November 04, 20161st2ndFinal
Mars Hill432467
ETSU5153104
Stats at a GlanceMHUMETSU
FG Percentage.426 (23-54) .591 (39-66)
3P FG Percentage.375 (6-16) .370 (10-27)
FT Percentage.714 (15-21) 1.000 (16-16)
Offensive Rebounds88
Defensive Rebounds1924
Total Rebounds2732
Turnovers2012
Steals512
Bench Points2254
LeadersMHUMETSU
PointsBennett Wilson - 18
DEVONTAVIOUS PAYNE - 17
ReboundsMakyle Wilkerson - 4
TEVIN GLASS - 6
AssistsBennett Wilson - 3
DESONTA BRADFORD - 6
StealsValentin Bauer - 2
JULIAN WALTERS - 3
DEVONTAVIOUS PAYNE - 3
BlocksTavion Trimble - 1
Dotson Griffin - 1
A.J. MERRIWEATHER - 1
H. MOSQUERA-PEREA - 1
T.J. CROMER - 1
DESONTA BRADFORD - 1
Men's hoops set for exhibition Saturday against Mars Hill
The 2016-17 ETSU men's basketball team will play an exhibition game Saturday at 4 p.m. inside Freedom Hall against Mars Hill University.
Men's hoops set for exhibition Saturday against Mars Hill
Friday, November 4, 2016

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 4, 2016) – Following a season that ended with 24 wins and a postseason tournament berth, the ETSU men’s basketball team begins a 2016-17 season that is ripe with anticipation on Saturday afternoon, as the Buccaneers host Mars Hill in an exhibition matchup at newly-renovated Freedom Hall. Tip is set for 4 p.m.

After a successful debut season, ETSU head men’s basketball coach Steve Forbes enters his second campaign on the Buccaneers’ bench with high expectations, especially after being picked by both the Southern Conferences’ coaches and media to finish second in the league and challenge defending champion Chattanooga for a conference crown.

While there have been multiple preseason promotional events for fans to get a sneak peek at this season’s team, this will be the first opportunity for the Bucs to play another team in front of the ETSU fan base. Following Saturday’s exhibition game, the team will open regular season play on Friday, Nov. 11, when they host Atlantic 10 Conference member Fordham at 7 p.m. inside Freedom Hall as part of Homecoming Week festivities.

Tickets for that matchup and Saturday’s exhibition contest can be purchased by contacting the ETSU athletics ticket office at 423-439-ETSU (3878) or by visiting ETSUBucs.com and clicking on the tickets link.

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 2016-17 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.

 

Buc bits

In his first season as head coach of the ETSU men’s basketball program, Steve Forbes wasted little time reinvigorating the Buccaneers’ program with an energetic style of play, an engaging approach with the fan base, and plenty of success on the court … In all, the Bucs finished the 2015-16 season with 24 wins – which marks the program’s third highest win total in the modern era – and collected 14 victories in Southern Conference play, which is second only to the 15 collected by the Bucs’ 2003-04 squad … ETSU also reached the Southern Conference Tournament finals, which marked the 12th time the program has played in a conference championship game, and the team also earned a postseason tournament berth for the 13th time with an invite to the inaugural Vegas 16 Tournament … Heading into the 2016-17 season, the Bucs will be losing players such as first-team All-SoCon performer Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.), 1,000-point club member Lester Wilson (Knoxville), high-flying dunk specialist Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.), and steady point-guard presence Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) … Last year, Guyn averaged 18.3 points per game, while Bello and Wilson combined for another 16 points a contest … However, not all of the production from a year ago is gone, as All-SoCon selection T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) returns after averaging 14.9 points and a team high 3.1 assists per game a year ago … In addition, players such as All-SoCon Tournament selection Desonta Bradford (Humboldt), who averaged 7.6 points and 2.9 rebounds a year ago, and veterans like A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) and Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.) will be back on the court for the Bucs … Post Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) will also return after a season in which he showed marked improvement throughout and finished averaging 5.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game … Fans will also get to see two new players on the floor this year that sat out as redshirts a year ago … This duo includes transfers Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) from Indiana and Tevin Glass (Norcross, Ga.) from Wichita State … Perea and Glass are both post players who will quickly add depth and talent in the paint … Along with these eight returning players, the Bucs will also be adding six new recruits to the team, a group that includes a couple of Junior College All-Americans and a great deal of offensive firepower … The class is comprised of guards Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.), Julian Walters (Madison, Wis.), Jason Williams (Detroit), Jermaine Long (New Orleans) and transfer Kanayo Obi-Rapu (Greensboro, N.C.), along with forward David Burrell (Milwaukee).

