February 04, 20161st2ndFinal
ETSU304171
VMI283260
Stats at a GlanceETSUVMI
FG Percentage.439 (25-57) .368 (21-57)
3P FG Percentage.391 (9-23) .324 (11-34)
FT Percentage.800 (12-15) .538 (7-13)
Offensive Rebounds108
Defensive Rebounds3123
Total Rebounds4131
Turnovers1514
Steals48
Bench Points295
LeadersETSUVMI
PointsGE'LAWN GUYN - 20
QJ Peterson - 18
Julian Eleby - 18
ReboundsISAAC BANKS - 11
Julian Eleby - 8
AssistsT.J. CROMER - 4
Trey Chapman - 3
QJ Peterson - 3
StealsGE'LAWN GUYN - 2
Phillip Anglade - 3
BlocksGE'LAWN GUYN - 2
Phillip Anglade - 3
ETSU men continue road swing Thursday at VMI
ETSU men continue road swing Thursday at VMI
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

LEXINGTON, Va. (Feb. 3, 2016) – Entering its second swing through Southern Conference play, the ETSU men’s basketball team will begin the final month of the regular season on the road Thursday night at VMI. Tip inside Cameron Hall is set for 7 p.m.

The game will be available via live web streaming courtesy of ESPN3, while the Buccaneers Sports Network will have the live radio broadcast on its affiliated stations, and ETSUBucs.com will carry the live audio feed of the contest. The Bucs flagship radio station is AM 640 WXSM, and the game can also be heard on FM 104.9 NASH Icon.

The Bucs enter the game at 6-3 in SoCon play and 13-9 overall, and find themselves a half-game back of second place in the league standings, as well as two games back of league-leading Chattanooga. Meanwhile, VMI stands at 1-8 in the league and 6-14 overall.

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

GREENVILLE, S.C. (Jan. 30, 2016) – Down 72-57 with 3:56 left in regulation, the ETSU men’s basketball team scored 13 straight points and had two opportunities to tie the game, but those shots missed the mark as Furman escaped with a 74-70 Southern Conference victory inside Timmons Arena. ... With the loss, the Buccaneers dropped to 13-9 overall, 6-3 in SoCon play, while Furman improved to 13-10, 7-3. ... The Bucs’ full-court pressure late in the game certainly stymied the Paladins, who were enjoying a 15-point lead with just under two minutes left in the game. Furman didn’t score on seven straight possessions during the final two minutes, and the Bucs had two opportunities to tie the game in the final 40 seconds. Both times, head coach Steve Forbes chose not to call timeout, and shots by junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) and senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) did not find the bottom of the net. ... For the game, Cromer finished with a game-high 22 points, while Guyn finished with 19 and Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.) pitched in 14. Furman got a team high 21 points from guard Stephen Croone and 20 from guard Devin Sibley. ... In the first half, Furman’s young perimeter players Croone and Sibley hurt the Bucs multiple times with drives to the basket, either connecting on layups or finding open teammates. The result was a 47 percent shooting percentage and a 39-27 lead at the break for the Paladins. ... While Furman built its lead in the opening period, the Bucs struggled to find their offensive rhythm and shot just 37 percent from the floor. The Paladins were led by their guard tandem of Devin Sibley and Stephen Croone, who scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, in the first half. For the Bucs, Guyn had a team-high 11 points in the first 20 minutes of play. ... After the break, Furman opened with a 3-pointer to build their lead to 15, but the Bucs responded with a barrage from 3-point range, as senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) hit two threes and Guyn another to help power a 12-0 run that brought ETSU to within one possession at 42-39 with 17:15 left in regulation. ... Unfortunately for the Bucs, the Paladins answered at that point with an 8-0 run of their own to regain an 11-point advantage at 50-39 with 14:39 left in the game. From there, the Paladins slowly built their lead back to as many as 16 and ultimately led by 15 when the Bucs’ comeback ensued.

 

The series vs. VMI

The Bucs and Keydets have met 56 times in a series that dates back to 1953, with the Bucs holding a 45-11 advantage all-time ... ETSU dropped VMI in the last meeting between the two schools by a score of 88-51 back on Jan. 11 of this year.

 

Last time out against VMI

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 11, 2016) – Connecting on a school record 15 3-pointers for the second straight game, the ETSU men’s basketball team raced out to a large lead in the first half and then rolled to a convincing 88-51 win over VMI in Southern Conference play at Freedom Hall. ... Junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) led the way, tying the school record for single game 3-point shooting percentage by going 6-of-7 (86 percent) from beyond the arc and scoring a game high 23 points. Meanwhile, senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) had 16 points on a 4-of-7 clip from 3-point range, while sophomore guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) added an 11-point effort. ... The Bucs dominated the game statistically, shooting 49 percent from the field and 48 percent from beyond the arc. They also out-rebounded the Keydets 46-26 and held VMI to 34 percent shooting from the floor. ... In the first half, the Buccaneers wasted little time putting on an impressive shooting display, going 10-of-16 from 3-point range on their way to building a 47-22 halftime lead. Five different ETSU players hit from long range in the opening 20 minutes, led by three each from Wilson and Cromer. ... The dominance was not limited to the Bucs’ shooting effort, as ETSU out-rebounded the Keydets 27-10, held them to just 31 percent shooting from the field and 17 percent shooting from 3-point range before the intermission.

 

SoCon POTW Ge’Lawn Guyn doing it all for Bucs

The SoCon player of the week for Jan. 19-25, 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 VMI matchup, Guyn leads the Bucs in scoring (17.5 ppg), blocks (0.8 bpg) and steals (1.1), and is third in rebounding (3.9 rpg) and assists (2.0 apg) ... In the Bucs’ wins over UNC Greensboro, Mercer and The Citadel, Guyn made several clutch shots, including game-saving baskets in regulation and game-winning scores in overtime.

 

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 16.1 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) ... These 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 ... Most recently, he posted a double-double with 11 rebounds and a career high 20 points in the win over The Citadel (1/23) ... He also had 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 5.8 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 an eight-game stretch from 12/30 to 1/21, the Bucs enjoyed an efficient offensive approach, dishing out a total of 114

assists, for an average of 14.2 assists per game during that time. ... Prior to those eight 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 83 points in his last eight games, Wilson is averaging 10.4 points per contest and has hit 21 3-pointers in that span, regaining an opportunity to become the program’s leader in 3-point baskets ... With a total of 247 makes from Wilson finds himself 29 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 eight outings ... Now, his average has moved up to 1.8 a game ... He would have to average 2.9 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’ 13 wins this season, the team holds an overall +4.8 rebound advantage, compared to a -7.8 margin in their nine 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 881 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game. ... The Bucs currently rank as the 7th longest streak in the NCAA.

 

Bucs playing well inside Freedom Hall this season

Having posted a 9-1 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 49 percent from the floor and 40 percent from 3-point range as a team, while out-rebounding opponents 399-358 and posting an impressive scoring margin of +15.1 ... Individually, several Bucs having enjoyed playing in Freedom Hall ... In particular, senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) has shot 51 percent from both the field and 3-point range, and is averaging 19.7 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 44 percent clip from 3-point range at home.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.