February 10, 20181st2ndFinal
ETSU343670
VMI332356
Stats at a GlanceETSUVMI
FG Percentage.418 (23-55) .344 (21-61)
3P FG Percentage.316 (6-19) .350 (7-20)
FT Percentage.900 (18-20) .700 (7-10)
Offensive Rebounds137
Defensive Rebounds3520
Total Rebounds4827
Turnovers1811
Steals811
Bench Points2821
LeadersETSUVMI
PointsJalan McCloud - 20
Garrett Gilkeson - 14
ReboundsMladen Armus - 10
Garrett Gilkeson - 6
Bubba Parham - 6
AssistsDesonta Bradford - 4
Bubba Parham - 3
StealsDesonta Bradford - 4
Garrett Gilkeson - 4
BlocksPeter Jurkin - 1
Fred Iruafemi - 3
Bucs eye record tying 16th straight win Saturday at VMI
The ETSU men's basketball team currently has the nation's second longest winning streak at 15 games.
Bucs eye record tying 16th straight win Saturday at VMI
Friday, February 9, 2018

LEXINGTON, Va. (Feb. 9, 2018) – Now with the second longest winning streak in the nation, the ETSU men’s basketball team will aim to match the school record of 16 victories in a row set by the 2003-04 Buccaneers when the team travels to face VMI Saturday.

Tip for this Southern Conference matchup is set for 1 p.m. inside Cameron Hall.

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.

The Bucs, who have won 19 of their last 20, are 21-4 overall and a perfect 12-0 in SoCon action following an 81-61win last Saturday over Chattanooga. Meanwhile, VMI enters the contest at 7-16, 2-10.

Currently ranked 5th in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll, the Bucs are also ranked in the Top 67 in both the KenPom Power Rankings (67th) and the NCAA RPI (60th).

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. VMI

The Bucs and Keydets have met 60 times in a series that dates back to 1953, with the Bucs holding a 49-11 advantage all-time ... ETSU has won five straight in the series, including a 89-48 home victory back on Jan. 13, 2018.

 

Last time out vs. VMI

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 13, 2018) – Following an important win over UNC Greensboro and with a trip to Furman awaiting next, a home matchup with VMI could have been considered a “trap” game for the ETSU men’s basketball team. Turns out, the Buccaneers weren’t interested in overlooking the Keydets. ... On a night when senior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) became the 41st player in program history to reach 1,000 points for his career, the Bucs got a game high 17 points from both senior guard Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.) and senior forward David Burrell (Milwaukee) to roll to an 89-48 Southern Conference win over VMI inside Freedom Hall. With the victory, the Bucs have now won 12 of their last 13 games to improve to 14-4 overall and 5-0 in SoCon play. Meanwhile, VMI dropped to 5-10, 0-4. ... The Bucs, who were without the services of senior guard Jalan McCloud (Forth Worth, Texas) for family reasons, also got 16 points from freshman guard Bo Hodges (Nashville). Meanwhile, Bradford scored 14, including his milestone reaching 1,000th point, which came with 5:07 left in the contest. For the game, ETSU once again shot over 50 percent from the field (53.2), while also out-rebounding the Keydets 43-34, besting them 48-16 on points in the paint, and outscoring them 55-14 in bench points.

 

Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 3, 2018) – Move over 1952-53 Buccaneers and make some room for the 2017-18 ETSU men’s basketball team. ... In front of a sellout crowd of 6,149 fans Saturday afternoon inside Freedom Hall, senior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) netted a team high 22 points and senior post Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) collected a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, as the Buccaneers rolled past Southern Conference rival Chattanooga 81-61 to pick up their 15th straight win. With the victory, ETSU improved to 21-4 overall, 12-0 in SoCon play, while UTC dropped to 8-17, 2-10. ... This year’s edition of the Bucs now join the 1952-53 team at No. 2 on the all-time list for consecutive wins. The next milestone would be the school record of 16 straight wins set in 2003-04. The win also came on a day when the Bucs’ 1967-68 squad celebrated the 50th anniversary of the program’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament and only

