November 20, 20151st2ndFinal
East Tennessee State272451
Stats at a GlanceETSUVU
FG Percentage.322 (19-59) .508 (32-63)
3P FG Percentage.182 (4-22) .412 (14-34)
FT Percentage.692 (9-13) .667 (8-12)
Offensive Rebounds1515
Defensive Rebounds1729
Total Rebounds3244
Bench Points1627
PointsT.J. Cromer - 12
ReboundsTEAM - 6
AssistsPetey McClain - 3
StealsT.J. Cromer - 2
Deuce Bello - 2
BlocksDeuce Bello - 2
ETSU men hit the road to face No. 8 Villanova Friday night
ETSU men hit the road to face No. 8 Villanova Friday night
Thursday, November 19, 2015

VILLANOVA, Pa. (Nov. 20, 2015) – After opening the season with a pair of victories, including a win over Green Bay on ESPN2 earlier this week, the ETSU men’s basketball team faces its toughest challenge of the year to date, as the Buccaneers take on No. 8-ranked Villanova Friday evening at 7 p.m. inside The Pavilion.

Fans can listen to the game on the Buccaneer Sports Network family of radio stations, and the contest will also be televised via Fox Sports 2.

The Bucs (2-0) have eclipsed the 100-point mark in both wins so far this year and currently rank 4th nationally in points per game. ETSU will need all the offense it can produce when facing the Wildcats, who enter the game at 2-0 on the season with wins over Fairleigh Dickinson and Nebraska.

For more on Friday’s game, click on the game notes link to the right or read the game notes below. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2015-16 season, visit 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.


The Steve Forbes era begins

It seems like only yesterday that Steve Forbes was named the 16th head coach in the history of ETSU basketball back on March 30, 2015 ... But seven months later and the Bucs are ready to begin the Forbes’ era ... Having most recently served two seasons as an assistant coach at Wichita State where he helped take the Shockers to the Sweet 16 in 2014-15, Forbes has been heralded for his recruiting ties and his extensive background as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division I level – which included a five-year stop at the University of Tennessee ... Complete bio information on Forbes can be found at and general coaching records and other statistics are available on Page 2 and Page 5 of this media notes package.


Bucs rank among nation’s best in early going

In the most recent NCAA statistical rankings, the ETSU men’s basketball team ranks among the best in the nation as a team and individually ... Most impressive, the Bucs currently rnak 4th in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 105 points per game ... The Bucs also ranked 8th in the country in blocked shots ... Individually, senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) ranks 43rd in the country with 22.5 points per game ... For a complete breakdown of ETSU’s national rankings, see Page 4 of this notebook.


The series vs. Villanova

This will be the first-ever meeting between the Bucs and



Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 17, 2015) – Before a national television audience on ESPN2, the ETSU men’s basketball team answered an early-morning wakeup call with a convincing 103-90 victory over the Horizon League’s Green Bay Phoenix inside Freedom Hall. ... With a 6 a.m. tip time as part of ESPN’s annual 24-hour college basketball marathon, a raucous crowd of 3,992 looked on as the Buccaneers overcame an early 15-4 deficit to improve to 2-0 on the season. Senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) led the way with a game-high 26 points and four other ETSU players reached double figures in the victory. ... While Green Bay dropped to 0-2 on the year after falling in overtime to Stanford in its season opener on Friday night, the Bucs eclipsed the 100-point mark in back-to-back games for the first time since the 2005-06 season. ... The Bucs certainly displayed their depth in this one, as 11 players saw action and ETSU’s bench players outscored the Phoenix, 36-16. One of those that stood out off the bench was junior forward Benny Lufile (Burlington, Ontario, Canada), who provided a first-half spark and finished the game with 10 points and seven rebounds. ... Along with Guyn and Lufile, the Bucs also got 17 points from junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.), 12 from junior forward Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.) and 10 from junior guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson).


