December 02, 20151st2ndFinal
East Tennessee State283361
Tennessee Tech313263
Stats at a GlanceETSUTTU
FG Percentage.366 (26-71) .286 (14-49)
3P FG Percentage.267 (4-15) .200 (4-20)
FT Percentage.556 (5-9) .816 (31-38)
Offensive Rebounds1417
Defensive Rebounds2034
Total Rebounds3451
Bench Points2112
PointsT.J. Cromer - 15
ReboundsPeter Jurkin - 7
AssistsDeuce Bello - 3
T.J. Cromer - 3
Ge'Lawn Guyn - 3
ROWE - 4
StealsGe'Lawn Guyn - 4
BlocksPeter Jurkin - 1
Desonta Bradford - 1
Isaac Banks - 1
Ge'Lawn Guyn - 1
Abednego Lufile - 1
Bucs aim to halt skid Wednesday at Tennessee Tech
Junior guard T.J. Cromer led the Bucs with 20 points in the loss to UNC Wilmington. Currently, he is second on the team with 15.5 points per game.
Bucs aim to halt skid Wednesday at Tennessee Tech
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 1, 2015) – With the goal of snapping a two-game losing skid, the ETSU men’s basketball team will return to the court on Wednesday evening as the Buccaneers hit the road to take on Tennessee Tech. Game time at the Eblen Center is set for 7 p.m.

The matchup will be broadcast live on the Buccaneer Sports Network’s radio and web audio streaming outlets, as well as on live video streaming courtesy of the

ETSU (3-3) is was riding high after a win over ACC foe Georgia Tech back on Nov. 24, but back-to-back losses to Charleston Southern and UNC Wilmington have tempered that momentum. Meanwhile, Tennessee Tech enters the game at 5-2 on the season and is riding a four-game winning streak.

For more on Wednesday night’s matchup, click on the game notebook to the right, or read the game notes located 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.


Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 28, 2015) – Committing a season-high 21 turnovers and being out-rebounded 39-24 for the game, the ETSU men’s basketball team had no answers for an undefeated UNC Wilmington squad in a 94-73 loss to the Seahawks Saturday afternoon inside Freedom Hall. ...

A crowd of 2,557 looked on as the Buccaneers, who dropped to 3-3 on the year, tried to make a game of it early in the second half when junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) connected on a 3-pointer to pull ETSU to within eight points at 48-40. However, UNCW responded to that threat with a lightning quick 13-0 offensive run to make it 61-40 and the Seahawks never looked back. With the win, UNC Wilmington improves to a perfect 4-0 on the year. ... Along with the turnover and rebounding numbers, the Seahawks also shot an impressive 58.6 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range. UNCW was led by Chris Flemmings 18 points, while four other teammates reached double figures. ... The Seahawks lived up to their reputation in the first half, utilizing an aggressive full court defense and a torrid offensive pace to force 12 ETSU turnovers and shoot 53 percent from the field. UNCW also held a decisive advantage on the glass before the break, out-rebounding the Bucs 21-13. Those numbers helped the Seahawks build a lead of as many as 18 points at 48-30 with 1:54 left before the intermission. ... At that point, ETSU answered with a 7-0 run and finished the half within striking distance at 48-37. ETSU managed to keep the Seahawks within range by shooting 67 percent from 3-point range (6-of-9) in the first half. ... After the break, Cromer’s 3-pointer made it 48-40 with less than a minute gone in the half, but from there the Bucs were outscored 46-33 the rest of the way.


The series vs. Tennessee Tech

The Bucs and Golden Eagles have met 73 times since beginning their basketball series back in 1923 ... The Bucs currently lead the series 37-36 ... ETSU won the last meeting 87-79 last season, back on Feb. 16, 2014 ... Prior to that game, ETSU had lost three straight games to the Golden Eagles.


Last time out against Tennessee Tech

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2015) – Senior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) scored a game-high 31 points and fellow senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) netted 17 as the ETSU men’s basketball enjoyed a Senior Night win 87-79 over non-conference opponent Tennessee Tech in the Bucs final regular season home game inside Freedom Hall. ... The Bucs, who improved to 16-10 overall, had to outlast a stingy Tennessee Tech (12-15) squad that kept it close throughout the second half, shooting 52 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range for the game. However, ETSU was equally impressive from the floor on the night, shooting 50 percent and an impressive 81 percent at the foul line (17-of-21). ... Along with Riley and Rembert, the Bucs also got double-figure scoring efforts from junior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) and sophomore guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson). Wilson finished the night with 15 points, while Merriweather pitched in 13. ... For Tennessee Tech, forward Torrarnce Rowe led the way with a team-high 22 points, while three other TTU players reached double figures.


Ge’Lawn doing it all for Bucs

Senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn’s game-winning shot at Georgia Tech (11/22) is just the most recent indictation of the play he has displayed so far at ETSU ... Heading into the Tennessee Tech matchup, Guyn leads the Bucs in scoring (19.8 ppg), assists (2.5 apg) and blocks (1.3 bpg), and is second on the team in rebounding (4.5 rpg) ... The rebound and block numbers are most impressive considering Guyn plays the point guard position.


Cromer meeting expectations as offensive threat

When transfer junior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) joined the Buccaneers, he was touted as a scoring threat and a player that would provide some offensive bunch ... Cromer has lived up to that billing, and is currently second on the team with 15.5 points per game ... In his last outing against UNC Wilmington, he scored a season-high 20 points, shooting 4-of-5 from 3-point range.


Bucs make history with win at Georgia Tech

While ETSU has enjoyed its share of wins over “major” opposition in the past, the Bucs’ win over Georgia Tech earlier this season marked the programs first win over an Atlantic Coast Conference school since defeating N.C. State back in 1991 ... It was also the team’s first win over a “Power 5” Conference team since dropping Arkansas back during the 2009-10 season, and the first win over Georgia Tech since the 1978-79 campaign.


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 865 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.

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.


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 to 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 2016-17 class.


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, player profiles, a spring preview, and more, Game Time Magazine makes a perfect gift.


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 217 makes from beyond the arc, Wilson finds himself 59 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.