February 25, 20161st2ndFinal
Stats at a GlanceFURETSU
FG Percentage.481 (25-52) .481 (26-54)
3P FG Percentage.227 (5-22) .450 (9-20)
FT Percentage.769 (20-26) .731 (19-26)
Offensive Rebounds128
Defensive Rebounds2420
Total Rebounds3628
Bench Points1322
PointsStephen Croone - 19
Ge'Lawn Guyn - 23
ReboundsMatt Rafferty - 7
Daniel Fowler - 7
Isaac Banks - 7
AssistsMatt Rafferty - 6
Desonta Bradford - 6
StealsStephen Croone - 2
Kris Acox - 2
Deuce Bello - 4
BlocksKris Acox - 1
Ge'Lawn Guyn - 1
Desonta Bradford - 1
Deuce Bello - 1
Bucs host Furman Thursday to open final home stand of season
From left to right, seniors Petey McClain, Ge'Lawn Guyn, Deuce Bello and Lester Wilson will be playing their final two regular season games inside Freedom Hall this weekend.
Bucs host Furman Thursday to open final home stand of season
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 24, 2016) – With a focus on wrapping up a high seed for the Southern Conference Tournament next week in Asheville, N.C., the ETSU men’s basketball team will host its final two regular season games of the season this weekend, beginning Thursday evening when the Buccaneers take on Furman inside Freedom Hall at 7 p.m.

The Bucs, who are 19-10 overall, 12-4 in SoCon play, hold a one-game lead over both Furman and Wofford for second place in the league standings. In addition, the Bucs are also still mathematically in the race for the conference regular season title, trailing Chattanooga by one game in the standings with two games to play.

Thursday’s contest will air live via web streaming on ESPN3.com and the Watch ESPN App, and the Buccaneers Sports Network will also have the live radio feed on its affiliated stations. Across the region, the Bucs’ flagship radio station is AM 640 WXSM, and the game can also be heard on FM 104.9 NASH Icon. In addition, ETSUBucs.com will provide a live audio stream of the contest.

For more on the Furman matchup, 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 11 months later and the Bucs are well into 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

MACON, Ga. (Feb. 20, 2016) – Senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) scored a career high 32 points and sophomore guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) made clutch plays down the stretch to power the ETSU men’s basketball team past Southern Conference foe Mercer 77-74 Saturday afternoon inside Hawkins Arena. ... With the win, the Bucs enjoyed their first victory at Mercer and their first season sweep of the Bears since the 2010-11 season, while also improving to 19-10 overall and 12-4 in league play this year. Meanwhile, Mercer dropped to 18-11, 8-8. ... The Bucs, who trailed by four at 70-65 with 3:16 left in the game, got nine straight points from Bradford in the final minutes, including a game-tying layup and go-ahead 3-pointer, and he also collected two blocks – both of which occurred on Mercer’s final two possessions. Meanwhile, Guyn’s 32 points came on a 7-of-11 shooting night from 3-point range. ... Along with Guyn’s 32, Bradford finished with 12 points and junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) pitched in 10 for the Bucs. ...With the game tied 37-37 at the break, Mercer once again put together a 7-0 run to make it 44-37 with 18 minutes left in regulation. The Bears maintained their lead until Cromer put the Bucs up at 54-53 with a layup. After the Bears regained the 70-65 advantage, the Bucs began utilizing their pressure, full-court defense and it was effective. ... Several Mercer turnovers and two defensive stops by the Bucs led to a 10-1 ETSU run than made it 75-71 with 1:28 left. While Strawberry hit a 3-pointer to get it to 75-74 and the Bears got a steal on the Bucs’ next possession, Bradford came through again by blocking a layup attempt by Strawberry with 24 seconds left. ... After Guyn was fouled and hit two free throws, Mercer again had an opportunity to tie with 16.7 seconds left. However, three attempts from 3-point range missed the mark for the Bears and ETSU escaped with the win. Bradford again had a block on that final possession.


The series vs. Furman

The Bucs and Paladins have a long history dating back to 1962, with most of the games played during ETSU’s previous tenure in the SoCon ... In all, the Bucs and Paladins are tied 25-25 in the all-time series ... The Bucs lost the last meeting 74-70 back on Jan. 30, 2016 in Greenville, S.C.


Last time out against Furman

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. ... 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. Leading 39-27 at halftime, 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.


Bucs playing well inside Freedom Hall this season

Having posted a 11-2 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 496-454 and posting an impressive scoring margin of +42.0 ... Individually, several Bucs having enjoyed playing in Freedom Hall ... In particular, senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) has shot 50 percent from the field and 49 percent from 3-point range, and is averaging 20.0 points per game at Freedom Hall ... In addition, junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany Ga.) is shooting 48 percent from the floor, while senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) has posted a 44 percent clip from 3-point range at home.


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 Furman matchup, Guyn leads the team in scoring (17.9 ppg), blocks (0.8 bpg) and steals (1.1), and is third on the squad in rebounding (3.9 rpg), and assists (1.8 apg) ... In multiple games this season, Guyn has 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 15.1 points per game and is leading the team with 3.2 assists per contest ... Earlier this year, 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).


Bradford, Bello becoming “game changers” for Bucs

In the Bucs recent win over Western Carolina (2/15), both sophomore guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) and senior guard Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.) showed a great deal of development and potential ... Bello took advantage of his second start this season to set or match career highs for points (20) and rebounds (7), while Bradford posted a career high with 18 points, while also grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists ... In fact, Bradford scored 15 of 23 points for ETSU during one a decisive stretch during the second half.

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 most recently posted a double-double with 10 points and a career high 18 rebounds in the win over The Citadel (2/18) ... He also had 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 6.6 points and a team-high 6.6 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 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.


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 ... Most recently, the Bucs out-rebounded The Citadel 58-36 on Feb. 18 ... In the Bucs’ 19 wins this season, the team holds an overall +4.8 rebound advantage, compared to a -7.6 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 888 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.


Forbes and company revamp Bucs’ lineup for 2015-16

The Bucs added a wealth of talent to their roster this year with players like Division I senior transfers Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) from Cincinnati and Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.) from Missouri … 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.