Buc bits

It is a new day for the ETSU men’s basketball program, as the Buccaneers welcome first-year head coach Steve Forbes and his assistant coaching staff to the program for the 2015-16 season ... Forbes, a highly successful assistant coach at the Division I level at programs such as Tennessee, Wichita State and Texas A&M, wasted no time revamping the ETSU roster, as the program’s lineup has not seen this much restructuring since the start of the 1997 season ... Returning just six players from last season’s squad, Forbes and company have utilized their vast recruiting ties to bring in 10 new players to the program … This group of 10 will include four transfers from Division I programs such as Cincinnati, Indiana, Missouri and Witchita State, along with four junior college transfers and two incoming high school prospects.


Three-point streak for Bucs dates back nearly 20 years

Since Feb. 16, 1987 in a game against Davidson, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 861 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game. ... The Bucs currently rank as the 7th longest streak in the NCAA.


Bucs postseason resume ranks among mid-major bests

The ETSU men’s basketball team has enjoyed its share of postseason success and ranks as one of the nation’s most prestigious basketball programs ... The Buccaneers have earned berths to the NCAA Tournament nine times (1969, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010) and NIT twice (1983, 2007) ... The Bucs made their second trip all-time to the CIT Postseason Tournament in 2014, marking the program’s 13th postseason tournament appearance all-time ... In the Bucs first CIT appearance in 2011, ETSU went 2-1 with wins over Furman and Ohio, advancing to the tournament semifinals before losing to Iona in a hard-fought 83-80 contest at the Dome ... In 2014, the Bucs went 1-1, defeating fellow Southern Conference member Chattanooga before falling to Towson in the quarterfinals.


A brief look back at 2014-15

The Buccaneers are coming off an up-and-down season in 2014-15, a year that ended when the Bucs dropped a quarterfinal matchup with Western Carolina in the Southern Conference Tournament, finishing at 16-14 and 8-10 in SoCon play.


Returning players to be counted on in ’15-16

As for returning players from last year’s squad who are expected to provide valuable minutes this year, junior forward A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) leads the group after averaging 10.3 points and 6.1 rebounds a year ago, while providing the Bucs valuable defensive skills with a 1.3 steals per contest … Along with Merriweather, the Bucs also return senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville), who averaged 12.6 points a game last season, senior guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.), who finished with a team-high 3.1 assists per contest, sophomore guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt), who averaged 4.1 points per game, and junior forward Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.), who finished with 2.9 points and 4.9 rebounds a game in limited action a year ago.


Newcomers galore for Forbes and company

While Merriweather, McClain, Wilson and Bradford return in the backcourt, the Bucs have also added a wealth of talent at those positions with the addition of a pair of Division I senior transfers Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) from Cincinnati and Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.) from Missouri … Both Guyn and Bello completed their degrees at their previous schools, meaning both are eligible to compete immediately at ETSU, and both are expected tao play extensive minutes this season … In addition, junior college transfer T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) joins the Bucs after a successful career as a point producer at Columbia State, and true freshman Shemar Johnson (Columbus, Miss.) brings exceptional height to the wing position at 6-foot-6 … In the frontcourt, Banks is the lone returning player but is joined by 7-foot center Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan), who sat out last season with ETSU after transferring from Indiana … Along with those two, the Bucs have also added help for the inside game this season by signing junior college transfers Nigel Holley (Wilmington, N.C.) and Abednego “Benny” Lufile (Burlington, Ontario, Canada), as well as true freshman post Toriano Stokes (Memphis, Tenn.) … Beyond those players that will be eligible this season, the Bucs have also added Indiana transfer Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) and Wichita State transfer Tevin Glass (Greensboro, N.C.) who will miss this season due to NCAA transfer rules.


