November 20, 20171st2ndFinal
Delaware State164157
ETSU255681
Stats at a GlanceDSUMETSU
FG Percentage.396 (19-48) .520 (26-50)
3P FG Percentage.316 (6-19) .385 (10-26)
FT Percentage.867 (13-15) .760 (19-25)
Offensive Rebounds98
Defensive Rebounds2022
Total Rebounds2930
Turnovers2214
Steals716
Bench Points1441
LeadersDSUMETSU
PointsGANTZ - 17
Desonta Bradford - 16
ReboundsOKOLUE - 5
Peter Jurkin - 10
AssistsGANTZ - 4
Bo Hodges - 3
Jalan McCloud - 3
StealsWALKER - 2
OKOLUE - 2
Jalan McCloud - 4
BlocksOKOLUE - 2
Peter Jurkin - 3
ETSU men set for home opener Monday night
Freshman guard Bo Hodges drives to the basket Friday night against No. 7 Kentucky.
ETSU men set for home opener Monday night
Sunday, November 19, 2017

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 19, 2017) – After playing its first three games of the season on the road, the ETSU men’s basketball team will return to Freedom Hall for its home opener Monday evening against Delaware State. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early to take part in a special banner celebration as the Buccaneers are honored for their 2017 Southern Conference championship and trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The game will air live via video stream on the Watch ESPN app and at ESPN.com, while the Buccaneer Sports Network will also have the live broadcast of the game on its radio affiliates and through the live link at ETSUBucs.com. In addition, live stats will also be available by clicking the link to the right of this story.

The Bucs, who are currently 1-2 on the season, are coming off a tough matchup at No. 7 Kentucky, where the team led by 10 in the first half and showed signs of improvement against one of the most talented teams in the country. This is the first of three straight home games for the Bucs, which also includes games with Troy (Nov. 22) and Fort Wayne (Nov. 25).

For more on Monday night’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 2017-18 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

When Steve Forbes was hired as the men’s basketball coach at ETSU on March 31, 2015, he promised that the Buccaneers would have a program of “first, best and most.” ... Less than two years later, Forbes made good on that guarantee as he guided the 2016-17 ETSU men’s basketball team to a 27-win season, both a Southern Conference regular season and tournament title, and a 10th trip all-time to the NCAA Tournament  ...  Overall, the Bucs have combined to win more games than any other program in the SoCon over the last two years (51) and have made back-to-back appearances in the league’s tournament championship game ... As the squad enters the 2017-18 season, the momentum and excitement around the program are high, but there will be challenges. ...

Graduating four of its starting five players from a year ago, the Bucs have lost 62 percent of its offensive production from a year ago, along with its two best interior post defender.

 

The series vs. Delaware State

This is only the second meeting ever between the Bucs and Hornets, with ETSU having won that matchup 63-60 back during the 1984-85 season.

 

