November 25, 20161st2ndFinal
UW Milwaukee382462
Stats at a GlanceETSUUWM
FG Percentage.552 (32-58) .413 (19-46)
3P FG Percentage.333 (6-18) .357 (5-14)
FT Percentage.593 (16-27) .679 (19-28)
Offensive Rebounds88
Defensive Rebounds2224
Total Rebounds3032
Bench Points3530
STULL - 16
NZE - 6
AssistsT.J. CROMER - 6
HAAS - 3
NZE - 2
BELL - 1
Bucs open play Friday in Sanford Pentagon Showcase
Senior forward Isaac Banks continues to lead the country in field goal percentage, going 15-of-16 from the field so far this season.
Bucs open play Friday in Sanford Pentagon Showcase
Thursday, November 24, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Nov. 24, 2016) – After suffering their first loss of the season at defending Colonial Athletic Association champion UNC Wilmington, the ETSU men’s basketball team will be making its first appearance ever in the Sanford Pentagon Showcase this weekend, a three-game event held in Sioux Falls, S.D., at the Sanford Pentagon.

The Bucs will open their three games in three days stretch on Friday, taking on Milwaukee at 6:30 p.m. (EST). ETSU will also face South Dakota State on Saturday, followed by UC Irvine on Sunday. The only team ETSU has ever played previously is UC Irvine, with the Bucs having lost that matchup back in 1982.

The games this weekend will not air on live video streaming, but fans can click on the link to the right to access the WXSM-AM 640 live audio stream of the Buccaneer Sports Network broadcast, or download the WXSM app for Apple and Android devices. Live stats will also be available during games by clicking the link to the right.

Ranked 22nd in the most recent Mid-Major Poll by and continuing to lead the country in field goal percentage at 58.8 percent, the Bucs will be looking to get back to the offensive proficiency that highlighted their wins over Fordham and Detroit Mercy to open the season. Against UNCW, the Bucs struggled offensively at times, committing 20 turnovers in the game.

For more on Friday’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 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 14th 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. Milwaukee

This will be the first meeting ever between the Bucs and Panthers in men’s basketball.


Last time out

WILMINGTON, N.C. (Nov. 20, 2016) – A year ago, UNC Wilmington came to Johnson City and bested the Buccaneers by 21 points inside Freedom Hall. The Bucs made a better effort of it this season, but still came up short on the road against the defending Colonial Athletic Association champion. ... Despite their best defensive effort of the season Sunday at Trask Coliseum, the Bucs committed 20 turnovers on the offensive end and scored 42 points below their season average, falling behind by as many as 18 points early in the second half. While ETSU did manage to rally and close to within five points of the Seahawks with four minutes left in regulation, the comeback stalled and the Bucs fell 68-59. ... The Seahawks, a team that gave Atlantic Coast Conference power Duke a scare in the first round of the NCAA Tournament back in March, improved to a perfect 3-0 on the year with the victory. Meanwhile, the Bucs dropped to 2-1 on the young season. ... The Bucs were led by a game-high 22 points from senior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.), while senior post Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) posted 10 points and nine rebounds. Meanwhile, four Seahawks reached double figures, led by 17 points from Devontae Cacock and a double-double effort with 15 points and 11 rebounds from Chris Flemming.


Sanford Pentagon highlights Thanksgiving for Bucs

Four NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams will visit the Sanford Pentagon for this early season event in November. South Dakota State University; the University of California, Irvine; East Tennessee State University; and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, all 20-win teams last season, are part of the Sanford-Pentagon Showcase Nov. 25-27. ... The three-day event uses a round-robin format with two games each day. ... “The Pentagon Showcase provides a chance for quality mid-major teams to play each other in an exceptional facility with great fans,” said Eric Larsen, general manager of the Sanford Sports Complex. ... The Pentagon has hosted eight Division I men’s basketball games since opening in 2013. Programs like Wisconsin, St. John’s, UNLV, Iowa State and Minnesota have played in the venue in front of national TV audiences on ESPN and the Big Ten Network.


Participant bios: South Dakota State (26-8 in 2015-16) made the NCAA tournament last season after sharing the Summit League regular-season title and winning the conference tournament. It was the Jackrabbits’ third NCAA tournament appearance in five years. T.J. Otzelberger, a former Iowa State assistant whose team played at the Pentagon last season, is South Dakota State’s new head coach. ... Big West Conference member UC Irvine (28-10 in 2015-16) was the Tournament (CIT) runner-up last season. Head coach Russell Turner and the Anteaters won a school-record 28 games en route to a share of the Big West Conference title. UC Irvine has been to the postseason each of the last four seasons (2013 CIT, 2014 NIT, 2015 NCAA and 2016 CIT). ... A member of the Horizon League, Milwaukee (20-13 in 2015-16) finished fifth in the conference regular-season standings. The Panthers logged wins at Wisconsin and Minnesota in December.


Bucs currently ranked 22nd by

Following their season-opening win over Fordham, a victory over Detroit Mercy, and a loss on the road to No. 4 UNCW, the Bucs are currently ranked 22nd in the most recent Mid-Major Poll ...


Banks money so far this season from the field

The Bucs have posted high shooting percentages in two of their first three games this season, and much of that is due to the accurate efforts of the team’s inside players ... For instance, entering the Milwaukee game, senior post Isaac Banks (New Orleans) is 15-for-16 from the field this season, ranking first in the country with a 93.8 percentage from the field. Along with Banks, players like fellow senior post Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) 11-of-15 from the field for a .733 percentage.

Bucs ranking among nation’s best statistically

Entering this weekend’s Sanford Pentagon Showcase, the Bucs lead the nation in field goal percentage, shooting a blistering 58.8 percent from the floor three games into the season ... With a 68.3 percent clip in the last game against UDM, ETSU came up just half a percentage shy of the program’s single game record ... Other categories where the Bucs are excelling include rebound margin, scoring margin and scoring offense, among others ... A complete list of the Bucs’ current position in the national statistics can be found in the column to the left of this note.


While newcomers shine, Bucs’ veterans come through

While much was made of newcomers such as David Burrell (Milwaukee) and Devontavius Payne (Cardondale, Ill.) in the win over Fordham in the season opener ... Seniors T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.), A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) and Isaac Banks (New Orleans), as well as junior Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) combined to score 49 of the Bucs’ 96 points on the night. ... In addition, Bradford collected six assists and Cromer dished out three, while Banks, Merriweather and Bradford collected 10 rebounds as a group ... While the Bucs have high hopes for their eight new recruits, these numbers prove that the team’s returning players can also provide valuable production. ... That production continued in the Bucs’ second game of the season, with Cromer scoring a career high 27 points in the win, while newcomer Payne posted 18 points.


Basketball Times’ ranks ETSU JuCo recruiting class #2

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 ... In all, the Bucs’ seven-player recruiting class for this year included five junior college additions.


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.


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 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 898 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 Mississippi State back during the 2010-11 season, and the first win over Georgia Tech since the 1978-79 campaign.