December 22, 20151st2ndFinal
ETSU333467
Tennessee423476
Stats at a GlanceETSUUT
FG Percentage.368 (25-68) .397 (25-63)
3P FG Percentage.296 (8-27) .333 (6-18)
FT Percentage.750 (9-12) .645 (20-31)
Offensive Rebounds1213
Defensive Rebounds3333
Total Rebounds4546
Turnovers108
Steals44
Bench Points2333
LeadersETSUUT
PointsGuyn - 22
Mostella - 17
ReboundsA.J. MERRIWEATHER - 9
Moore - 12
AssistsCromer - 4
DEUCE BELLO - 4
Punter - 5
StealsJurkin - 1
Guyn - 1
DEUCE BELLO - 1
DESONTA BRADFORD - 1
Baulkman - 3
BlocksJurkin - 1
DESONTA BRADFORD - 1
Alexander - 3
Forbes returns to UT Tuesday night, but this time on ETSU bench
This will be the 16th meeting all-time between the Bucs and Vols.
Forbes returns to UT Tuesday night, but this time on ETSU bench
Monday, December 21, 2015

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 22, 2015) – There will be an air of nostalgia in the building for ETSU head coach Steve Forbes when his Buccaneers take the floor Tuesday night against Southeastern Conference foe Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The Bucs and Volunteers will tip at 7 p.m. in the 16th meeting all-time between the in-state rivals.

Forbes, who was an assistant coach under then Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl from 2006 to 2011, was part of a Tennessee coaching staff that brought unprecedented success to the Volunteers in the “modern” era. This time, however, Forbes will be directing the Buccaneers (5-5) against the Volunteers (5-5), and will be looking for the team’s second win this season over a “Power 5 Conference” opponent – the Bucs defeated Georgia Tech 69-68 back on Nov. 22.

The game will air on the SEC Network Plus outlets and through the Watch ESPN App, while the Buccaneer Sports Network will provide the live radio and web streaming broadcast via ETSUBucs.com.

For more on Tuesday 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

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 18, 2015) – Senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) scored a career high 27 points and the ETSU men’s basketball team overcame a 14-point, first-half deficit to collect an 87-81 win over Eastern Kentucky in a non-conference matchup at Freedom Hall. ...

Along with Guyn’s big night, the Bucs also enjoyed a 22-point effort from junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.), as the Buccaneers shot an impressive 55 percent from the floor and 53 percent from 3-point range on their way to improving to 5-5 on the season. Meanwhile, the Colonels dropped to 8-5 on the year. ... Having struggled to start well offensively in recent games, that same issue stung the Bucs again against the Colonels, as they fell behind by 14 points at 21-7 with just over 12 minutes left before the break. ... At that point, however, ETSU found its scoring rhythm thanks primarily to the efforts of Cromer, who scored 10 of the Bucs’ next 28 points to help ETSU outscore EKU 28-15 for the remainder of the half and finish one point back of the Colonels at 36-35 heading into the intermission. ... After the break, the Bucs continued to play well on the offensive end of the floor. After falling behind 46-44, ETSU embarked on an impressive 14-2 run that gave the Bucs a 58-48 lead. In the end, ETSU led by as many as 12 in the second half, but looked on as EKU slowly chipped away at that advantage and ultimately tied the game at 71-71 with 4:24 left on the clock. ... A thunderous dunk by senior guard Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.) off a missed shot then seemed to give the momentum back to ETSU, as the Bucs outscored EKU 8-3 over the next two minutes to go back up five at 79-74. While the Colonels again tied the game at 79, Guyn’s sixth 3-pointer of the night with 1:28 left in regulation gave ETSU the lead back and the Bucs never relinquished their advantage the rest of the game.

 

The series vs. Tennessee

In a series that dates back to 1960, the Volunteers hold a 13-2 advantage over the Buccaneers in this all-time series ... ETSU’s two wins came in back-to-back meetings in 1989 and 1991, but the Bucs have since dropped eight straight to Tennessee, including a tightly-contested 66-63 loss back on Dec. 23, 2011 and a 71-61 loss to the Volunteers last season on Dec. 31, 2014.

 

Last time out against Tennessee

KNOXVILLE (Dec. 31, 2014) – Leading by four points midway through the second half, the ETSU men’s basketball team suffered through an eight-minute scoring drought, allowing SEC opponent Tennessee to regain the lead and escape with a 71-61 non-conference victory over the Buccaneers inside Thompson-Boling Arena. ... The Bucs (6-4) led 56-52 with 9:39 left, but did not hit another field goal until 1:07 left in regulation. During that time, Tennessee – which finished with a 38-20 rebounding advantage for the game – used its size advantage to go on a 19-5 run and close out the game. ETSU did hit an impressive 13 3-pointers in the contest, but it was not enough to upend the Volunteers. ... Senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) had seven of the Bucs’ 13 made 3-pointers, scoring a game-high 21 points, while junior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) hit four threes and finished with 16. ... The Bucs got off to a great start, as Rembert hit three straight 3-pointers and a thunderous dunk by A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) helped ETSU build an early 13-0 lead. Tennessee responded though, putting together a 22-7 run over the next 10 minutes to take the advantage 22-20 with seven minutes left before the half. ... Tennessee’s lead grew to as many as seven at 32-25 before Rembert closed the half with another pair of 3-pointers to make it 32-31 at the break. In the first half, the Bucs shot 41 percent from 3-point range and Rembert led the way with a game-high 18 points. ... ETSU’s 3-point attack caught fire again early in the second half, as Rembert connected for his seventh three of the game and Wilson hit a pair, pushing the Bucs back out to a 44-40 lead with 14:57 remaining in regulation. ... The Bucs continued to answer Tennessee’s offensive punches over the next six minutes, but with 7:17 left on the clock, the Vols did manage to finally take a 57-56 lead and never looked back.

 

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 obvious indictation of the play and leadership he has displayed so far at ETSU ... Heading into the Tennessee matchup, Guyn leads the Bucs in scoring (18.0 ppg) and blocks (1.0 bpg), is second in steals (1.2 spg), third in assists (2.2 apg), and fourth in rebounding (3.6 rpg) ... The rebound and block numbers are most impressive considering Guyn plays primarily 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 14.8 points per game. ... In the Bucs’ last game against Eastern Kentucky, Cromer showed a balanced offensive attack, setting or matching career highs for points (22), assists (5), rebounds (7) and free throws (8).

 

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 869 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.