking up a steal. For Asheville, Thomas had 11 points and six rebounds before the break. ... In the second half, the Bulldogs continued to hold a decisive advantage on the glass and built a lead of as many as 31 points at 70-39 with 10 minutes left in regulation. At that point, the Bucs did manage to cut into the lead, but never got closer than 20 points behind the Bulldogs. ... For the game, Asheville outscored ETSU 20-3 in second chance points and 42-30 in the paint. The Bucs did hold a 22-12 edge in bench points, but that was the lone positive team stat for ETSU.

 

The series vs. Eastern Kentucky

The Bucs and Colonels have met 50 times dating back to their days as Ohio Valley Conference rivals during the 1960s and 70s ... EKU leads the all-time series 28-22, but the Bucs won the last two meetings, including a 63-60 win last season on Dec. 16, 2014.

 

Last time out against Eastern Kentucky

RICHMOND, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2014) – Senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) scored a game-high 30 points and the ETSU men’s basketball team tied the school record for 3-pointers in a single game, but the Buccaneers still had to hold off a frenetic rally by Eastern Kentucky to capture a hard fought 63-60 win over the Colonels in non-conference play at McBrayer Arena. ... With Rembert hitting nine 3-pointers himself and the Buccaneers tying the school record for threes in a game with 15, ETSU built an 18-point, second-half lead only to see the Colonels close on a 19-3 run to make it 62-60 with a minute left. The game was not decided until a free throw by sophomore guard Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.) made it a three-point game and EKU’s Corey Walden’s last-second 3-pointer fell short. ... While Rembert finished with 30 points and junior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) added 15, sophomore Isaac Banks (New Orleans) was certainly a bright spot. Playing a career high 40 minutes, Banks grabbed nine rebounds, scored six points, dished out four assists and swiped one steal. ... Defensive intensity and seesaw offensive runs highlighted the first half, as EKU (5-4) forced seven ETSU turnovers in the first seven minutes and built a 16-9 lead thanks to an early 11-0 run. However, the Bucs picked up their own defensive effort at that point and Rembert found his range from beyond the arc, as ETSU outscored the Colonels 24-10 the rest of the way and ultimately led 33-26 at the break. ... By the end of the first half, Rembert had seven 3-pointers which accounted for his 21 points. As a team, the Bucs shot 48 percent from the field and 47 percent from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes and ended the half with just 10 turnovers following the shaky offensive start. ... The Bucs also outrebounded the Colonels 17-11 before the break, thanks in big part to the play of Banks, who responded to getting his first career start by grabbing five rebounds, dishing out three assists and scoring four points by the intermission.

 

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 Eastern Kentucky matchup, Guyn leads the Bucs in scoring (17.0 ppg) and blocks (1.1 bpg), is second on the squad in assists (2.6 apg), and is fourth in rebounding (2.8 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 14.0 points per game.

 

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 868 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.

 

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.

 

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 218 makes from beyond the arc, Wilson finds himself 58 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.