February 06, 20161st2ndFinal
East Tennessee State333568
UNCG303565
Stats at a GlanceETSUUNCG
FG Percentage.500 (26-52) .417 (20-48)
3P FG Percentage.556 (10-18) .455 (10-22)
FT Percentage.600 (6-10) .750 (15-20)
Offensive Rebounds88
Defensive Rebounds2121
Total Rebounds2929
Turnovers1512
Steals38
Bench Points3717
LeadersETSUUNCG
PointsDEUCE BELLO - 16
Francis Alonso - 16
ReboundsISAAC BANKS - 10
RJ White - 11
AssistsPETEY MCCLAIN - 3
T.J. CROMER - 3
Diante Baldwin - 6
StealsDEUCE BELLO - 1
DESONTA BRADFORD - 1
GE'LAWN GUYN - 1
Demetrius Troy - 5
BlocksISAAC BANKS - 1
DESONTA BRADFORD - 1
RJ White - 3
Bucs to wrap up long SoCon swing Saturday at UNCG
The ETSU men's basketball team will play its fourth straight Southern Conference road game on Saturday at UNCG.
Bucs to wrap up long SoCon swing Saturday at UNCG
Friday, February 5, 2016

GREENSBORO, N.C. (Feb. 5, 2016) – Having spent the last two weeks on the road in the Southern Conference, the ETSU men’s basketball team will play the final of four straight SoCon road games Saturday afternoon, as the Buccaneers face UNC Greensboro Saturday afternoon at Fleming Gym.

Tip is set for 5 p.m. and the game will be available via live web streaming courtesy of the SoConDigitalNetwork.com, 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 7-3 in SoCon play and 14-9 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, UNC Greensboro stands at 5-5 in league play and 9-14 overall.

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

LEXINGTON, Va. (Feb. 4, 2016) – Trailing VMI by 11 points late in the first half, ETSU men’s basketball head coach Steve Forbes pressed the issue. ... Deploying the Buccaneers’ full-court defense, Forbes’ team responded with multiple stops and manufactured a 15-2 offensive run to take a two-point lead at the break, carrying that momentum into the second half and dropping the Keydets 71-60 in Southern Conference action at Cameron Hall. ... With the win, ETSU improved to 14-9 overall, 7-3 in SoCon play, while VMI dropped to 6-15, 1-9. ... Senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) finished with a game-high 20 points for the Bucs, while sophomore guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) netted 14 to lead the Bucs’ offensive attack. In addition, junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) and senior guard Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.) pitched in 11 and 10 points, respectively, while junior post Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.) had 11 rebounds and nine points. ... It was definitely an ugly first half for the Bucs, who committed 12 turnovers and trailed for all but .9 seconds of the opening 20 minutes of play. However, after falling behind by 11 points at 26-15 with 5:35 left before the break, Forbes made the defensive change that reversed the fortunes of the game. ... The Bucs ultimately took the lead when Guyn completed a traditional three-point play to make it 30-28 with .9 seconds left on the clock. Before the intermission, the Bucs out-rebounded the Keydets 23-16 and held a 12-8 advantage in points in the paint, while Guyn led the way individually with a game-high 15 points. ... After the break, the Bucs found their outside shooting touch and hit six 3-pointers in the half, which helped the team build a 15-point lead at 65-50 with 4:16 left in the contest. While VMI managed to go on a 10-2 run to make it 67-60 with a minute left in regulation, Bradford hit four straight free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

 

The series vs. UNC Greensboro

The Bucs hold a 13-9 lead in the all-time series against the Spartans, having won the last two meetings, including an 86-83 victory back on Jan. 9, 2016 inside Freedom Hall.

 

Last time out against UNC Greensboro

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 9, 2016) – Junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) connected on a game-winning 3-pointer with eight seconds left to lift the ETSU men’s basketball team past UNC Greensboro 86-83 in a hard fought Southern Conference battle inside Freedom Hall. ... While Cromer’s 3-pointer ignited a bolstrous ETSU crowd of 3,078 fans, his shot was just one of a program record-tying 15 threes made by the Buccaneers on a night that saw ETSU’s perimeter shooting outlast the strength and efficiency of UNCG’s post players. ...

Though Cromer finished as a hero with 20 points on 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range and a game-high six assists, teammate and senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) kept the Bucs in the contest throughout the second half with several clutch shots down the stretch and finished with a career-high 28 points on six made 3-pointers. Meanwhile, senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) came off the bench to go 5-of-9 from behind the arc and scored 17 points, while senior point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) matched Cromer’s game-high six assists, including the decisive pass on the final play. ... In the final minutes of the game, it was clearly a battle of ETSU’s outside shooting against UNCG’s post players. Behind the play of junior post Kayle Locke – who scored the final 10 points of the game for the Spartans – UNCG held a lead of four points twice in the final three minutes of regulation. However, the Bucs responded with 3-pointers on four straight possessions, with one from Wilson, two from Guyn, and the game-winner from Cromer. ... On a night when the Bucs debuted new gold uniforms, the team shot 52.8 percent from the floor and an impressive 60 percent from 3-point range (15-of-25), while outscoring UNCG 30-7 in bench points. Meanwhile, the Spartans out-rebounded the Bucs 35-33 and were led by 21 points from Francis Alfonso, while teammates Locke and R.J. White both had 19 points apiece.

 

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 UNC Greensboro matchup, Guyn leads the Bucs in scoring (17.6 ppg), blocks (0.9 bpg) and steals (1.1), is second in rebounding (4.1 rpg), and is third in assists (1.9 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 15.9 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 ... 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 6.3 points and a team-high 6.0 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 86 points in his last nine games, Wilson is averaging 9.6 points per contest and has hit 22 3-pointers in that span, regaining an opportunity to become the program’s leader in 3-point baskets ... With a total of 248 makes from Wilson finds himself 28 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 1.7 a game ... He would have to average 3.5 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’ 14 wins this season, the team holds an overall +5.2 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 882 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.