January 19, 20171st2ndFinal
ETSU224062
Furman324375
Stats at a GlanceETSUFUR
FG Percentage.379 (22-58) .472 (25-53)
3P FG Percentage.143 (3-21) .269 (7-26)
FT Percentage.682 (15-22) .643 (18-28)
Offensive Rebounds106
Defensive Rebounds3031
Total Rebounds4037
Turnovers2017
Steals713
Bench Points1518
LeadersETSUFUR
PointsT.J. CROMER - 20
Kris Acox - 19
ReboundsDESONTA BRADFORD - 12
Kris Acox - 8
AssistsDESONTA BRADFORD - 5
Daniel Fowler - 6
StealsT.J. CROMER - 2
ISAAC BANKS - 2
Daniel Fowler - 3
Devin Sibley - 3
BlocksDAVID BURRELL - 1
H. MOSQUERA-PEREA - 1
DESONTA BRADFORD - 1
Jalen Williams - 1
Kris Acox - 1
Road trip to Furman next up for Bucs on Thursday
Road trip to Furman next up for Bucs on Thursday
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

GREENVILLE, S.C. (Jan. 19, 2017) – The ETSU men’s basketball team will be on the road in Southern Conference play again on Thursday night, taking on a Furman Paladins team that also has its eyes set on the league’s regular season title.

The game inside Timmons Arena on the Furman campus is set for 7 p.m. The matchup will air via live video streaming courtesy of ESPN3.com, while the Buccaneer Sports Network will also have the live broadcast of the game on its radio affiliates and via the live link at ETSUBucs.com.

The Bucs, who are 14-4 overall and 4-1 in SoCon play, remain tied for first place in the loss column of the league standings and are currently ranked 12th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll. Meanwhile, the Paladins are currently 10-8, 3-2 in league play.

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 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 five 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.), Jason Williams (Detroit), Jermaine Long (New Orleans) and transfer Kanayo Obi-Rapu (Greensboro, N.C.), along with forward David Burrell (Milwaukee).

 

The series vs. Furman

The Bucs and Paladins have a long history dating back to 1962, with most of the games being played during ETSU’s previous tenure in the Southern Conference ... In all, the Bucs lead the Paladins 27-25 in the all-time series ... The Bucs have won two in a row, with the most recent victory coming in the semifinals of the SoCon Tournament in March of 2016, an 84-76 victory in Asheville, N.C.

 

Last time out vs. Furman

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (March 6, 2016) – The Southern Conference is getting its dream matchup. ... Holding SoCon player of the year Stephen Croone to single-digit scoring for the first time in the past 22 games, the No. 2 seeded ETSU men’s basketball team’s defensive effort was championship caliber, as the Buccaneers raced past No. 3 seed Furman 84-76 Sunday evening in the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tournament at

the U.S. Cellular Center. ... With the win,the Bucs improved to 23-10 on the season, but most importantly earned a spot in the SoCon title game against arch rival Chattanooga. The Mocs made it to the final by virtue of a 73-69 win over Western Carolina in the day’s other semifinal. ... For the game, senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) finished with a team-high 22 points, while sophomore guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) added 15, junior post Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.) pitched in 12, and junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) collected 11. For Furman, guard Devin Sibley netted a game-high 29, while forward Kris Acox had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. ... For the game, ETSU shot 54 percent from the field and for the second straight game went 24-of-27 from the charity stripe (89 percent). In addition, Banks and junior post Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) were excellent offensively on the inside, going 9-of-12 from the field.

 

Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 14, 2017) – Making its first seven shots of the game and shooting 73 percent in the first half, the ETSU men’s basketball team built a 21-point halftime lead and then cruised to a 75-52 win over Southern Conference rival Western Carolina Saturday afternoon inside Freedom Hall. ... Senior posts Tevin Glass (Norcross, Ga.), Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) and Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.) combined to go 14-of-15 from the floor on the night to power the Buccaneers’ offense and improve ETSU to 14-4 overall, 4-1 in SoCon play. Glass finished with a game high 14 points and eight rebounds while shooting 7-of-7 from the field, and Mosquera-Perea collected 12 points on a 4-of-4 shooting effort. ... Defensively, the Bucs hounded the Catamounts relentlessly, forcing 27 turnovers and holding WCU to just 36 percent from the floor. With the loss, Western dropped to 5-13, 0-5. ... Indeed, no Western Carolina player finished in double figures on the night, and the Bucs actually hit more field goals in the first half alone (19) than the Catamounts had in the game (17). ... Senior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) was the only other ETSU player in double figures with 12 points, as the Bucs finished the game shooting 57 percent from the floor as a team.

 

Cromer named SoCon Player of the Week over holidays

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Jan. 3, 2017) – Senior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) has been named the Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for all games played Dec. 20 through Jan. 2, as he led the ETSU men’s basketball team to a 2-1 record over the holidays by averaging over 21 points per game. ... The guard scored in double figures in all three games for ETSU, including a season-high 30 points in a 92-71 win over Savannah State on Dec. 29.  The Bucs began Southern Conference play with a 102-75 victory over VMI on Dec. 31, and Cromer once again paced the Bucs with 21 points. ... The senior connected on 50 percent of his field goals over the three games and was 12-of-24 from 3-point range.

 

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

At 14-4 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. ... With the win over Savannah State in their non-conference finale, the Bucs also became the first team since that same 1990-91 squad to secure 10 non-conference wins in a season.

 

Bucs currently ranked 12th by CollegeInsider.com

With their 14-4 start, the Bucs are currently ranked 12th in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll, which was released on Monday ... The Bucs are joined in the ranking by fellow SoCon members Chattanooga (7th) and UNCG (23rd).

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 18th nationally at 49.1 percent ... 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 ... The Bucs currently rank in the Top 50 in multiple categories nationally, including rebound margin, scoring margin, free throws attempted, and 3-point percentage, among others. A complete list of the Bucs’ current position in the national statistics can be found 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 913 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 this season and that trend has continued, thanks in much part to the accurate efforts of the team’s inside players ... For instance, entering the UNC Greensboro game, senior post Isaac Banks (New Orleans) is 37-for-51 for 73 percent shooting mark  ...  Along with Banks, players like senior Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) is 59-of-96 for a 62 percent mark, while junior David Burrell (Milwaukee) is 58-of-102 for a 57 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 18 games of the year, the Bucs’ bench players have outscored their opponents in 13 of those contests ... For instance, in the road win over The Citadel, Jermaine Long (New Orleans) put together season highs for points (11), rebounds (5) and assists (5) in 20 minutes of play. ... Other players like Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.), who is averaging 8.1 points per game this year, and David Burrell (Milwaukee), who is averaging 8.3 points and 3.8 rebounds a game, have also provided much-needed production.

 

ETSU offense thrives on assists, unselfish approach

With a season high 24 assists in the win over Savannah State, the Bucs continued to post strong numbers in that statistical category ... Through 18 games this season, the Bucs have dished out 289 assists on 504 total made baskets ... In other words, over 57 percent of the time a made shot by the Bucs is coming off an assist ... Five times this season, the Bucs have eclipsed 20 assists, with those games coming against Fordham, Detroit Mercy, South Dakota State, Savannah State and The Citadel.

 

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.