December 10, 20171st2ndFinal
Hiwassee College173148
ETSU484694
Stats at a GlanceHCETSU
FG Percentage.313 (21-67) .473 (35-74)
3P FG Percentage.190 (4-21) .280 (7-25)
FT Percentage.286 (2-7) .680 (17-25)
Offensive Rebounds1613
Defensive Rebounds3034
Total Rebounds4647
Turnovers278
Steals422
Bench Points2568
LeadersHCETSU
PointsBen Snider - 10
Bo Hodges - 18
ReboundsAario Johnson - 10
Mladen Armus - 7
AssistsBen Snider - 2
Jermaine Long - 6
StealsMarius Williams - 1
Naequan Newman - 1
Ben Snider - 1
Jay Johnson - 1
Devontavius Payne - 4
Desonta Bradford - 4
BlocksTevin Henry - 1
Rasheed Michell - 1
Peter Jurkin - 1
David Burrell - 1
Andre Edwards - 1
Desonta Bradford - 1
Bucs hope to extend win streak on Sunday against Hiwassee
The ETSU men's basketball team will try to make it four in a row when they face Hiwassee College Sunday at 2 p.m.
Bucs hope to extend win streak on Sunday against Hiwassee
Saturday, December 9, 2017

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 9, 2017) – With a three game win streak in hand, the ETSU men’s basketball team will welcome Hiwassee College to Freedom Hall on Sunday afternoon for a special 2 p.m. tip time. Fans are reminded the game is Youth Day and children 12 and under will receive a free ticket with a paying adult.

The game will air live via video stream courtesy of the ESPN app, 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.

Entering the game with a 5-3 record, the Buccaneers will be looking to maintain the momentum gained by a road win at Fordham on Nov. 29, followed by a decisive victory over defending Horizon League champion Northern Kentucky in their last game on Dec. 6.

For more on Sunday’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. Hiwassee College

The Bucs lead the all-time series with Hiwassee College 2-0, but those two meetings came all the way back during the 1946-47 season.

 

Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 6, 2017) – When the preseason Horizon League Player of the Year Drew McDonald went to the bench with two fouls just over a minute into Wednesday night’s game at Freedom Hall, the ETSU men’s basketball team had to like its chances against Northern Kentucky. ... Turns out, even with McDonald on the floor, it would not have mattered on this night. ... The Buccaneers put together their most complete game of the season, shooting 60 percent from the floor en route to avenging a loss to the defending Horizon League champions earlier this season, dropping the Norse in convincing fashion, 84-71. ... The game was quite a change compared to the Bucs’ season-opening 81-63 loss at NKU back on Nov. 10. In that contest, the Bucs committed 20 turnovers, made only two 3-pointers, and shot 37 percent from the floor. On this night, ETSU cut the turnovers down to 10, made five 3-pointers, and improved on their shooting percentage by 23 points. ... The Bucs had four players reach double figures, with senior guard Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.) posting a team high 16 points, freshman guard Bo Hodges (Nashville) collecting 14, senior guard Jalan McCloud (Fort Worth, Texas) pitching in 12, and senior post Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) netting 10. Three other ETSU players nearly eclipsed double figures, with senior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) scoring nine points, while fellow guards Jermaine Long (New Orleans) and Jason Williams (Detroit) had eight points apiece. ... Meawhile, NKU – which entered the game with only two losses by a combined four points – fell to 6-3 on the season. The Norse were led by a game high 22 points from Carson Williams, while McDonald was held to just eight points in 17 minutes of action. ... With McDonald on the bench for almost the entire first half, the Bucs took advantage by playing nearly a perfect 20 minutes of basketball. Shooting 59 percent from the floor, 44 percent from 3-point range, and a perfect 100 percent (10-of-10) at the foul line, ETSU put together runs of 15-0 midway through the half and closed with another 20-3 spurt to take a 46-28 lead into the break. ... The Bucs committed just five turnovers in the first half and were paced by Payne’s 11 points. ETSU also out-rebounded the Norse 14-10 and forced NKU into 11 turnovers, outscoring their opponents 18-5 in points off turnovers. ... After the break, ETSU never let the Norse get back into the contest, maintaining a double-digit lead that never got less than 12 points at 63-51, which came with just under 12 minutes left in the contest. ... For the game, the Bucs out-rebounded the Norse 29-25 and forced NKU into 14 turnovers on the night, outscoring the Norse 22-10 off those turnovers. Even more impressive, the Bucs’ bench players outscored NKU 42-11 and ETSU also shot a strong 81 percent from the charity stripe.

 

Several Bucs providing new offensive sparks

Finding new offensive production heading into the season was a big need 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). ... Both players continued to produce against Delaware State, with Payne scoring 11 points, while Jurkin provided a career high 10 rebounds and nine points. ... In addition, in the Bucs’ game at Fordham, freshman Bo Hodges (Nashville) stepped into the starting lineup to post career hights in points (20) and rebounds (8), while junior college transfer Andre Edwards (Compton, Calif.) came off the bench to make his ETSU debut and score 11 points to go with four rebounds.

 

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.

 

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 from Texas Southern.

 

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

 

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.

Bucs among best in NCAA

A complete listing of where the Bucs currently stand in the NCAA national rankings can be found to the left of this note ... As of Dec. 8, the team is one of the best in the country in collecting steals and forcing turnovers.

 

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.

 

Hodges stepping up as freshman contributor

Freshman guard Bo Hodges (Nashville) has consistently improved throughout the season, and in the Bucs’ last two games he has become an efficient performer on both ends of the floor ... Against Fordham (11/29), Hodges finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, and followed that effort with 14 points and three blocks in the win over Northern Kentucky (12/6) ... Hodges has also moved to 2nd in the SoCon in field goal percentage, connecting on 61 percent of his shots so far this season.

 

2016-17 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

 

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).

 

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.