Nigel Holley commits to ETSU

Nigel-Holley

According to multiple sources, including Verbal Commits, Nigel Holley, a 6’8″, 220lbs PF from Wilmington, NC via Vincennes University, has committed to ETSU.

Nigel Holley is the second signing this off-season for ETSU. Like our first sign T.J. Cromer, Holley is also JUCO. Holley comes to ETSU from Vincennes University where he averaged 3.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg (more stats here). It’s also worth noting that Vincennes University is ranked as #1 juco program in country. Coming out of high school Holley averaged 15 points, 10 boards and two blocks per game for New Hanover High School in Wilmington, NC. As a junior, Holley helped New Hanover High School win the 2012 North Carolina 4A State Championship.

Holley is a big smooth forward who looks like he will be physically ready to play at the division 1 collegiate level. He will be able to play the 4 spot effectively and should provide solid depth for the Bucs in the 2015-2016 season.

ESPN insider eval:
“Nigel is an inside guy who doesn’t have an identity crisis. His game is around the bucket where he has touch and feel. We’re extremely encouraged by his ability to corral rebounds and outlet the basketball, making him a threat to help get the running game going….”

Vincennes U.’s coach Todd Franklin’s eval. of Holley after signing him:

“His game is around the bucket, including the fact that he has a nice touch for scoring the ball,” VU Coach Todd Franklin said. “We feel he can be a very good rebounder who can be a real boost to us offensively before he ever gets down the floor. His ability to make the outlet pass after pulling down a defensive rebound will help us get the running game going.”

Below are some HS highlights of Nigel Holley

Scouting video: Nigel Holley vs. Charlotte Elite at 2012 Breakout Challenge from The Wolfpacker on Vimeo.

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Johnson City Plans to Renovate Civic Center

Freedom Hall in Johnson City TNJohnson City, Tn. – We’ve all seen the various media reports now. Johnson City is FINALLY looking to invest in major renovations for the venerable Freedom Hall Civic Center. The venue has seen some fantastic shows over the years, Elvis, Elton John, Jerry Lee Lewis, AC/DC, and even the 16 time world heavyweight champion Ric Flair has graced the halls of the once proud venue. But years of neglect have taken a toll on the place. Cracked walls, plumbing, HVAC, and old, worn out seats are just some of the issues facing the building opened in the 1970’s. Since that initial night, very little has been done to update Freedom Hall. This past week, the city has made clear its’ goal of allocating 12 million dollars to give it a facelift. Bucs fans should be ecstatic this is happening. Now I’m the first to say even with the renovations, Freedom Hall is a bandage for a much larger issue (a new arena), but we’ll get to that another day. What is it you would like to see that would make Freedom Hall better, not just for basketball and entertainment, but for fans and patrons of the venue? For me it all starts with tickets, traffic, and toilet paper. The bathrooms there are terrible. Anytime I’ve been in the facility with more than 3000 people, there’s standing water in the men’s bathrooms. Traffic and tickets are always a nightmare. Part of traffic is people simply can’t drive, but a huge part is parking over there really isn’t all that great. Getting into the place is also inconvenient. There never seems to be enough people working the doors to get people in, so you have to get in obscenely early to ensure you don’t miss the start of anything. Next comes the seats. The seats have NEVER been replaced in Freedom Hall. Now for those of you who remember Willie Nelson, Lynard Skynard, and some of the shows of the 70’s and 80’s, think long and hard about what’s been on those seats over the years.

It’s long overdue, and with the right leadership running Freedom Hall, it could attract better entertainment that would provide a nice boost in the local and regional economy. But in the process, let’s hope the city is in a silent, pre planning phase for a long term solution that involves a new, downtown arena and convention center that can attract the truly big names of the music and entertainment industry.

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ETSU Signs T.J. Cromer

Steve Forbes and the rest of the ETSU basketball staff is off to a quick start as they announced the signing of the T.J. Cromer today. Cromer is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound shooting guard that averaged 20 points per game last season, connecting on 107 3-pointers and shooting 46 percent from the three-point line. Cromer helped lead his Columbia State team to a 26-7 overall record in 2014-15.

T.J. Cromer was also named third team JUCO All-America and first team All-Region honors last year.

What Forbes has to say about Cromer:

“I’m thrilled that T.J. is our staff’s first signee at ETSU. To have the opportunity to coach such a talented player is very exciting for the future of our program. His offensive numbers speak volumes to his abilities. He can make shots and he can score at a high level. T.J. is a winner, leading his team to the region championship and the NJCAA National Tournament. He is very well coached and is prepared to play the moment he steps on campus.”

Cromer is the first of what hopes to be an exciting offseason for ETSU basketball. ETSU Hoops will continue to follow all recruiting activity in the coming months.

Some highlights from Cromer

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Steve Forbes confirms Jason Shay as an assistant

Jason-Shay

Somewhat breaking news since no official press release has been released but Steve Forbes confirmed on a radio talk show at 3:30PM in Knoxville (KnoxTalkRadio 94.3) that Jason Shay will be one of his assistants.

Jason Shay will be joining Brooks Savage as part of the ETSU basketball coaching staff.

Jason Shay reunites with Forbes after spending 2 years with Forbes and Savage at Northwest Florida State College. Shay also coached with Forbes at Tennessee.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more but it appears that Jason Shay will be an assistant coach for ETSU. If KnoxTalkRadio archives the audio of the interview I will post it as soon as I get it.