Last time out

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2017) – A fantastic start did not ultimately end in a great finish for the ETSU men’s basketball team against No. 7 Kentucky. ... Taking a 10-point lead early in the game against the perennial national powerhouse, the Buccaneers later suffered through nearly an eight minute scoring drought that spanned both halves, as the Southeastern Conference’s Wildcats took advantage of those offensive struggles to build a large lead and win 78-61 inside historic Rupp Arena. ... With the loss, ETSU ends its season-opening, three-game road swing with a 1-2 overall record, while Kentucky improved to 3-1 on the young season. ... Bright spots for the Bucs included a career high 17 points from senior post Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) and 11 from senior forward David Burrell (Milwaukee). Jurkin was particularly impressive, going 7-of-8 from the field, 1-of-1 from 3-point range and 2-of-2 at the foul line, while finishing with seven rebounds. ... Meanwhile, Kentucky had four freshman players reach double figures, with guard Quade Green scoring a game high 21 points and forward Kevin Knox posting 17. In addition, forward PJ Washington netted 12 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 10. ... The first half got off to a great start for the Bucs, as ETSU outscored the Wildcats 18-8 over the first nine minutes of the game, ultimately forcing a timeout by Kentucky head coach John Calipari in hopes of stopping the Bucs’ momentum. During that opening run, senior guard Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.) had a pair of 3-pointers, while Burrell added one and Jurkin hit the first triple of his career. ... Unfortunately for the Bucs, Calipari’s timeout seemed to work for Kentucky, which went on a 12-5 run to get back to within three at 23-20 with just over eight minutes left in the half. While the Bucs still led 25-20 with 7:32 left, Kentucky finished with another flurry, outscoring the Bucs 16-5 to close out the half and lead 36-30 at the break. ... Before the break, the Bucs were even on the boards (16-16) and had nine assists on 12 made free throws. ETSU also led for 14:26 of the opening half. Burrell led the Bucs with nine points in the first half, while Green led the ‘Cats with 12.  ... Kentucky’s offensive run continued into the second half, as the Wildcats outscored the Bucs 9-0 to open the half and led 45-30 with 16 minutes left in regulation. The lead grew to as much as 16, as the ’Cats went 7-of-11 from the field to open the half, compared to a 3-of-17 clip for the Bucs. ... ETSU did manage to cut it to 10 at 52-42 before Kentucky again pulled away and put the game away. ... For the game, ETSU was out-rebounded 40-37 and committed 16 turnovers, shooting 32 percent from the floor and 26 percent from 3-point range. Meanwhile, Kentucky shot an impressive 57 percent from the floor and 56 percent for 3-point range, outscoring the Bucs 38-22 in the paint and 14-2 on fast break points. The Bucs did force 22 UK turnovers.

 

Jurkin, Payne provide offensive sparks

Finding new offensive production heading into the season was a big concern for the Bucs ... So far, senior guard Devontavius Payne (Cardondale, Ill.) and senior post Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) have shown signs that they can help in that area ... In a win over Savannah State (11/13), Payne netted a personal best 28 points, while Jurkin netted his career high with 17 points in a loss at Kentucky (11/17).

 

300th game for Forbes

ETSU head coach Steve Forbes reached a milestone on Friday night at Kentucky, coaching his 300th game as a head coach ... Overall, Forbes is 218-82 (.727) as a head coach at both the junior college and NCAA Division I levels ... His complete coaching record can be found on Page 5 of this notes packet.

 

Newcomers bring production in opener

Despite the loss in the season opener at Northern Kentucky, newcomers Jalan McCloud (Fort Worth, Texas), Mladen Armus (Belgrade, Serbia) and

Bo Hodges (Nashville) provided glimpses of their potential. ... McCloud -- a fifth year graduate transfer -- posted a double digit scoring effort with 11 points, while grabbing six rebounds, dishing out two assists and grabbing two steals. ... Meanwhile, freshmen Armus and Hodges produced as well, with Armus collecting a team high 10 rebounds and scoring seven points, while Hodges scored seven points and six boards.

 

Bradford named preseason All-SoCon, Bucs picked 4th

ETSU senior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) was selected to the Preseason All-Southern Conference team by the league’s coaches, and the Buccaneers were picked to finish fourth in both the coaches and media polls released by the SoCon offices earlier this year. ... ETSU, the reigning SoCon tournament champion, was selected fourth in both polls, finishing one point behind Furman in the coaches poll with 64 points and two first-place votes, and garnering 178 points and four first-place votes in the media poll. The Bucs, who earned a share of last year’s regular-season title at 27-8 overall and 14-4 in the league, put Bradford, their lone returning starter from last year’s squad, on the preseason all-conference team.

