November 22, 20171st2ndFinal
Stats at a GlanceTROYETSU
FG Percentage.441 (26-59) .390 (23-59)
3P FG Percentage.433 (13-30) .345 (10-29)
FT Percentage.615 (8-13) .450 (9-20)
Offensive Rebounds1115
Defensive Rebounds2725
Total Rebounds3840
Bench Points1230
PointsPerson - 22
Desonta Bradford - 12
ReboundsHicks - 8
David Burrell - 12
AssistsMiller - 4
Jermaine Long - 5
StealsDavis, Jr. - 2
Miller - 2
Desonta Bradford - 2
Devontavius Payne - 2
BlocksDavis, Jr. - 2
Bucs host Sun Belt champs Troy Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The Bucs improved to 2-2 on the year thanks to an 81-57 home win over Delaware State on Monday.
Bucs host Sun Belt champs Troy Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 21, 2017) – ETSU fans can get an early start to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with some men’s basketball on Wednesday evening, as the Buccaneers host non-conference foe Troy inside Freedom Hall. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

The game will air live via video stream on the Watch ESPN app and at, while the Buccaneer Sports Network will also have the live broadcast of the game on its radio affiliates and through the live link at In addition, live stats will also be available by clicking the link to the right of this story.

The Bucs, who are currently 2-2 on the season, will take on a Trojans’ team that like ETSU earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament a year ago. While the Bucs captured the Southern Conference Tournament title, Troy (2-3) won the Sun Belt Conference title.

For more on Wednesday night’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 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. Troy

This will only be the third meeting all-time between the two schools, with the series tied at 1-1 ... The Bucs and Trojans actually met twice in the same season back in 2011-12, with ETSU winning on Nov. 19 of that season 81-71, and then dropping a 79-71 contest on the road on Nov. 29.


Last time out vs. Troy

TROY, Ala. (Nov. 29, 2011) – As the ETSU men’s basketball team prepared for its  road game against Troy, the Buccaneers’ major concern was the Trojans’ 3-point shooting attack. The Bucs apparently had good reason to be worried. ... Troy connected on 12 shots from long range and also took advantage at the foul line, as the Trojans avenged a loss to ETSU earlier this season with a 79-71 victory inside Sartain Hall. ... The Trojans started the game on target from 3-point range, with six of their first nine made shots coming from beyond the arc. Those efforts led to an eight-point advantage for Troy, as the score stood at 24-16 with 8:18 left in the first half. ... ETSU got it back to within four at 24-20, but the Trojans bounced back to make it 31-22 on a three-point play by Emil Jones with 3:03 left before the break. Ultimately, the Bucs managed to make several defensive stops and went to the locker room trailing by a score of 35-28. ... In the first 20 minutes, Troy shot 45 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc, while the Bucs led the battle of the boards at 18-15. ... After the break, the Bucs managed to get within four points on multiple occasions, and trailed just 49-45 with eight minutes left in the game. However, from there Troy found their stroke from 3-point range once again, hitting on four long range shots over the next five minutes to power a 21-10 run and take a 70-55 lead with just over two minutes left in the game. ... ETSU got the game back to eight at 79-71 thanks to some desperation 3-pointers in the final minutes, but could get no closer.


Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 20, 2017) – With only two points after seven minutes of play, many ETSU fans inside Freedom Hall may have worried about the result of Monday’s home opener against Delaware State. Turns out, there was no reason for concern. ... Closing the first half with a 12-0 run then shooting 72 percent from the field and 57 percent from 3-point range in the second half, the Buccaneers ultimately cruised past the Hornets 81-57 on a night when the team’s 2017 NCAA Tournament banner was unveiled high above their home floor. ... With the win, ETSU improves to 2-2 on the season, while Delaware State dropped to 1-4. ... For the game, the Bucs forced the Hornets into 22 turnovers and collected 16 steals, holding Delaware State to just 39 percent shooting from the floor and holding the game in check while the offense found its footing. Ultimately, ETSU was led offensively by senior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) with 16 points, while senior guard Jalan McCloud (Fort Worth, Texas) added 15, and both junior guard Kanayo Obi-Rapu (Greensboro, N.C.) and senior guard Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.) each collected 11. ... The Bucs certainly got off to a slow start, missing their first seven shots from 3-point range and having scored just two points at the 13:14 mark of the first half. ETSU eventually cranked up its offensive effort thanks to a more aggressive approach on the defensive end, employing a full court press that helped ignite a 12-0 run to close the half and lead 25-16 at the break. ... Senior post Peter Jurkin (Jubah, South Sudan), who scored a career high 17 points in the Bucs last outing against No. 7 Kentucky, picked up where he left off by posting team highs for points (5) and rebounds (7) before the halftime break. ...     In the second half, the Bucs turned it around from outside. After going just 2-of-12 from 3-point range in the first half, the team shot 8-of-14 from beyond the arc after the break. Those numbers took a 33-24 game and turned it into a full route blowout at 52-32 six minutes later. ... Bradford finished 4-of-4 from 3-point range on the night, while Obi-Rapu was 3-of-4 and Payne was 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Jurkin just missed out on first career double-double with nine points and a career high 10 rebounds. ... For the game, ETSU dominated statistically, outscoring Delaware State 30-6 off turnovers, 41-14 in bench points, 12-2 on fast break points, and 32-18 in the paint.

