January 27, 20181st2ndFinal
ETSU383775
Wofford323062
Stats at a GlanceETSUWOF
FG Percentage.529 (27-51) .370 (20-54)
3P FG Percentage.348 (8-23) .320 (8-25)
FT Percentage.867 (13-15) .778 (14-18)
Offensive Rebounds611
Defensive Rebounds2619
Total Rebounds3230
Turnovers1112
Steals45
Bench Points2811
LeadersETSUWOF
PointsDesonta Bradford - 17
Fletcher Magee - 21
ReboundsDesonta Bradford - 7
Derrick Brooks - 8
AssistsJermaine Long - 5
Keve Aluma - 2
Matthew Pegram - 2
Trevor Stumpe - 2
Storm Murphy - 2
Derrick Brooks - 2
StealsMladen Armus - 2
Fletcher Magee - 4
BlocksDevontavius Payne - 3
Tough road test awaits Bucs Saturday at Wofford
The ETSU men's basketball team takes an unblemished SoCon record into Saturday's game at Wofford.
Tough road test awaits Bucs Saturday at Wofford
Friday, January 26, 2018

JOHNSON, CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 26, 2018) – With its 11-game winning streak in tow, the ETSU men’s basketball team will face their toughest road challenge yet in Southern Conference play, as the Buccaneers travel to take on league rival Wofford Saturday night inside the Terriers’ new Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.

Tip is set for 7 p.m. before what is expected to be a sold out crowd. The Bucs, who have won 15 of their last 16 games and are 7-3 on the road this season, are 17-4 overall and 8-0 in SoCon action. Meanwhile, Wofford is 15-5 overall and 6-1 in league play.

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.

Currently ranked 5th in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll, ETSU sports the nation’s third longest winning streak at 11 games. The last Bucs' squad to post a longer winning streak was the 2003-04 Bucs, who won 16 in a row and went 15-1 in SoCon play.

For more on Saturday’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. Wofford

The Buccaneers hold a dominating 34-10 advantage in the all-time series against the Terriers. ... The Bucs had won two straight in the series before dropping a 79-76 contest at Wofford back on Feb. 6, 2017 in the last meeting between the two teams.

 

Last time out vs. Wofford

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Feb. 6, 2017) – Despite leading for the first 32 minutes of the contest, the ETSU men’s basketball team was unable to hold on as Wofford scored 23 points in the final eight minutes to rally for a 79-76 win inside Benjamin Johnson Arena. ... The Bucs – who had their four-game win streak snapped – led 49-39 with 14:15 remaining and by six with nine minutes left, however, Wofford used a 12-0 run to take its first lead since the opening basket and the Terriers never trailed for the final five minutes. After falling behind, the Blue and Gold continued to battle as a pair of free throws by Desonta Bradford (Humboldt, Tenn.), followed by a Wofford five-second call and a T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) three-pointer from the corner made it a 77-76 game with 18 seconds remaining. The Bucs were forced to foul and Eric Garcia made both free throws, while Bradford’s attempt for a tying three-pointer was off the mark as the buzzer sounded, which secured Wofford’s third straight win. .. Cromer led the Bucs with 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting (5-of-7 from beyond the arc) and added five rebounds in 34 minutes. Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) and Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.) both pitched in with 11 points, while Tevin Glass (Norcross, Ga.) finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists. ... As a team, ETSU shot 50.9 percent (28-55) from the field and 9-of-18 from three, however, 21 turnovers accounted for 25 points for the Terriers.

 

Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 24, 2018) – Make it 11 in a row for the ETSU men’s basketball team. ... Senior guard Jalan McCloud (Fort Worth, Texas) matched his career best with a game high 25 points and the Buccaneers connected on a season high 13 3-pointers to drop Southern Conference foe Mercer 84-75 Wednesday night inside Freedom Hall. With the victory, the Bucs have won 15 of their last 16 games and improved to 17-4 overall, 8-0 in SoCon play. Meanwhile, Mercer drops to 10-11, 3-5. ... Along with McCloud – who was 6-of-7 from 3-point range – the Bucs got 18 points from senior guard Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.), while fellow senior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) pitched in 15 points and matched his career high with nine assists.  ... In the first half, Mercer played well and led early on, but eight 3-pointers by the Bucs in the opening 20 minutes was enough to give ETSU a 39-35 lead at the intermission. There were four ties and nine lead changes as the game stayed close before the break. Payne had 13 points to lead the Bucs into the intermission. ... Mercer made much of its offensive production from inside during the first half, shooting 46 percent from the floor and outscoring the Bucs 20-8 in the paint. ... After the break, ETSU adjusted to the Mercer attack and never relinquished the lead, as its advantage grew to as many as 11 points at 74-63 with five minutes left. However, the Bears did not go away, putting together a 9-2 run to pull to within four at 76-72 with two minutes remaining in regulation.  ... At that point, senior guard Jermaine Long (New Orleans) hit a pair of free throws to make the ETSU lead six. He later grabbed a hard-fought defensive rebound that resulted in a foul on the Bears, and two more free throws later the Bucs led 80-72 and all but ended the Mercer threat.