 

The series vs. Mars Hill

Like the game today, most matchups in recent years between the Bucs and Lions have been exhibition contests ... The two teams have not met in regular season play since the 2004 season ... The all-time series dates back to 1925 with both teams splitting the eight previous regular season games.

 

Last time out versus Mars Hill

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 2, 2013) – Freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.) scored a game-high 27 points in his first career start, and the ETSU men’s basketball team used a 30-6 offensive run at the start of the second half to drop Mars Hill 119-83 on Homecoming Saturday in front of 3,208 fans at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... The Buccaneers scored 70 points in the second half and shot 58 percent from the floor as they wrapped up preseason play with a perfect 2-0 record, while averaging 118.5 points per contest. Indeed, despite their second-straight lop-sided win, the Bucs did allow 83 points for the second game in a row, and the Lions shot a very respectable 47 percent from the floor on the night. ETSU has now played man-to-man for the entirety of its two exhibition games. The Lions gave the Bucs quite a challenge throughout the first half and actually led by as many as nine at 19-10 with 13:01 left before the intermission. However, from that point the Bucs went on a 24-4 run to regain the lead and never relinquished the advantage the rest of the game. ... Along with Merriweather’s game-high 27 points and seven rebounds, the Bucs also got double digit scoring from sophomore guard Lester Wilson (Knoxville) with 17 points and senior post Hunter Harris (Nashville) with 12, while senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) and freshman guard Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.) added 10 each.

 

Last time out

LAS VEGAS (March 29, 2016) – It took the nation’s top offensive team to end the ETSU men’s basketball team’s season. ... Facing an Oakland squad that has averaged a nation’s best 86.4 points per game this season, the Buccaneers still led 53-52 early in the second half, but looked on as the Golden Grizzlies scored 42 points over a decisive 11-minute stretch and ran away with an 104-81 victory Tuesday night in the semifinals of the Vegas 16 at Mandalay Bay. ... With the loss, ETSU’s season comes to a close at 24-12, while Oakland improves to

23-11 and moves on to face Old Dominion in the Vegas 16 finals Wednesday night. ... Oakland was led by Horizon League player of the

year Kay Felder, who finished with a  triple-double on the night thanks

to 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Meanwhile, teammate Max Hooper lived up to his reputation as one of the nation’s top 3-point shooters, as he hit eight shots from beyond the arc in the game and finished with 28 points. In all, Oakland went 15-of-34 from long range on the night. ... For the Bucs, senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) closed out his ETSU career with 16 points and nine rebounds, while four other ETSU players reached double figures. Junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) and sophomore guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) each had 15 points, while senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) added 11 and junior guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) pitched in 10.

 

Forbes makes USA Today list of “coaches on the rise”

ETSU head men’s basketball coach Steve Forbes was recently named to USA Today’s list of 10 coaches on the rise heading into the 2016-17 season. Below is an excerpt from the story by Jon Rothstein and a link to the entire list: Which coaches are on the rise in college basketball? Check out our list below as we look at 10 coaches in the sport trending upwards. In no particular order … Steve Forbes, East Tennessee State: Forbes won 24 games in his first season as a head coach in Division I and should be a perennial contender in the SoCon. A tenacious recruiter when he was an assistant at both Tennessee and Wichita State, Forbes knows how to find players. The Bucs currently have three players on their roster — Peter Jurkin (Indiana), Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Indiana), and Tevin Glass (Wichita State) that were all recruited to play at a significantly higher level before Forbes lured them to East Tennessee State.

