December 17, 20161st2ndFinal
East Tennessee443478
Morehead State293968
Stats at a GlanceETSUMORM
FG Percentage.500 (26-52) .324 (23-71)
3P FG Percentage.526 (10-19) .250 (5-20)
FT Percentage.667 (16-24) .810 (17-21)
Offensive Rebounds619
Defensive Rebounds3025
Total Rebounds3644
Turnovers1711
Steals65
Bench Points2017
LeadersETSUMORM
PointsT.J. CROMER - 23
MOON - 19
ReboundsH. MOSQUERA-PEREA - 6
A.J. MERRIWEATHER - 6
TEVIN GLASS - 6
MARRERO - 12
AssistsT.J. CROMER - 7
DICENT - 7
StealsDEVONTAVIUS PAYNE - 2
MOON - 3
BlocksPETER JURKIN - 2
H. MOSQUERA-PEREA - 2
TEVIN GLASS - 2
MARRERO - 3
Morehead State next up for Bucs Saturday at 2 p.m.
Senior guard T.J. Cromer and the Bucs have won six of their last seven games.
Morehead State next up for Bucs Saturday at 2 p.m.
Friday, December 16, 2016

MOREHEAD, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2016) – Having won six of its last seven games, including a victory over Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State in its last outing, the ETSU men’s basketball team will travel for the final time during this current three-game road swing, taking on former Ohio Valley Conference rival Morehead State Saturday at 2 p.m. inside Ellis Johnson Arena.

The Bucs, who are 8-2 on the year and off to their best start since the 1990-91 season, are focused on not overlooking the Eagles (2-7), especially having just come off the win over Mississippi State and with a home matchup against rival Tennessee looming on the horizon next week.  

Fans unable to travel to the game on Saturday can watch the live video stream courtesy of OVCDigitalNetwork.com. In addition, the Buccaneer Sports Network will have the live radio call of the game on its local affiliated stations such as 640 WXSM-AM and 104.9 NASH ICON-FM, and through the audio streaming link located at ETSUBucs.com.

ETSU enters this game ranked 11th nationally in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll.

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 in 2015-16, 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 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. Morehead State

In a series that dates back to 1954 and includes several years when both teams were members of the Ohio Valley Conference, the Bucs are 26-28 all-time against Morehead State ... ETSU has won two in a row in the series, including a 75-72 win over the Eagles last season on Dec. 30, 2015 at Freedom Hall. 

 

Last time out against Morehead State

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 30, 2015) – With senior point guard and leading scorer Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) nursing an injured calf muscle and sitting in street clothes on the bench, the ETSU men’s basketball team built a 22-point second half lead and ultimately held off a furious Morehead State rally in the closing minutes to post a 75-72 win over the Eagles inside Freedom Hall. ... The Buccaneers – who improve to 6-6 on the year – were led by junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.), who scored a game high

and career best 25 points, while senior guard Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.) came off the bench to net 12 points in the winning effort. Meanwhile, Morehead State dropped to 6-6 on the year and got a team high 20 points from Xavier Moon. ... ETSU fell behind by a score of 9-4 just four minutes into the game, but at that point the Bucs turned on the offensive jets with a 19-3 run that made it 23-12 with just under eight minutes left in the half. The lead grew to as many as 18 late in the first half, and at the break it was 39-21 in favor of the Bucs. ... Morehead got to within five points at 70-65 with 23 seconds left, and later made it 72-68 with 17 seconds remaining, but ETSU connected on enough foul shots at the end to hold on. Morehead State’s Corban Collins ended the game with an uncontested 3-pointer at the buzzer to post the final score of 75-72.

 

Last time out

STARKVILLE, Miss. (Dec. 14, 2016) – Senior post Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) tipped in a missed shot with 1.4 seconds left in regulation to lift the ETSU men’s basketball team to a dramatic 67-65 win over Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State inside Humphrey Coliseum. ... The Bucs, who led much of the game and by as many as 10 points in the second half, improved to 8-2 on the season. ... Mosquera-Perea’s heroics came after the Bulldogs’ Lamar Peters hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 65 with 10.4 seconds left. Following a timeout by Forbes, junior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) drove the ball up the floor and attempted a jump shot from the right of the lane that missed the mark. On the rebound, junior forward David Burrell (Milwaukee) got his hand on the ball and attempted a second shot before Mosquera-Perea corralled that miss and put back the game winner on a third try. ...          For the game, Bradford finished with a team-high 15 points to lead the Bucs’ attack, while senior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) had 14 to represent ETSU’s only double-figure scorers on the night. The Bucs finished the game out-rebounding the Bulldogs 36-35, outscoring them 38-32 in the paint and 25-16 in bench points. ... Leading 31-26 at the break, the Bucs continued to attack the rim in transition in the second half and a thunderous dunk by Bradford gave ETSU its largest lead of the game at 42-32 with 15:36 left in regulation. ... However, at that point, the Bulldogs began to eat away at the ETSU advantage to tie the game at 54. The Bucs regrouped from there and led the rest of the way before Peters’ game-tying shot.

 

Off and running: Bucs’ start one of the best ever

At 8-2 so far this season, the Bucs are off to their best start since the 1990-91 ETSU team opened the year at 14-1 ... That group -- led by ETSU legend and current Lees-McRae assistant coach Keith “Mister” Jennings   -- went on to go 21-2 through their first 23 games and reached No. 10 in the national rankings ... That team also won a third straight Southern Conference Tournament title and advanced to the NCAAs for the third of four straight trips to March Madness.

 

Bucs currently ranked 9th by CollegeInsider.com

With their 8-2 start, the Bucs have moved up to No. 11 in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll, which was released last 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 earlier in the year 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 at ETSU.

Bucs ranking among nation’s best statistically

Entering November’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 33rd nationally at 48.8 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, free throw attempts and win-loss percentage ... A complete list of the Bucs’ current position in the national statistics can be found in the column to the left of this note.

 

Back-to-back seasons with wins over “Major” opponents

While ETSU has enjoyed its share of wins over “major” opposition in the past, the Bucs’ have now posted back-to-back seasons with wins over teams from “Power 5” Conferences ... The Bucs dropped Atlantic Coast Conference foe Georgia Tech last season, and followed that victory with a win over Mississippi State earlier this year ... The win over GT  was the firs over an ACC foe since defeating N.C. State back in 1991 ... The MSU win was the first since dropping the same Bulldogs back in 2010.

 

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 905 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game.  ... The Bucs currently rank as the 7th longest streak in the NCAA.

 

Banks money so far this season from the field

The Bucs posted high shooting percentages in two of their first three games theisseason, and much of that is due to the accurate efforts of the team’s inside players ... For instance, entering the Morehead State game, senior post Isaac Banks (New Orleans) is 26-for-33 from the field this season, ranking first in the country at 79 percent from the field ...  Along with Banks, players like fellow senior post Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) is 33-of-56 from the field for a 59 percent clip from the field.

 

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 10 games of the year, the Bucs’ bench players have outscored their opponents in eight of those contests ... 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 7.8 points per game this year, and David Burrell (Milwaukee), who is averaging 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds a game, have also provided much-needed production.

 

ETSU offense thrives on assists, unselfish approach

Through nine games this season, the Bucs have dished out 157 assists on 273 total made baskets ... In other words, 58 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.

 

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.