ETSU finished the game shooting 52 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range.


Jurkin, Payne provide offensive sparks

Finding new offensive production heading into the season was a big concern for the Bucs ... So far, senior guard Devontavius Payne (Cardondale, Ill.) and senior post Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) have shown signs that they can help in that area ... In a win over Savannah State (11/13), Payne netted a personal best 28 points, while Jurkin netted his career high with 17 points in a loss at Kentucky (11/17). ... Both players continued to produce against Delaware State, with Payne scoring 11 points, while Jurkin provided a career high 10 rebounds and nine points.


300th game for Forbes

ETSU head coach Steve Forbes reached a milestone last Friday night at Kentucky, coaching his 300th game as a head coach ... Overall, Forbes is 219-82 (.728) as a head coach at both the junior college and NCAA Division I levels ... His complete coaching record can be found on Page 5 of this notes packet.


Bradford named preseason All-SoCon, Bucs picked 4th

ETSU senior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) was selected to the Preseason All-Southern Conference team by the league’s coaches, and the Buccaneers were picked to finish fourth in both the coaches and media polls released by the SoCon offices earlier this year. ... ETSU, the reigning SoCon tournament champion, was selected fourth in both polls, finishing one point behind Furman in the coaches poll with 64 points and two first-place votes, and garnering 178 points and four first-place votes in the media poll. The Bucs, who earned a share of last year’s regular-season title at 27-8 overall and 14-4 in the league, put Bradford, their lone returning starter from last year’s squad, on the preseason all-conference team.


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 934 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game.  ... The Bucs currently rank as the 7th longest streak in the NCAA.


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 Nov. 20, the team is one of the best in the country in collecting steals and forcing turnovers.


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 into ETSU from Texas Western Southern.


2017-18 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

Rebounds...................................................... T-9th, 1269


Three game road swings a challenge for Bucs

As the Bucs open the season with a three game road swing, it won’t be the last time ETSU faces that challenge this year. ... In fact, the Bucs will open SoCon play with three straight road games, and then end the season with three more league games away from home.


Turnover issues early on for Bucs

In back-to-back games to open the season, the Bucs committed 20 turnovers against both Northern Kentucky (11/10) and Savannah State (11/13) ... They have improved on those numbers marginally in their last two games, with 16 turnvoers against Kentucky 911/17) and only 14 in the win over Delaware State (11/20) ... A year ago, the Bucs averaged just 14.8 turnovers a contest.   


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).


Bucs 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 the team’s championship run to the NCAA Tournament in 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 – and was just outside of the Top 100 in overall attendance in the country out of 347 Division I teams.


Newcomers bring production in opener

Despite the loss in the season opener at Northern Kentucky, newcomers Jalan McCloud (Fort Worth, Texas), Mladen Armus (Belgrade, Serbia) and

Bo Hodges (Nashville) provided glimpses of their potential. ... McCloud -- a fifth year graduate transfer -- posted a double digit scoring effort with 11 points, while grabbing six rebounds, dishing out two assists and grabbing two steals. ... Meanwhile, freshmen Armus and Hodges produced as well, with Armus collecting a team high 10 rebounds and scoring seven points, while Hodges scored seven points and six boards.


Junior transfer Rodriguez to miss season

ETSU men’s basketball head coach Steve Forbes announced prior to the start of the regular season that junior forward Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, D.R.) will undergo a medical procedure and will miss the 2017-18 season. ... Rodriguez will still have two years of eligibility remaining when he returns to the roster in ’18-19.


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.