 

Bucs picked second; Cromer, Mosquera-Perea

earn preseason All-SoCon accolades

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Oct. 26, 2016) – The ETSU men’s basketball team was picked to finish a close second behind Chattanooga in both the preseason coaches and media polls released Wednesday by the Southern Conference. ... ETSU was slotted second (74) and received two first-place votes in the coaches poll, along with four first place votes in the media poll. Head coach Steve Forbes led the Bucs to a 24-12 mark in his first season at ETSU. The Bucs went 14-4 in league play and advanced to the title game of the league tournament. ETSU advanced to the postseason in 2016 and participated in the Vegas 16 tournament. ... In addition, the Buccaneers’ placed senior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) and senior post Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) on the preseason All-SoCon team. Cromer was an all-conference selection a year ago, while Mosquera-Perea is entering his first season with the Bucs after starting at center for Big 10 Conference power Indiana earlier in his college career. ... Eight of the 10 Southern Conference teams will take the floor Nov. 11 to start the regular season. The 2017 Southern Conference Championship presented by General Shale will be held March 3-6 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C.

 

Basketball Times’ ranks ETSU JuCo recruiting class #2 in nation

In a Basketball Times’ story by Tony Jimenez earlier this year, ETSU head coach Steve Forbes and his staff are were praised for their recruiting efforts at the junior college level. ... In fact, the Bucs’ 2016-17 recruiting class -- which includes JuCo first team All-Americans -- was ranked No. 2 in the nation behind only Southeastern Conference member Arkansas ... The Bucs ranked ahead of schools such as Kent State, Houston and Utah ... In all, the Bucs’ seven-player recruiting class for this year included five junior college additions.

 

The wait is over: Mosquera-Perea, Glass set for debut

For the last year, ETSU fans have waited patiently as they watched senior posts Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) and Tevin Glass (Norcross, Ga.) sitting on the ETSU bench ... The two transfers -- Mosquera-Perea from Indiana and Glass from Witchita State -- are now eligible and the anticipation to see the two athletic players on the floor is growing ... Both will give the Bucs added size and depth on the inside this season, joining returning players such as senior posts Isaac Banks (New Orleans) and Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan).

 

Halftime promotions for upcoming season unveiled

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 2, 2016) – Following the success of last season’s Johnson City Honda “So You Think You Can Sing?” Challenge, the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced Wednesday two new, in-game competitions that will begin with the season openers for the Buccaneers’ men’s and women’s basketball programs later this month. ... The Johnson City Honda “So You Think You’ve Got Talent?” Challenge will once again be comprised of one-on-one competitions between two contestants at halftime of men’s basketball games. In addition, the Johnson City Honda “So You Think You Can Shoot?” Challenge will feature one ETSU fan in a shooting competition at halftime of women’s basketball games. ... The “So You Think You’ve Got Talent” (#ETSUTalent) competition will feature a tournament-style bracket with winner’s advancing and one person ultimately being crowned the winner at the end of the regular season. The finalist for the #ETSUTalent competition will win a $4,000 grand prize, while the shooting competitors will vie for individual cash prizes at each game. There will also be special opportunities for contestants to double their money with randomly-selected shots. ... Fans interested in attempting to compete in the “So You Think You’ve Got Talent?” contest can call for more information and submit their audition tapes to Reed Darden by e-mailing dardeniii@etsu.edu or by calling 423-439-5286. Submissions should be made no later than Nov. 9, two days prior to the men’s basketball season opener versus Fordham on Nov. 11. Meanwhile, competitors for the “Shooting” contest will be selected via social media when they comment on ETSU athletics via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #IThinkICanShoot. ... While the “Shooting” competition will be determined on the floor, the #ETSUTalent competition winners at each game will be selected by ETSU fans. Following each performance, fans will be able to vote for their favorite performer for up to 24 hours following ETSU basketball games by visiting the ETSU Athletics Facebook page and “liking” their favorite performance via Facebook Live. ... For more on ETSU basketball and promotions throughout the year, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the basketball links.

 

Bucs continue on 3-point streak list

Since Feb. 16, 1987 in a game against Davidson, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 895 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game.  ... The Bucs currently rank as the 7th longest streak in the NCAA.

 

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 last 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.