January 28, 20161st2ndFinal
ETSU284573
Wofford444387
Stats at a GlanceETSUWOF
FG Percentage.400 (26-65) .482 (27-56)
3P FG Percentage.176 (3-17) .429 (9-21)
FT Percentage.692 (18-26) .828 (24-29)
Offensive Rebounds1510
Defensive Rebounds2327
Total Rebounds3837
Turnovers810
Steals75
Bench Points2820
LeadersETSUWOF
PointsGE'LAWN GUYN - 18
Spencer Collins - 24
ReboundsABEDNEGO LUFILE - 7
CJ Neumann - 8
AssistsGE'LAWN GUYN - 3
Eric Garcia - 5
StealsDESONTA BRADFORD - 3
Spencer Collins - 3
BlocksJustin Gordon - 2
Bucs begin critical road stretch Thursday at Wofford
Junior forward Isaac Banks has enjoyed some productive games of late, including a 20-point, 11-rebound effort against The Citadel.
Bucs begin critical road stretch Thursday at Wofford
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Jan. 27, 2016) – Beginning its most daunting road stretch of the season, the ETSU men’s basketball team will begin a four-game swing in Southern Conference play on Thursday night at 7 p.m. against Wofford.

The Buccaneers, who will enter the game at 13-7 overall, 6-1 in SoCon action, are tied atop the conference standings with rival Chattanooga. Meanwhile, the Terriers (8-12, 4-3) are the defending SoCon champions and will provide a significant test for the Bucs.

While the Bucs hold a 32-8 all-time record over Wofford, the Terriers have a current three-game winning streak against ETSU, including a pair of wins last season in the Bucs’ return to SoCon play.

For more on Thursday’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

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 21, 2016) – Trailing by eight points late in the second half, the ETSU men’s basketball team forced overtime and senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) connected on a game-winning shot with 2.6 seconds left on the clock to give the Buccaneers a dramatic 65-63 win over the Mercer Bears Thursday evening inside Freedom Hall. ... With the win, the Bucs improved to 12-7 overall, 5-1 in Southern Conference play, while Mercer dropped to 14-5, 4-2 in league action. ... Guyn finished with a game high 20 points, while junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) posted 18. In addition, junior forward Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.) had a career high 14 rebounds and senior guard Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.) finished with three game-changing blocks to go with his impressive defensive play. The Bucs had 10 steals and forced 14 Mercer turnovers, while tying the Bears 37-37 on the boards. ... ETSU certainly needed some heroics, as the Bucs struggled in the first half, posting their lowest output of the year with only 23 points on 28 percent shooting from the floor and a 15 percent (2-for-13) clip from 3-point range. Those numbers allowed the Bears to lead 27-23 at the break. ... After the intermission, the game stayed close until a 16-8 Mercer run made it 54-46 in favor of the Bears with 4:56 left in regulation. At that point, the Bucs rallied as Cromer and Guyn combined to score 9 of the Bucs’ last 11 points to finish on an 11-3 run and force the extra period with a 57-57 score. ... Guyn had also tied the game in regulation with a fall-away jumper with 28 seconds left, leaving Mercer with a chance to win the game on the last shot. However, the Bucs defense forced the Bears’ Jestin Lewis into a tough 3-point shot that missed the mark. ... In the extra period, Guyn opened the scoring with another basket and senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) followed with a 3-pointer to give the Bucs a 62-59 lead. However, Mercer battled back to tie the game at 63 following Demetre Rivers’ offensive rebound and put back with 1:14 left. ... After the Bucs came up empty on the next possession, it was Bello’s block of a Phillip Leonard shot with 24 seconds left in overtime that set up Guyn’s decisive shot. After a timeout, Guyn let the clock roll down to eight seconds and then drove to the left of the lane, ultimately hitting a fade-away floater to win it.