EDIT: Below is the interview, the part with Forbes starts around the 21 minute mark.

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ETSU Offers Ty Toney

Ty Toney

ETSU has offered Ty Toney, a 6’3 SG from Alpharetta, Ga. via Georgia Highlands C.C. Ty was a JUCO All-American honorable mention and first team all-region. He averaged 17.8 PTS/G and 2.4 A/G in 36 games at Georgia Highlands C.C. this year. See more stats on Toney here.

Ty played at Appalachian State his freshmen year before transferring to Georgia Highlands C.C. While at Appalachian State Toney average 6.3 PTS/G in 22 games.

According to ESPN insider, “Toney is a physical shooting guard who is strong for his size and wired to score. He can get buckets at all three levels. Get to the rim, straight line drive and score through contact. Mid range jumpers off the catch or dribble and knock down the open three.”

Here is what Jason Capel had to say about Ty Toney

“Ty is a very talented kid, and a great young man. He is strong, quick and explosive on both ends of the court. He is the type of player who can help a team in so many ways because of his competitiveness and versatility. In our system, it is important to have guards that can do multiple things especially off the bounce and Ty gives us a player that can do just that. He scores the ball from all over the court and has the ability with his strength and quickness to get mid-range and elevate over defenders. He is also explosive enough to get in the paint and finish through contact or make the right pass to an open teammate. Ty led Alpharetta to the state semifinals last season with one of the best playoff runs in Georgia high school basketball history. His is a player that will be a joy to coach on both sides of the ball.”

In addition to ETSU, Toney has also received offers from Kennesaw State, Jacksonville State, North Carolina Central, Jackson State, Tennessee State and FIU.

EDIT: 04/21/15 Toney has signed with Eastern Michigan.

Below are a couple of highlight videos of Ty Toney

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New ETSU coach has energized the Bucs fan base.

April 7th, 2015 – The excitement is back for ETSU men’s basketball. When the announcement was made that long time head coach Murry Bartow would not be retained as head coach, it created a buzz across coach who was one of the winningest coaches in the history of the program, had taken the team to multiple postseason appearances and never finished worse than fourth during the Bucs time in the Atlantic Sun. Nationally, people didn’t understand that fans were tired of the same ol’, same ol’. 15-20 wins a year, no real shot at winning an NCAA tournament game or two like it was when Ed DeChellis, Alan LeForce or Les Robinson were around. Even coach Bartow had become complacent on the sidelines. Fans were drinking the sand, accepting a program that had sunk into mediocrity in the A-Sun. Then something happened, ETSU brought in a new president and athletic director. All this new energy saw the women’s program get a young, energetic coach that was able to mold a talented, but underachieving group into nearly winning the Southern Conference tournament this year over nationally ranked Chattanooga. Then the whispers started happening. Private messages, text messages, and phone conversations everywhere that a change was imminent. Could it be true? Then it happened. Speculation over the 16th head coach at ETSU was rampant. Bucs fans had set their sights on long time Tennessee assistant coach Steve Forbes, who had made his way out to Wichita State to work with Greg Marshall after a dustup with the NCAA. So many candidates, Mike Morrell, Keith “Mister” Jennings, even long time UTC coach and ETSU alum John Shulman was mentioned to be in the mix along with Forbes. Then ETSU athletic director Dr. Richard Sander made the magic happen, he brought in Steve Forbes, and sent a shock wave throughout college basketball. ETSU fans couldn’t be happier.   You can sometimes gauge excitement by the activity on a message board. ETSU’s season has been over for a month now, and fans are already posting about next season. There’s talk that even fans who are upset over the Freedom Hall move are ready to come back just because they believe the Bucs have a shot to return to the Glory Days.

I tend to agree. Coach Forbes was an amazing assistant coach at Tennessee, working as Bruce Pearl’s right hand man to the most successful run the Vols had been on since the Ernie and Bernie show. He does come with baggage. The show cause penalty is what it is, but in his time in the juco ranks he led a team to a ton of success, then joined up with Greg Marshall and the Shockers. He’s a ton of different experiences, lots of recruiting ties all over the southeast, and is very engaging with the public. It’s safe to say that Sander & Co. didn’t just a hit a homerun, they hit one that hasn’t landed yet. If it wasn’t for the excitement of football returning on September 3rd against Kennesaw State at Kermit Tipton Stadium with a kickoff at 7pm (That’s a hint to get your tickets and be there), Buccaneer Nation would be ready for basketball 2015-2016.

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Some A.J. Merriweather Dunk Highlights from this season

Sophomore guard A.J. Merriweather gave us Buc fans plenty of exciting moments this year. Here are the 3 most impressive dunk highlights of the season from A.J. Merriweather. With two years left at ETSU I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of Mr. Merriweather in the next two seasons.

Versus Tennessee Tech

Versus UNC-Greensboro

Also against Greensboro and in the same game as the one above. This one made the sportscenter top 10 plays of the day

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Brooks Savage to be an Assistant Coach

According to the tweet above it appears Brooks Savage, currently an assistant at UTC, will be heading to ETSU as an assistant under Coach Forbes. While an official press statement hasn’t been released yet this appears to legit as Savage has been rumored to be one of the assistants that Coach Forbes will hire. We’ll keep you updated on any upcoming news related to the coaching staff that Steve Forbes will be brining on.

EDIT: Just found another tweet confirming Brooks Savage to be hired as an assistant at ETSU.

Welcome to ETSU Coach Savage!

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