January 22, 20171st2ndFinal
Wofford373572
ETSU413879
Stats at a GlanceWOFETSU
FG Percentage.451 (23-51) .577 (30-52)
3P FG Percentage.450 (9-20) .353 (6-17)
FT Percentage.895 (17-19) .722 (13-18)
Offensive Rebounds79
Defensive Rebounds1622
Total Rebounds2331
Turnovers1719
Steals97
Bench Points1419
LeadersWOFETSU
PointsFletcher Magee - 24
T.J. CROMER - 17
DESONTA BRADFORD - 17
ReboundsCameron Jackson - 6
T.J. CROMER - 6
AssistsEric Garcia - 7
A.J. MERRIWEATHER - 4
StealsEric Garcia - 3
A.J. MERRIWEATHER - 2
JERMAINE LONG - 2
BlocksCameron Jackson - 1
H. MOSQUERA-PEREA - 3
Men's hoops looks to bounce back Sunday versus Wofford
Senior Isaac Banks and the rest of the Buccaneers will be back home at Freedom Hall on Sunday versus Wofford. Ti p is set for 2 p.m.
Men's hoops looks to bounce back Sunday versus Wofford
Saturday, January 21, 2017

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 21, 2017) – Following its second loss in Southern Conference play this season, the ETSU men’s basketball team will look to get back on track in league play Sunday when the Buccaneers host longtime SoCon foe Wofford.

Tip is set for 2 p.m. inside Freedom Hall and the game air via live video streaming courtesy of ESPN3.com. Meanwhile, 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 14-5 overall and 4-2 in SoCon play, entered Saturday's play just one game back of first place in the loss column of the SoCon standings and are currently ranked 12th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll. Meanwhile, the Terriers are currently 8-11, 3-3 in league action.

For more on Sunday’s matchup, 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. Wofford

The Buccaneers hold a dominating 33-9 advantage in the all-time series against the Terriers ... The Bucs won the last meeting, 71-65, back on Feb. 27, 2016.

 

Last time out vs. Wofford

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 27, 2016) – Did the fans of ETSU’s men’s basketball team expect anything else in the final regular season home game of the season? ... In a year highlighted by the Buccaneers winning close games at home, ETSU battled through to a victory once again on Senior Day at Freedom Hall, as the Bucs sent their senior class out in style with a 71-66 win over Southern Conference foe Wofford. ... On a night when seniors Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.), Lester Wilson (Knoxville), Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) and Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.) were honored, it was juniors Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) and A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) that took their share of the headlines. ... Jurkin finished with a career high eight rebounds and four blocks, but also scored eight points that included a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left to put the Bucs up three at 69-66. Then, Merriweather – who returned from a hand injury for the first time since a win over North Carolina Central back on Jan. 4 – battled to rebound a missed 3-point attempt by Wofford’s Eric Garcia and called timeout as he fell to the floor with seconds left in the game, essentially wrapping up the win for the Bucs.

 

Last time out

GREENVILLE, S.C. (Jan. 19, 2017) – The ETSU men’s basketball team had not won at Furman’s Timmons Arena since a victory during the Buccaneers’ Southern Conference championship season back in 2003-04. Unfortunately, that streak will only continue. ... Laboring through an inefficient offensive performance for much of the game, the Buccaneers looked on as the Paladins built a 27-point lead and then held off a late ETSU rally to take a 75-62 win in Southern Conference play. ... With the loss, the Bucs fall to 14-5 overall, 4-2 in SoCon play, and are now a full game back of Chattanooga and UNCG in the loss column of the league standings. Meanwhile, the Paladins improved to 11-8, 4-2 in league action and are now tied with ETSU and Samford for third place. ... Despite a 21-4 run late in the second half that made it a 10-point game with 4:04 left in regulation, the poor offensive numbers were just too much for ETSU to overcome. For the game, the Bucs shot just 14.3 percent from 3-point range and 37.9 percent from the field, while committing 20 turnovers. ...   For Furman, Kris Acox led the way with a team high 19 points and eight rebounds, while John Davis pitched in 14 and Devin Sibley added 13. The Bucs got a game-high 20 from senior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.), but many of those points came with the game out of reach. Meanwhile, fellow senior A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) pitched in 12 in the losing effort, while junior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) had a career high 12 rebounds. ...    The 22 points in the first half was the lowest output of the season for the Bucs, and the team shot just 30 percent from the floor and committed 10 turnovers before the break.

 

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 14-5 so far this season, the Bucs are off to one of their best starts 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 25th nationally at 48.5 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 scoring margin, free throws attempted, scoring offence, and steals per game 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 914 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 38-for-53 for 72 percent shooting mark  ... Along with Banks, players like senior Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) is 60-of-97 for a 62 percent mark, while junior David Burrell (Milwaukee) is 60-of-110 for a 55 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 19 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 7.9 points per game this year, and David Burrell (Milwaukee), who is averaging 8.2 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 301 assists on 526 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.