 

The series vs. The Citadel

The Bucs and Bulldogs have met 52 times on the hardwood, with ETSU holding a 36-16 advantage in the all-time series ... Most of those games were played between 1962 and 2005 ... The two teams renewed their SoCon series in 2014-15, spliting a pair of games and The Citadel winning the last meeting between the teams 74-73 back on Feb. 26, 2015.

 

Last time out against The Citadel

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Feb. 26, 2015) – The Citadel’s Ashton Moore hit a jumper with three seconds left in regulation to give the Bulldogs’ a 74-73 win over the ETSU men’s basketball team inside McAlister Field House. ... Moore’s shot overshadowed the late-game heroics of ETSU’s Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.), who hit three shots that gave the Bucs a lead in the last two minutes – including a jumper that made it 73-72 with eight seconds left on the clock. Unfortunately for the Bucs, they couldn’t make a final defensive stop to seal the win. ... Moore finished with a game-high 21 points, while his fellow guard Jake Wright added 15, and teammates Quinton Marshall and Brian White each pitched in 10. For the Bucs, Riley and sophomore guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) each had a team-high 19 points, while senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) netted 10. ... Key to the victory was The Citadel’s perfect 18-of-18 shooting clip at the foul line – led by Moore’s 9-of-9 effort at the line.

 

Bucs playing well inside Freedom Hall this season

Having posted a 8-1 record at home this year, the ETSU men’s baskteball team has shown a propensity to play well inside Freedom Hall ... A look at the team’s home statistics show the Bucs shooting 48 percent from the floor and 41 percent from 3-point range as a team, while out-rebounding opponents 350-314 and posting an impressive scoring margin of +15.8 ... Individually, several Bucs having enjoyed playing in Freedom Hall ... In particular, senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) has shot 50 percent from both the field and 3-point range, and is averaging 19.6 points per game at Freedom Hall ... In addition, junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany Ga.) is shooting 50 percent from the floor, while senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) has posted a 46 percent clip from 3-point range at home.

 

Ge’Lawn doing it all for Bucs

Senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn’s game-winning shots at Georgia Tech (11/22) and at home in the Bucs’ win over Mercer (1/21) are just two of the most obvious indictations of the play and leadership he has displayed so far at ETSU ... Heading into The Citadel matchup, Guyn leads the Bucs in scoring (17.2 ppg), blocks (0.8 bpg) and steals (1.1), and is third in rebounding (3.9 rpg) and assists (1.9 apg) ... In the Bucs’ win over UNC Greensboro earlier this month (1/9), Guyn made several clutch shots and finished with a career high 28 points in the win.

 

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 16.4 points per game and is leading the team with 2.9 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) and 20 in the win over Mercer (1/21) ... Those numbers also helped lead Cromer to 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 ... A career high 14 rebounds in the win over Mercer (1/21), a double-double effort of 12 points and 12 rebounds in the win over N.C. Central (1/4), and a 10-point, seven-rebound showing in the win over Western Carolina (1/2) are showing that Banks’ output may be a trend and not a fluke ... In the Bucs win over Samford (1/14), Banks had 11 points and nine rebounds ... For the year, Banks is averaging 6.1 points and a team-high 5.6 rebounds.

 

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 seven games, the Bucs have enjoyed an efficient offensive approach, dishing out a total of 99 assists, for an average of 14.1 assists per game. ... Prior to those seven outings, ETSU had averaged just over 12 assists per game. ... The team dished out a season-high 19 assists against Western, followed by 16 against N.C. Central, and 18 each in wins 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 59 points in his last five games, Wilson is averaging 11.8 points per contest and has hit 16 3-pointers in that span, regaining an opportunity to become the program’s leader in 3-point baskets ... With a total of 242 makes from Wilson finds himself 34 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 1.0 3-pointer a game prior to his last four outings ... Now, his average has moved up to 1.8 a game ... He would have to average 2.7 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’ 12 wins this season, the team holds an overall +4.7 rebound advantage, compared to a -8.9 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 878 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.) … 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.