February 12, 20181st2ndFinal
ETSU312556
UNCG334174
Stats at a GlanceETSUUNCG
FG Percentage.303 (20-66) .491 (27-55)
3P FG Percentage.263 (5-19) .550 (11-20)
FT Percentage.611 (11-18) .692 (9-13)
Offensive Rebounds198
Defensive Rebounds2332
Total Rebounds4240
Turnovers1014
Steals56
Bench Points2211
LeadersETSUUNCG
PointsDesonta Bradford - 21
Francis Alonso - 20
ReboundsBo Hodges - 8
Jordy Kuiper - 8
AssistsJalan McCloud - 2
Demetrius Troy - 3
StealsDesonta Bradford - 4
Francis Alonso - 2
BlocksBo Hodges - 2
James Dickey - 8
With nation's longest win streak, Bucs to face UNCG Monday
The ETSU men's basketball team could set a new school record with their 17th straight win with a victory Monday at UNCG.
With nation's longest win streak, Bucs to face UNCG Monday
Sunday, February 11, 2018

GREENSBORO, N.C. (Feb. 11, 2018) – Now with the longest win streak in the country, the ETSU men’s basketball team will put its 16-game run to the test on Monday night, as the first-place Buccaneers travel to face second-place UNCG in a premier Southern Conference hoops matchup.

Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside historic Greensboro Coliseum.

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 20 of their last 21, are 22-4 overall and a perfect 13-0 in SoCon action following a 70-56 win over VMI on Saturday. Meanwhile, UNCG enters the contest at 19-6, 10-2.

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 (61st).

For more on Monday’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.

 

Bucs have longest active win streak at 16 games

With a win over VMI on Saturday and St. Mary’s loss to Gonzaga, the Bucs now have the nation’s longest win streak at 16 games ... The Bucs are tied for the top spot with Cincinnati, while Rhode Island is second at 15 straight wins and will play again on Tuesday night.

 

Win streak best in Forbes’ era, ties program mark

The ETSU basketball team has enjoyed plenty of wins over three seasons under head coach Steve Forbes’ direction ... But with its 16th win in a row on Saturday vs. VMI, 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 ties them with the 2003-04 squad, which also posted a 16-win streak.

 

The series vs. UNCG

The Bucs hold a 16-11 lead in the all-time series against the Spartans, having won five of the last seven meetings, including a 68-58 victory over UNCG back on Jan. 11, 2018 in Johnson City.

 

Last time out vs. UNCG

JOHNSON CITY (Jan. 11, 2018) – In a rematch of the 2017 Southern Conference Tournament championship game, the ETSU men’s basketball team once again got the best of rival UNC Greensboro. ... Down five with 16 minutes left in the second half, the Buccaneers decided to turn up the pressure on the Spartans with a full-court, trapping defense, ultimately outscoring UNCG 33-19 the rest of the way to take an important 68-58 win before a crowd of 5,038 inside Freedom Hall. ... For the Bucs, four players reached double figures, with senior guard Jalan McCloud (Fort Worth, Texas) collecting a game high 15 points, while freshman post Mladen Armus (Belgrade, Serbia) added 13, senior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) had 12, and senior post Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) netted 11. ... Defensively, the Bucs got a fantastic performance from senior guard Jermaine Long (New Orleans), who was tasked with stopping UNCG’s all-everything guard Francis Alonso and held him to just 10 points on the night. For the Spartans, forward Marvin Smith had a team high 11 points. ... The largest lead for either team in the first half was just three points, even though the Bucs shot 61 percent compared to UNCG’s 34 percent clip. ... In the end, ETSU led by a score of 28-27, but that was a somewhat disconcerting advantage considering Alonso and UNCG post James Dickey were saddled early with two and three fouls, respectively, and spent much of the first half on the bench. ... After the break, Bucs fell behind 37-32 before regaining the lead at 38-37 thanks to the defensive adjustment. While there would be four more lead changes and a tie the rest of the way, ETSU ultimately used a 13-1 run to take a decisive 54-43 with lead with six minutes left. That would be enough for the Bucs to put the game away.

 

Last time out

LEXINGTON, Va. (Feb. 10, 2018) – Just when a program record tying 16th

straight win seemed somewhat in danger, ETSU senior guard Jalan

McCloud (Fort Worth, Texas) would not let a chance at history pass. ...

Leading by just one at halftime, McCloud scored the Buccaneers first 13 points of the second half and finished with a game high 20 to lead ETSU past Southern Conference foe VMI 70-56 inside Cameron Hall. With the win, the Bucs match the 2003-04 squad for the longest winning streak in school history and improved to 22-4 overall, 13-0 in SoCon play. ... Meanwhile, VMI dropped to 7-17, 2-11. ... Along with McCloud’s game high 20, the Bucs also got 11 points from senior guard Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.), while freshman post Mladen Armus (Belgrade, Serbia) matched his career best with a game high 10 rebounds. As a team, the Bucs out-rebounded the Keydets 48-27, but committed 18 turnovers in the game, allowing VMI to outscore them 20-9 off those miscues. ... For the Keydets, three players reached double figures, with Austin Vereen netting a team high 14. ... In the first half, the Bucs showed some rust after their six-day break from competition, committing seven turnovers in the first six minutes of play and shooting poorly from the floor. The Keydets capitalized on the Bucs’ issues and moved ahead by as many as five at 26-21 with five minutes left before halftime. ... However, ETSU continued to battle and ultimately led 34-33 at the break thanks to an offensive rebound and score by Armus with eight seconds left on the clock. ... After the break, McCloud began to take over by scoring the Bucs first 13 points of the half and single-handedly spotted ETSU with a 47-41 lead with 12 minutes left in regulation. From there, the Bucs continued to build on their lead to ultimately finish with a 14-point victory. ETSU finished the game shooting 41.8 percent compared to VMI’s 34.4 percent clip.

 

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.

 

Forbes winning percentage among the nation’s best

In his three seasons at ETSU, head coach Steve Forbes has a winning percentage of .753 (73-24), 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. 10, 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 (15.2), field goal percentage (.491), rebounds (5.8), assists (3.5), steals (1.8),  assist/TO ratio (1.6), defensive rebounds (5.2) and minutes played (32.1).

 

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 16 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), 1,145 points

No. 29........................ 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 955 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.