February 22, 20171st2nd1OT Final
Stats at a GlanceFURETSU
FG Percentage.491 (27-55) .608 (31-51)
3P FG Percentage.444 (12-27) .500 (9-18)
FT Percentage.789 (15-19) .846 (22-26)
Offensive Rebounds115
Defensive Rebounds1921
Total Rebounds3026
Bench Points1820
PointsDevin Sibley - 19
T.J. CROMER - 32
ReboundsDaniel Fowler - 7
AssistsDaniel Fowler - 4
StealsKris Acox - 2
BlocksJalen Williams - 1
Geoff Beans - 1
Kris Acox - 1
First place on the line as Bucs host Furman Wednesday
Junior guard Desonta Bradford and the Bucs host Furman in ETSU's regular season home finale Wednesday night at Freedom Hall..
First place on the line as Bucs host Furman Wednesday
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 22, 2017) – After having already played 28 games this season, the most important one so far for the ETSU men’s basketball team will be Wednesday night inside Freedom Hall, as the Buccaneers host the Furman Paladins with first place in the Southern Conference standings on the line.

The Bucs (22-6 overall, 12-3) and the Paladins (20-9, 13-3) are expected to play before a sellout crowd on Senior Night, as the Bucs will honor seniors A.J. Merriweather (Jackson), Isaac Banks (New Orleans), T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.), Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia), Tevin Glass (Norcross, Ga.) and Peter Jurkin (Jubah, South Sudan). Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets early by using the on-line system at ETSUBucs.com or by calling the ETSU Athletics ticket office at 423-439-ETSU (3878). This would mark the third sellout this season for ETSU inside Freedom Hall, as the Bucs currently lead the SoCon in home attendance.

Those unable to attend will be able to watch the game via live video streaming courtesy of ESPN3.com. In addition, 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. Meanwhile, ETSUBucs.com will also provide live stats during the game.

The Bucs, who are currently ranked 11th in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major national poll, dropped a 75-62 matchup to the Paladins back in January, but had won two straight over Furman prior to that setback. ETSU, which is coming off an impressive 65-51 road win at Chattanooga in its last game, is seeking its first regular season title since the 2006-07 season.

For more on Wednesday’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. 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 27-26 in the all-time series ... The Bucs had won two in a row before dropping a 75-62 game to the Paladins back on Jan. 19 of this season.


Last time out vs. Furman

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 ... 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.


Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 18, 2017) – It is appropriate that Chattanooga’s home floor is nicknamed the “Roundhouse,” because the ETSU men’s basketball team ran circles around the Mocs. ... Enjoying its best defensive effort of the season and a 17-0 offensive run midway through the second half, the Buccaneers made a statement on the home floor of the defending Southern Conference champions, besting UTC 65-51 in front of 6,402 fans at the McKenzie Center. ... Indeed, the defensive package employed by ETSU was effective, holding the Mocs to a season low 20 points in the first half and UTC had just 39 points with 2:05 left in the game, before scoring a quick 12 points in the final minutes. Man-to-man, 1-3-1 zone, match-up zones, and even defensive styles that would change during a single UTC possession, forced the Mocs into 19 turnovers and led to 14 steals by the Bucs. Moreover, the Bucs used those miscues by UTC to outscore the Mocs 26-13 off turnovers. ... For the night, ETSU was led by a game high 15 points from senior guards A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) and T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.), while senior post Tevin Glass (Norcross, Ga.) had 10. Glass was perfect from the field for the second-straight game, going 5-of-5 from outside, while Merriweather was 6-of-7 from the floor. ...        Prior to tonight, the lowest first half point total for any ETSU opponent this year was 22 by South Dakota State back in November at the Sanford Pentagon Showcase.


Merriweather, Cromer eclipse 1,000 career points

During the win over Mercer on Feb. 11, 2017, senior guards A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) and T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) both eclipsed 1,000 points in the same game ... Cromer was first to the milestone with a 3-pointer at the 17:05 mark of the first half, followed by Merriweather  with another 3-pointer at 16:02 on an assist from Cromer ... The two now rank among 40 ETSU players to have reached that 1,000-point threshold ... Their current standing is below:

  1. Herb Weaver (1953-56).................................... 1,064
  2. Jalen Riley (2013-15)......................................... 1,056
  3. T.J. Cromer (2015-present)............................... 1,054
  4. Willie Malone (1962-64).................................... 1,037

T-34. Andre Motley (1980-83)................................. 1,031

T-34. Adam Sollazzo (2008-2012)........................... 1,031

  1. Travis Strong (2003-08).................................... 1,030
  2. A.J. Merriweather (2013-present)....................... 1,028
  3. Bob Brown (1973-77)........................................ 1,022
  4. Gary McGinnis (1950-54)................................... 1,020
  5. Brad Nuckles (2002-07).................................... 1,001


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


Bucs currently ranked 11th by CollegeInsider.com

With their 22-6 start, the Bucs are currently ranked 13th in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll, which was released on Monday ... The Bucs are joined in the ranking by Furman (16th), Chattanooga (20th), UNC Greensboro (24th).


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 10th nationally at 49.3 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 68.3 clip vs. UDM is the seventh highest percentage in a D-I game this year ... The Bucs currently rank in the Top 50 in multiple categories nationally ...  A complete list of the Bucs current position in the national statistics can be found to the left of this note.


To 80...And Beyond

ETSU’s magic number this season is 80... When the Bucs score at least 80 points, the Blue and Gold are are perfect 12-0 ... ETSU’s last loss when scoring over 80 points came last year when they fell 104-81 to Oakland in the Vegas 16.


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

At 22-6 so far this season, the Bucs are off to the their best start since the 2003-04 ETSU team finished the regular season and tournament with five losses ... That group -- led by the trio of Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.), Jerald Fields (Gainesville, Fla.) and Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.)  went 15-0 in SoCon play before falling to College of Charleston in the regular season finale  ... The 2003-04 Bucs went on to win the SoCon Tournament and gave Cincinnati a scare in the NCAA Tournament, losing to the Bearcats by three and finishing the year at 27-6 overall, one of the best seasons in school history.


SoCon Attendance Leaders

ETSU leads all SoCon teams in home attendance this season the Bucs are averaging 3,904 fans in their 14 home games -- a total of 54,660 fans ... Last season, ETSU averaged 3,065 in 15 home games (45,981 total).


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.


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 28 games of the year, the Bucs’ bench players have outscored their opponents in 20 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 7.1 points per game this year, and David Burrell (Milwaukee), who is averaging 7.7 points and 3.4 rebounds a game, have also provided much-needed production ... Jason Williams set career highs for point (9), three-pointers made (3) and minutes played (20) in the win over The Citadel on Feb. 9.


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.


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.