Thursday, July 5, 2018

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (July 5, 2018)– The ETSU men’s basketball team was featured in the College Sports Madness Top 144 Preseason Rankings, as the Buccaneers were slated No. 133 in their 2018-19 season preview.  

The Bucs, who are coming off their third straight appearance in the Southern Conference Championship game, were ranked ahead of teams such as Stanford (#137), Temple (#138) and Illinois (#143). ETSU won 25 games a year ago, marking the third straight season the Blue and Gold have recorded at least 24 wins.

College Sports Madness Preview on the Buccaneers

For the third straight season, East Tennessee State finished with a 14-4 record in Southern Conference play. Coach Steve Forbes has brought consistency during his time with the program. However, now the Buccaneers will have to reach that mark with a whole new group of players. Five starters may be gone, but Coach Forbes is bringing in more than enough talent for this group to once again finish 14-4 and compete for a SoCon title.

2017-18 Record: 25-9, 14-4

2017-18 Postseason: None

Coach: Steve Forbes

Coach Record: 76-29 at ETSU, 76-29 overall

Key Departed Players:

Desonta Bradford, Guard, 15.4 ppg

Jalan McCloud, Guard, 11.8 ppg

Peter Jurkin, Center, 7.5 ppg

David Burrell, Forward, 7.0 ppg

Jermaine Long, Guard, 3.6 ppg

Devontavius Payne, Guard, 9.3 ppg

Jason Williams, Guard, 2.8 ppg

Key Returning Players:

Bo Hodges, Sophomore, Guard, 9.0 ppg

Mladen Armus, Sophomore, Forward, 6.3 ppg

Kanayo Obi-Rapu, Senior, Guard, 3.4 ppg

James Harrison, Senior, Forward, 1.7 ppg

Key New Players:

Tray Boyd III, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer

Daivien Williamson, Freshman, Guard

Carlos Curtis, Freshman, Guard

Patrick Good, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Appalachian State

Jeromy Rodriguez, Junior, Forward, JC Transfer

Octavion Corley, Junior Center, JC Transfer

Isaiah Tisdale, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer

Kevon Tucker, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer

Myles Rasnick, Freshman, Guard


A few returning players will be in the mix this year. Bo Hodges was the most productive last season, averaging 9.0 points as a freshman. The 6-4 guard would be a much more dynamic scoring threat if he found some consistency with his outside shot. Kanayo Obi-Rapu can knock down a few shots and had a few decent outings off the bench last season. Mladen Armus averaged 6.3 points and 5.5 rebounds as a freshman and is ready for a larger role as a sophomore. But most of the production will come from the nine newcomers. Tray Boyd, Jeromy Rodriguez, Octavion Corley, Isaiah Tisdale and Kevon Tucker all join ETSU from the junior college ranks. Tray Boyd and Isaiah Tisdale are highly regarded guards who are expected to step right into a starting role. Tisdale was a juco All-American last season and averaged 17.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists while leading Vincennes Junior College to the NJCAA Final Four. Also keep an eye on Octavion Corley. The seven-footer may not do a ton of scoring, but he will be a massive presence in the paint on both ends of the floor. East Tennessee State does not lack in talent, but experience at this level could be a concern. Once all the pieces come together, this will be a tough team to beat.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 75.2 (135th in nation, 6th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 65.9 (28, 2)

Field-Goal Percentage: 47.3 (45, 1)

Field-Goal Defense: 40.3 (13, 1)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.2 (224, 10)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.3 (208, 7)

Free-Throw Percentage: 71.0 (187, 7)

Rebound Margin: 3.9 (54, 3)

Assists Per Game: 14.7 (98, 5)

Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (220, 4)

For more information on Buccaneer men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball tab.