Sweet 16 appearance. ... Along with Bradford and Jurkin, the Bucs also got 15 points from senior guard Jalan

McCloud (Fort Worth, Texas) and 14 from senior forward David Burrell (Milwaukee), as the Bucs shot 58 percent from the field and 56 percent from 3-point range. For UTC, guard Rodney Chatman led all scorers with a career high 26. ... On the defensive end, the Bucs held the Mocs to 39 percent shooting and 26 percent (5-of-19) from 3-point range. ... While the game went the Bucs way, the Mocs looked primed to give ETSU a challenge in the early going, taking a lead and trading baskets to keep the game tied at 18 with 9:04 left before the intermission. However, at that point Bradford began to impose his offensive skills on the game, scoring 10 of the Bucs next 15 points over one stretch and powering a 14-2 run that gave ETSU its largest lead of the half at 32-20 with 2:53 left before the break. ... After the break, the Bucs methodically built on their advantage, using a 12-4 run and another 10-4 spurt to build a 67-46 lead with 7:27 left in regulation, all but putting the game away.

 

Bradford named SoCon Player of the Month

Following a month when the ETSU men’s basketball team posted a perfect 9-0 record in Southern Conference play, Buccaneers’ senior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) has been named the league’s January Player of the Month. ...      The SoCon office announced Bradford’s honor on Monday, officially recognizing him for a month in which he averaged 15.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Those efforts helped the Bucs extend their win streak, which currently stands at 15 games. Bradford shot nearly 52 percent from the floor in January, going 46-for-89, and had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.1 with 37 assists and just 18 turnovers. ...     Bradford scored at least 12 points in each contest, including a season-high 23 points to go along with 10 rebounds in the Bucs’ 73-71 win at The Citadel to end the month. He had 12 points and nine rebounds in a win over UNCG on Jan. 11 and had 17 points and seven boards in a win over Wofford on Jan. 27. In a win over Mercer on Jan. 24, he scored 15 points and matched his career high with nine assists. ... Perhaps Bradford’s biggest bucket of the month came on Jan. 18, as he hit a floater in the lane with just 4.5 seconds left to lift ETSU to a 62-61 win at Furman. Bradford hit at least two 3-pointers in six of his nine January games and was 34-for-39 from the free-throw line (87.2 percent).

 

Bucs’ 15-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 15th win in a row on Saturday vs. Chattanooga, 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 ... The Bucs’ win Saturday now gives the team the longest win streak since the 2003-04 squad enjoyed the longest win streak in school history at 16, while joining the 1952-53 squad with 15 straight wins.

 

15 wins in a row ranks third in the nation

With a win over Chattanooga on Saturday, the Bucs have now won 15 games in a row and currently rank second nationally for the longest active winning streak. ... St. Mary’s leads the nation with 18 ,while the Bucs are second along with Virginia and Cincinnati with 15 straight.

 

Forbes winning percentage among the nation’s best

In his three seasons at ETSU, head coach Steve Forbes has a winning percentage of .750 (72-24), 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).

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 Feb. 8, the team is one of the best in the country in multiple categories.

 

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 (15.5), field goal percentage (.496), rebounds (5.8), assists (3.5), steals (1.7),  assist/TO ratio (1.7), defensive rebounds (5.2) and minutes played (32.0).

 

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

After just cracking into the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll four weeks ago at No. 16, the Bucs 12 straight wins in SoCon play have allowed ETSU to move up to and maintain the No. 5 spot in the poll for this entire time. ... 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.

 

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 and has continued to move up the list. His position on the all-time scoring list is below:

No. 26..................... Hal Morrison (1951-54), 1,171 points

No. 27................... Marcus Reese (1980-84), 1,157 points

No. 28 ............ Desonta Bradford (2014-18), 1,136 points

No. 20........................ Alvin West (1987-91), 1,115 points

 

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.

 

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.

 

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 954 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.