Forbes announces signing of Williams Jr. to NLI

ETSU men’s basketball head coach Steve Forbes and his staff announced Thursday that Jason Williams Jr. (Detroit, Mich.) has signed his national letter of intent to play for the Buccaneers beginning with the 2016-17 season. ... Williams, a 6-foot point guard out of Detroit Allen Academy, is entering his senior year of high school as a three-year starter and a 1,000-point scorer. In fact, Williams has a total of 1,259 points in three seasons at the prep level and is just 315 points shy of his school’s scoring record. In addition to those offensive numbers, Williams has also accumulated a school record 387 assists and 200 steals in his career, to go along with 292 rebounds. ... Williams is the first signee to the Buccaneers’ 2016-17 recruiting class.


Bucs picked 4th; Merriweather named All-SoCon

The ETSU men’s basketball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Southern Conference standings by both the league’s coaches and media, according to the preseason polls released by the league office on Thursday. ... While Chattanooga was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the league and the Mocs’ Casey Jones was selected as the preseason player of the year, ETSU junior guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) was named to the SoCon preseason all-conference team. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams or student-athletes as part of the balloting.


Challenging schedule awaits new-look Bucs

As for the season itself, the Bucs will enjoy several quality matchups, including road games at Villanova (Nov. 20), Georgia Tech (Nov. 22) and Tennessee (Dec. 22), as well as home games against quality opponents such as Green Bay (Nov. 17), UNC Wilmington (Nov. 28), Eastern Kentucky (Dec. 18), Chattanooga (Feb. 13) and Wofford (Feb. 27). ... Even more exciting for the Bucs will be playing the Green Bay game as part of the ESPN 24-hour College Hoops Marathon, as the teams will square off at 6 a.m. on Nov. 17.


VIP Seen publishes first Game Time Magazine for hoops

For the first time ever, ETSU fans can get a comprehensive look at both the men’s ane women’s basketball teams by purchasing the first-ever collector’s edition of ETSU Game Time Magazine published by VIP Seen Magazine. ... Game Time is available for purchase at local Roadrunner Markets, Food City locations, and at the ETSU campus bookstore. ... Full of preseason information, rosters, players profiles, a spring preview, and more, Game Time Magazine makes a perfect gift for any ETSU fan.


Wilson eyeing program’s 3-point record

Already a 1,000-point scorer, senior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) has an opportunity to put his name in the ETSU basketball record books again this season as the most prolific 3-point shooter in school history ... Currently ranking 5th on the career list with 214 makes from beyond the arc, Wilson finds himself 64 makes behind the program leader Courtney Pigram (Memphis), who made 276 3-pointers during his career from 2005-09 ... Wilson has averaged 70 makes a year during his previous three seasons at ETSU, meaning if he can replicate his “average” this year he should have a shot to take the top spot.


McClain making place next to ETSU’s greatest PG

ETSU fans have fond memories over former point guard and All-American Keith “Mister” Jennings, who is considered the program’s greatest player ... What many fans may not realize is that current point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) is quietly making a place next to Jennings in the ETSU record books ... Currently, McClain ranks No. 2 next to Jennings on the Bucs’ all-time assist/turnover ratio list, making him one of the two best guards in school history for protecting the basketball ... McClain also entered the year ranking in the Top 10 all-time for total assists (10th) and assists per game (6th). ... In fact, McClain matched his career high with 11 assists in the loss to Tennessee (12/31). ... A year ago, McClain ranked first in the SoCon and 8th nationally in assist/TO ratio at 3.1, and was second in the SoCon in assists per game with 4.2 a contest.


Bradford provides spark, shows signs of a bright future

With several key contributors not available for a game with Furman back on Feb. 14, 2015, freshman guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) was given his first career start and played career high 26 minutes ... He responded during those minutes -- especially in the final five minutes of the game when he hit a pressure-packed 3-pointer and scored seven straight points to seal the victory in an otherwise tight game ... Bradford showed that potential again in the Bucs’ opener this year against Averett, scoring 11 points, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out two assists in 22 minutes of play.