 

Bucs’ 11-game win streak best in Forbes’ era

The ETSU basketball team has enjoyed plenty of wins over three seasons under head coach Steve Forbes’ direction ... But with its 11th win in a row on Saturday against Western Carolina, the Bucs now have the longest streak of success in those three seasons ... Forbes and the Bucs had also won seven straight in 2015-16 ... In addition, the Bucs’ win Wednesday now gives the team the longest win streak since the 2003-04 squad enjoyed the longest win streak in school history at 16, while the 1952-53 squad won 15 straight.

 

11 wins in a row ranks third in the nation

With a win over Mercer on Wednesday, the Bucs have now won 11 games in a row and currently rank tied for third nationally for the longest active winning streak. ... Purdue leads the nation with 15 straight wins, followed by St. Mary’s with 14. ... ETSU then ranks tied for third along with Cincinnati, Virginia and Rhode Island.

 

Forbes winning percentage among the nation’s best

In his three seasons at ETSU, head coach Steve Forbes has a winning percentage of .739 (68-24), which ranks 13th nationally among active coaches with at least three years of NCAA Division I experience ... While names such as Mark Few (Gonzaga), Roy Williams (North Carolina), John Calipari (Kentucky) and Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) are ahead of Forbes on the list, ETSU’s head coach does rank ahead of coaches Gregg Marshall (Wichita State), Bruce Pearl (Auburn), Jamie Dixon (TCU), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Bob Huggins (West Virginia), Archie Miller (Indiana), Jay Wright (Villanova) and Steve Alford (UCLA).

 

Bradford more than just a scorer for the Bucs

While his game-winning score at Furman on Jan. 20th was a great play, senior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) has been making winning plays for the Bucs throughout the season ... He currently ranks as one of -- if not the best -- all-around players in the SoCon ... As of today’s game, Bradford is the only SoCon player in the league to display the following versatility, ranking in the Top 10 of multiple statistical categories per game, including points (14.0), rebounds (5.6), assists (3.7), steals (1.7),  assist/TO ratio (1.7), defensive rebounds (5.0) and minutes played (31.4).

 

Bucs move to No. 5 in CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll

After just cracking into the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll three weeks ago at No. 16, the Bucs eight straight wins in SoCon play have allowed ETSU to move up to and maintain the No. 5 spot in the poll for three straight weeks. ... This comes on the heels of the Bucs earning the No. 8 spot in the NBC Sports Mid-Major Power Rankings three weeks ago, while also being ranked No. 36 in Andy Katz’s weekly power ranking of all Division I programs.

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 Jan. 24, the team is one of the best in the country in multiple categories.

 

Bradford reaches milestone with 1,000th point

With a layup late in the second half of the Bucs’ win over VMI (1/13), senior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) reached 1,000 points for his career ... He became  the 41st player in school history to eclipse that mark.

 

Jurkin earns SoCon player of the week honor

ETSU’s senior center Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) was named the Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for all contests from Jan. 2-8. ... The award is selected by the league office. ... Jurkin, who averaged 15.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in just 20.5 minutes per game last week, helped the Bucs improve to 12-4 overall and 3-0 in SoCon play at the time with a pair of road wins over league opponents.

 

Hodges goes on “Bo”-nanza in 113 seconds

In a less than two-minute span against Hiwassee College, freshman Bo Hodges (Nashville) put on a show ... The two-time Mr. Basketball in the state of Tennessee collected 11 points, four dunks, two layups, two steals and a free throw in a total of 113 seconds during the first half of the Bucs’ win. ... Those numbers propelled Hodges to a game high 18 points on the night ... In addition, Hodges later scored nine straight first-half points to spark the Bucs’ offense in a dominating win over VMI (1/13).

 

Forbes’ Formula: 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 950 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game.  ... The Bucs currently rank as the 7th longest streak in the NCAA.

The Top 10 as of Dec. 10 can be found below:

  1. Kentucky............................................................ 1,022
  2. UNLV................................................................. 1,016
  3. Vanderbilt.......................................................... 1,008
  4. Duke..................................................................... 996
  5. Arkansas............................................................... 951
  6. Western Kentucky.................................................. 948
  7. East Tennessee State............................................. 939

 

ETSU 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 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.

 

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).

 

Three game road swings a challenge for Bucs

The Bucs opened the season with a three game road swing, and it won’t be the last time ETSU faces that challenge this year. ... In fact, after going 3-0 during this first stretch of SoCon games, the Bucs will also face another three game swing away from Freedom Hall at the end of the year from Feb. 10 to Feb. 17.

 

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

 

 

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.

 

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.