January 16, 20161st2ndFinal
ETSU434184
Chattanooga454994
Stats at a GlanceETSUUTC
FG Percentage.438 (28-64) .540 (27-50)
3P FG Percentage.414 (12-29) .550 (11-20)
FT Percentage.696 (16-23) .806 (29-36)
Offensive Rebounds135
Defensive Rebounds2127
Total Rebounds3432
Turnovers118
Steals39
Bench Points3513
LeadersETSUUTC
PointsGE'LAWN GUYN - 21
Tre' McLean - 29
ReboundsPETEY MCCLAIN - 6
Justin Tuoyo - 6
Tre' McLean - 6
Chuck Ester - 6
AssistsDESONTA BRADFORD - 3
Greg Pryor - 5
StealsDESONTA BRADFORD - 2
Chuck Ester - 3
BlocksPETER JURKIN - 2
Justin Tuoyo - 6
Rivalry showdown at Chattanooga up next for ETSU
The ETSU men's basketball team has been all smiles of late, having won six games in a row and sitting atop the SoCon standings.
Rivalry showdown at Chattanooga up next for ETSU
Friday, January 15, 2016

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Jan. 15, 2016) – Another chapter in the storied history of the ETSU and Chattanooga men’s basketball rivalry will be written on Saturday afternoon, as the Buccaneers and Mocs face off with first place in the Southern Conference standings on the line at 5 p.m. inside the McKenzie Arena.

The Buccaneers enter the contest with a six-game winning streak and an unblemished SoCon record, standing at 11-6 overall and 4-0 in conference play. Meanwhile, the Mocs are 15-3 overall, 4-1 in the SoCon.

Senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) continues to lead the Bucs’ offensively, but junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) and senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) have been equally impressive of late, giving ETSU a quality scoring attack. The emergence of post players Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.) and Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan), as well as the team’s improved assist and rebounding numbers have helped lead to the Bucs’ recent streak of success.

For more on Saturday’s game, read the game notes below or click on the game notebook link to the right. 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

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Jan. 14, 2016) – Despite turning the ball over 20 times and allowing Samford to shoot 53 percent from the floor, the ETSU men’s basketball team made plays down the stretch to win for the sixth straight time, dropping the Bulldogs 81-77 in Southern Conference action at the Pete Hanna Center. ... The Buccaneers were led by three players in double figures, as junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) posted a game-high 19 points, senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn netted 17, and senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) pitched in 16 in the winning effort. With the victory, ETSU improves to 11-6 overall, 4-0 in SoCon play and remains in sole possession of first place, while the Bulldogs dropped to 10-8, 1-4. ... For the game, ETSU shot 52 percent from the floor and out-rebounded Samford 35-33, outscoring the Bulldogs 24-12 in fast break points. However, Samford outscored the Bucs 46-33 in the paint and finished the game with 19 assists to just 14 turnovers. ... In the first half, the Bucs started out hot from 3-point range, as Cromer and Wilson combined to hit four threes in the opening seven minutes of play, as ETSU built a 23-14 lead with 11 minutes left before the break. ... Unfortunately for the Bucs, Samford would not go away and outscored ETSU 12-2 over the next four minutes to take the lead at 27-26. The game remained close throughout the remainder of the half, and the Bucs ended the opening period ahead 40-38 thanks to a layup by Guyn as the clock expired. ... The Bucs shot 52 percent from the floor in the opening half, but Samford was equally impressive with a 59 percent clip from the field, going inside to score baskets almost at will. In addition, the Bucs struggled with turnovers, committing 11 miscues in the opening 20 minutes. ... After the break, the Bucs again used four 3-pointers to build a 59-48 lead with 12:18 left in the game, but the Bulldogs would not go away. Samford rallied to outscore the Bucs 18-6 over the next seven minutes of action to take the lead 67-65. ... The game stayed close throughout the remainder of the contest, but a layup by Guyn with just seconds left made it 79-76. Followed by a defensive stop, the Bucs held on for the win after a pair of free throws from Cromer with 7.4 seconds left. There were 13 ties and 17 lead changes in the game.

 

The series vs. Chattanooga

In what is widely considered the longest and most heated rivalry in ETSU basketball history, the Bucs and Mocs have met 78 times with ETSU trailing the all-time series 34 to 44 ... The two teams shared the same conference from 1979 to 2005, spending several years battling in the Southern Conference ... The Mocs overcame an eight-point halftime deficit in the last meeting to drop the Bucs 67-59 at home back on Feb. 21, 2015 ... That win gave the Mocs a season sweep over ETSU last year.

