December 01, 20161st2ndFinal
Lees-McRae413980
ETSU404585
Stats at a GlanceLMC-METSU
FG Percentage.462 (30-65) .397 (23-58)
3P FG Percentage.370 (10-27) .316 (6-19)
FT Percentage.769 (10-13) .750 (33-44)
Offensive Rebounds1123
Defensive Rebounds1724
Total Rebounds2847
Turnovers1214
Steals85
Bench Points5422
LeadersLMC-METSU
PointsLepreece Lynch - 25
T.J. CROMER - 20
ReboundsDonte Falls - 6
H. MOSQUERA-PEREA - 12
AssistsJonathan Honroe - 4
DESONTA BRADFORD - 4
StealsKeith Heard - 2
Marcus Cassesa - 2
DEVONTAVIUS PAYNE - 2
BlocksKeith Heard - 1
Donte Falls - 1
Lepreece Lynch - 1
Marcus Anderson - 1
DESONTA BRADFORD - 1
H. MOSQUERA-PEREA - 1
T.J. CROMER - 1
Bucs back at home to host Lees-McRae Thursday
Junior guard Jermaine Long provided needed production off the bench in South Dakota.
Bucs back at home to host Lees-McRae Thursday
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 30, 2016) – After a successful trip to Sioux Falls, S.D., that resulted in a three-game sweep at the Sanford Pentagon Showcase, the ETSU men’s basketball team returns to Freedom Hall on Thursday night to face Lees-McRae College. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

The Bucs enter the game at 5-1 overall this season and ranked ninth nationally in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll. Meanwhile, the Bobcats will invade Freedom Hall with a familiar face on the bench, as ETSU legend Keith “Mister” Jennings returns to face the Bucs as an assistant coach at Lees-McRae.

ETSU will host a pair of games this weekend, beginning with Lees-McRae, followed by a Sunday afternoon matchup with Limestone. That game will be played at a special 2 p.m. start time.

The games this weekend will also air via live video streaming courtesy of ESPN3, and the radio call of the game can also be heard on the Buccaneer Sports Network’s affiliate stations.

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 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 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. Lees-McRae

The Bucs and Bobcats have met six times dating back to 1941 ... The last meeting between the two teams came in 1996, a   73-56 win for ETSU ... After winning that first matchup back in 1941, Lees-McRae has lost five straight to the Bucs.

 

Last time out

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Nov. 27, 2016) – It was not easy, but the ETSU men’s basketball team will return from South Dakota with a three-game sweep of the Sanford Pentagon Showcase. ... After cruising to wins on the first two nights of the holiday event, the Buccaneers needed to grind out a win on Sunday, overcoming an eight-point second half deficit to put away UC Irvine 72-66 at the Sanford Pentagon. The Bucs were led by 15 points from senior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.), while junior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) and senior post Tevin Glass (Norcross, Ga.) added 14 and 11 points, respectively. ... With the win, the Bucs will return home from South Dakota with victories over Milwaukee, South Dakota State and UC Irvine,along with a 5-1 overall record on the season. Meanwhile, the Anteaters drop to 3-4 on the year. ... The Bucs saw Cromer named most valuable player of the event, while Bradford earned all-tournament honors. ... Having struggled offensively in their first two games at the Sanford Pentagon Showcase, the Anteaters shot an impressive 57 percent from the field and 83 percent from 3-point range in the first half against the Bucs. Those surprising numbers allowed the Anteaters to hold a 34-31 lead at the halftime break, marking only the second time this season that the Bucs have trailed an opponent after 20 minutes of play. ... In the first half, Glass stood out for the Bucs, scoring a team high 10 points, while grabbing two steals and collecting three rebounds against UC Irvine’s imposing post players. ... After the break, the Anteaters stretched their advantage to their largest of the game at 41-33, but from there the Bucs went to a full-court defense to try and pick up the pace of the game. The strategy worked, as the Bucs outscored UC Irvine 17-6 over the next seven minutes of play to retake the lead, 50-47. ... Later on with the game tied at 55, the Bucs went on an 11-3 run to pull ahead by eight at 66-58. While the Anteaters managed to get back to within one possession at 66-63 with 30 seconds left in regulation, the Bucs hit their foul shots and made defensive stops down the stretch to ice away the win.

 

ETSU great Keith “Mister” Jennings coming back home

When the Bucs and Bobcats meet tonight, ETSU legend and a person considered by many as the greatest Bucs basketball player of all-time will be on the opposing sidelines ... Keith “Mister” Jennings, who played at ETSU from 1987 to 1991 and led the Bucs to unprecedented heights that included three-straight NCAA Tournament trips and a No. 10 national ranking, is an assistant at Lees-McRae College ... During his time at ETSU, Jennings was named All-American and was the Francis Pomeroy Naismith National Player of the Year. 

 

Bucs currently ranked 9th by CollegeInsider.com

Following their season-opening win over Fordham, a victory over Detroit Mercy, and three-straight wins at the Sanford Pentagon Showcase, the the Bucs have moved up to No. 9 in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll, which was released on Monday.

 

Bucs picked second; Cromer, Mos.-Perea earn honors

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.

 

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 Lees-McRae game, senior post Isaac Banks (New Orleans) is 20-for-25 from the field this season, ranking first in the country at 80 percent from the field ...  Along with Banks, players like fellow senior post Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) 20-of-29 from the field for a .690 percentage.

 

Bucs ranking among nation’s best statistically

Entering last weekend’s Sanford Pentagon Showcase, the Bucs led the nation in field goal percentage, shooting a blistering 58.8 percent from the floor three games into the season ... Currently, ETSU ranks third nationally at 53.2 perent ... With a 68.3 percent clip in the 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.

 

Depth, bench play coming through in the clutch for Bucs

The depth of the ETSU bench is becoming more apparent with each game this season ... Through the first six games of the year, the Bucs’ bench players have outscored their opponents in each contest ... For instance, in the win over UC Irvine (11/27), junior guard Julian Walters (Madison, Wis.) came off the bench to hit three critical 3-pointers in the game, and in the win over South Dakota State Jermaine Long (New Orleans) entered the game to post five rebounds, five points and two asissts in just 11 minutes of game action. ... Other players like Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.), who is averaging 9.3 points per game this year, and David Burrell (Milwaukee), who is averaging 8.0 points and 4.2 rebounds a game, have also provided much-needed production.

 

ETSU offense thrives on assists, unselfish approach

Through six games this season, the Bucs have dished out 108 assists on 173 total made baskets ... In other words, 62 percent of the time a made shot by the Bucs is coming off an assist ... Three times this season, the Bucs have eclipsed 20 assists, with those games coming against Fordham, Detroit Mercy  and South Dakota State.

 

While newcomers shine, Bucs’ veterans come through

Much was made of newcomers such as David Burrell (Milwaukee) and Devontavius Payne (Cardondale, Ill.) in the win over Fordham in the season opener ... However, 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.

 

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.

 

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 901 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.