 

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

 

ETSU’s own version of “one-and-done”

While Power 5 programs such as Kentucky and Duke have defined the term “one-and-done” to describe freshmen that play a single season before moving on to the NBA, ETSU has created its own version of “one-and-done” which  relies on fifth-year graduate players and other transfers to help give ETSU a jolt of competitive talent. ... In 2015-16, Cincinnati transfer Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) was one of these players for the Bucs, while last year Indiana transfer Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) and Wichita State transfer Tevin Glass (Norcross, Ga.) provided ETSU with a single-season boost of talent during the 2016-17 campaign. ... This year, guard Jalan McCloud (Forth Worth, Texas) is carrying on the tradition after transfering into ETSU from Texas Western Southern.

2017-18 ETSU squad among the best ever at ETSU

Along with making program history thanks to a 10th trip all-time to the NCAAs and another conference title, last year’s ETSU team also ranked among the best teams ever in multiple single season statistical categories. They included:

Wins................................................................. T-2nd, 27

Free throws made.............................................. 2nd, 597

Blocked shots.................................................... 2nd, 162

Points............................................................... 4th, 2782

Assists............................................................... 4th, 516

Scoring margin................................................ T-4th, +9.8

Field goals made................................................. 4th, 960

Field goal percentage......................................... 6th, .488

3-pt. FG made.................................................... 6th, 265

Rebounding margin............................................ 6th, +4.2

3-pt. FG percentage........................................ T-4th, .382

Winning Percentage........................................... 8th, .771

Rebounds...................................................... T-9th, 1269

 

Turnover issues early on for Bucs

In back-to-back games to open the season, the Bucs committed 20 turnovers against both Northern Kentucky (11/10) and Savannah State (11/13) ... They improved on those numbers marginally at Kentucky, with 16 turnvoers in that game ... A year ago, the Bucs averaged just 14.8 turnovers a contest.   

 

Success against Power 5 opponents

The Bucs have enjoyed their share of wins in early season games against Power 5 Conference foes over the last decade ... Since the 2008-09 season, ETSU has collected victories over Arkansas in 2009 (94-85), Georgia Tech in 2015 (69-68), and Mississippi State in both 2010 (63-62) and 2016 (67-65). ... Prior to the 2008-09 season, the Bucs have a long tradition of upsetting Power 5 teams, including a win over No. 3 seeded Arizona in the first round of the 1992 NCAA Tournament, along with wins over Tennessee (1989 and 1991), N.C. State (1989, 1990 and 1992) and Virginia Tech (1998).

 

Bucs among nation’s best in attendance growth

The ETSU men’s basketball team continues to reap good news from its historic 2016-17 season, learning earlier this year that the program posted the nation’s 15th best increase for average attendance from the previous year. ... The Bucs, who averaged 3,065 fans a game in 2015-16, watched as that number ballooned to 4,053 fans per game during the team’s championship run to the NCAA Tournament in 2016-17. ETSU ultimately led the Southern Conference in average attendance per game – selling out three games during the season versus Tennessee, Chattanooga and Furman – and was just outside of the Top 100 in overall attendance in the country out of 347 Division I teams.

 

Three game road swings a challenge for Bucs

As the Bucs open the season with a three game road swing, it won’t be the last time ETSU faces that challenge this year. ... In fact, the Bucs will open SoCon play with three straight road games, and then end the season with three more league games away from home.

 

Junior transfer Rodriguez to miss season

ETSU men’s basketball head coach Steve Forbes announced prior to the start of the regular season that junior forward Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, D.R.) will undergo a medical procedure and will miss the 2017-18 season. ... Rodriguez will still have two years of eligibility remaining when he returns to the roster in ’18-19.

 

Forbes makes USA Today list of “coaches on the rise”

ETSU head men’s basketball coach Steve Forbes was 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.

 

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 posted back-to-back seasons with wins over teams from “Power 5” Conferences ... The Bucs dropped Atlantic Coast Conference foe Georgia Tech in 2015-16, and followed that victory with a win over Mississippi State in 2016-17 ... The win over GT was the first over an ACC foe since defeating N.C. State back in 1991 ... The MSU win was the first over an SEC foe since dropping the same Bulldogs back in 2010.