 

Last time out against Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA (Feb. 21, 2015) – Shooting just over 13 percent for the first 16 minutes of the second half, the ETSU men’s basketball team relinquished an eight-point halftime lead and ultimately fell to Chattanooga 67-59 in Southern Conference play inside McKenzie Arena. ... Senior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) led ETSU with a game-high 31 points and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career on a 3-pointer with just 32 seconds left in the game, becoming the second ETSU transfer player to reach 1,000 points. Former Buc great Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) was the first to accomplish that feat from 2007-2009. ... Unfortunately for the Bucs, Riley did not get much help in the scoring column. Sophomore guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) was the only other Buccaneer player to reach double figures with 12 points and finished with a double-double thanks to 10 rebounds. However, senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) and junior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) combined to score just two points, as Rembert was playing in the game despite struggling with an illness over the last several days. ... Riley looked ready to play from the outset, scoring 11 of ETSU’s first 17 points as the Bucs built a 17-11 advantage over the first eight minutes of game action. Later on – with the score 21-14 – ETSU went on a four-minute offensive drought and the Mocs capitalized, going on an 8-0 run to take a 22-21 lead thanks to a pair of free throws by Ronrico White with 4:05 left in the first half. ... Fortunately for the Bucs, a 3-pointer by freshman guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) finally ignited the Bucs’ offense, which finished the half on a 9-0 run to take a 30-22 lead into the locker room. ... Despite the solid first half, the second half was an offensive disaster for the Bucs. Scoring just 12 points over the first 16 minutes of game play after the break, ETSU looked on as Chattanooga took a 52-42 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 Samford matchup, Guyn leads the Bucs in scoring (16.9 ppg), blocks (0.9 bpg) and steals (1.1), and is second in rebounding (4.1 rpg), and third in assists (2.1 apg) ... In the Bucs’ win over UNC Greensboro last weekend (1/9), Guyn made several clutch shots and finished with a career high 28 points.

 

Cromer meeting expectations, earns SoCon POTW

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 ... He has lived up to that billing, and is currently second on the team with 16.0 points per game and is leading the team with 3.1 assists per contest ... Recently, Cromer hit the game-winning shot against UNC Greensboro (1/9), scoring 20 points and dishing out a career high six assists ... He then followed up that performance with a game-high 23 points and tied the school record for 3-point field goal percentage in a game with a 6-of-7 effort (.875) from outside the arc in the win over VMI (1/11) ... He also score a game-high 19 points in the win over Samford (1/14) ... Those numbers led to Cromer earning SoCon Player of the Week honors for the week of Jan. 5-12.

 

Bucs “bank”ing on production from junior Isaac Banks

In recent games, junior forward Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.) has definitely stepped up his production ... With a double-double effort of 12 points and 12 rebounds in the win over N.C. Central (1/4), Banks showed that his 10-point, seven-rebound showing in the win over Western Carolina (1/2) may be a trend and not a fluke ... In the Bucs most recent game, Banks had 11 points and nine rebounds ... For the year, Banks is averaging 6.4 points and a team-high 5.2 rebounds per game.

 

Dishing out the assists

As the Bucs adjust and learn the new offensive system of first-year head coach Steve Forbes, the “buy-in” is starting to show up on the stat sheets ... In ETSU’s last five games, the Bucs have enjoyed an efficient offensive approach, dishing out a total of 83 assists, for an average of 16.6 assists per game. ... Prior to those four outings, ETSU had averaged just over 12 assists per game. ... The team dished out a season-high 19 assists against Western, followed by 16 in the win over Central, and 18 each in the victories over UNCG and VMI.

 

Wilson waking up offensively, eyes 3-point record

It was a slow start to the year for senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville), but fortune has taken a turn for the veteran player in recent games ... Scoring 49 points in his last three games, Wilson is averaging 16.3 points per contest and has hit 13 3-pointers in that span, regaining an opportunity to become the program’s leader in 3-point baskets ... With a total of 239 makes from Wilson finds himself 37 makes behind the program leader Courtney Pigram (Memphis), who had 276 3-pointers during his career from 2005-09 ... Wilson has averaged 70 makes a year during his previous three seasons at ETSU, but was averaging just 1 3-pointer a game prior to his last three outings ... Now, his average has moved up to 1.7 a game ... He would have to average 2.6 makes during the remainder of the regular season to catch Pigram on the all-time list.

 

Powering up in the Paint

Rebounding concerns weighed on the Buccaneers earlier this season, but in recent games the Bucs have appeared to make significant strides on the glass ... In particular, ETSU dominated the paint in the 88-51 win over VMI, outrebounding the Keydets 46-26 ... In that game, the Bucs held a 33-21 on the defensive glass and a 13-5 advantage on the offensive boards ... In the Bucs’ 11 wins this season, the team holds an overall +5.2 rebound advantage, compared to a -10.6 margin in their six losses.

 

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.

 

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 876 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.

 

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.

 

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.