Desonta Bradford reaches 1,000 points while Bucs improve to 5-0

Desonta Bradford

After a big win versus UNCG on Thursday night the Bucs continued their winning ways with 89-48 blowout win over VMI and senior guard Desonta Bradford became the 41st player in ETSU basketball history to score over 1,000 points. With the win the Bucs improve to 5-0 in the Socon and are no longer tied for first place thanks to a Furman loss at Wofford.

The ETSU defense continued to impress as they held VMI to only 26% shooting overall and 23% from the 3-point line. Additionally ETSU forced 15 turnovers and 10 steals. The Bucs were led in scoring by both Devontavius Payne and David Burrell, both scored 17 points. Payne was 4-6 from the 3-point line and was one rebound shy of a double double. The ETSU bench also had a productive night totaling 55 points.

The Bucs have dominated the conference games so far by winning by an average of 21.4 points. ETSU has won 12 of its last 13 games and 8th in a row. The 8 game winning streak is the longest winning streak since 2010-2011. The 5-0 conference mark is the best conference start for ETSU since 2008-2009 when ETSU also started 5-0 in conference play.

Rankings

The Bucs continue to move up in the rankings. At the time of this post ETSU is #59 in the Kenpom rankings, #62 in the ESPN BPI rankings and #5 in the CollegeInsider top 25.

Furman

The Bucs have another big game on Thursday night when they have to travel to Greenville, SC to face a Furman team that just suffered it’s first loss in conference play. This game has huge implications for the the Bucs, if they can win it would put them two games ahead of Furman and make them a clear favorite to win the regular season. However, playing at Furman has been a challenge for the Bucs since they rejoined the Southern Conference. The Bucs are 0-3 at Timmons Arena since rejoining in 2015. The last time the Bucs won at Furman was during the 2003-2004 season.

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Bucs easily win first 3 Socon games on the road

ETSU vs Chattanooga - Socon

When the ETSU basketball schedule came out in August, there was one thing that stood out most of anything. The Bucs were forced the start the Socon basketball schedule with three games on the road and two of those were against the preseason #1 (Mercer) and #2 (Samford) ranked teams. Coach Forbes publicly spoke about the brutality of this and so did many ETSU fans but it proved to be not much of a challenge for the senior led Bucs. Not only did ETSU win all three games but they made it look easy. The Bucs won each game by an average of 18.6 points (lets just round to 19) and absolutely dominated Chattanooga, a game which I felt ETSU could have won by 30, but the officiating was called in favor of Chattanooga, as ETSU was called for 11 more fouls than UTC. Despite the fouls, it did not matter, as the Bucs shot 56% and out rebounded the Mocs 42-29.

Road Warriors

Speaking of winning on the road, last night Coach Forbes tweeted out that ETSU has the 2nd most road wins than any other team in college basketball so far this season. The only team that has more is fellow in state rival Middle Tennessee. Maybe the two should play each other next season?

Rankings

The stellar play of the Bucs has earned them the attention from various polls and computer rankings. At the time of this writing ETSU is ranked #62 in the Kenpom Rankings, #72 in ESPN’s BPI rankings, #91 in the Sagarin Ratings and #104 in the RPI.

As for the Mid-Major polls the Bucs rank #16 in the college insider mid-major top 25, #8 in the NBC sports mid-major power rankings and #22 in the Mid-Major Madness top 25.

White out on Thursday night

On Thursday ETSU plays perhaps the biggest Socon matchup of the season so far which is a rematch of the Socon final between ETSU and UNCG in Johnson City. ETSU is calling on everyone to come out and fill Freedom Hall in a white out. Both ETSU and UNCG are unbeaten in Socon play so far this year, although ETSU has played one more game than UNCG. Go Bucs! Fill Freedom Hall!!

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Bucs Finish Non-Conf Play 10-3

The ETSU Men’s Basketball team finished the 2017 non-conference schedule tonight as they cruised to a 92-71 victory over Savannah State in Freedom Hall. It was very encouraging to see our guys come out with a lot of intensity in this game after coming off a tough, emotional loss to the Voles at home (more emotional for the fans as I couldn’t even bring myself to write a recap). Perea kicked off the scoring with a powerful two handed slam and the Buc’s never looked back. Devon Payne was hott in the first half, hitting 4 3-pointers and finished with a career high 17 points. TJ Cromer started off a bit slow in the first half with 5 points, but came alive after the intermission and finished with a career high 30 points. Desonta Bradford had another overall solid game finishing with 6 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. Under the basket, Perea scored 13 points and had 8 rebounds. Ike Banks came off the bench and played very aggressively finishing with 2 pts and 6 rebounds. AJ Merriweather was the junkyard dog that he is and recorded 11 points, 5 steals, and 4 rebounds.

Savannah State’s leading scorer Dexter McClanahan finished with 28 pts (a career high).

The Buc’s enter conference play with a record of 10-3, with 10 wins being their most non-conf wins since the 90-91 season. A few things I’d like to see us clean up going into league play are our free throw shooting (66%), our turnovers (14 per game), and finishing at the rim.

ETSU hosts VMI on December 31st in the first conference game of the year

Boxscore

Recap

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Buc’s Handle Morehead St On The Road

The Buc’s handled business today on the road at Morehead State as they cruised to a 78-68 win. Many Buc fans, including myself, were worried they might overlook this game in anticipation for the vaunted matchup with Tennessee at Freedom Hall 5 days from now. However, they showed no signs of that as they got out to a 35-12 lead 10 minutes into the first half. The game was never really in doubt, although the Buc’s had two lapses during the game and allowed Morehead to get within 9 and 8 pts in the second half. Despite the Eagles record and the assault allegations against their now former coach, year in and year out Morehead is a consistently good mid-major program so I’ll definitely look at this game as a good win on the road.

TJ Cromer busted out of his recent shooting slump going for 23 pts, 7 assists on 6-9 shooting from 3 point land. He did have 6 turnovers which is uncharacteristic of him. Desonta Bradford and Hanner Mosquera-Perea finished with 13 pts a piece and David Burrell added 7 pts off the bench.

ETSU @ Morehead St. Boxscore

ETSU @ Morehead St. Recap

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ETSU Gets Much Needed Road Win At SEC Foe Miss. St.

The Buccaneer faithful were able to witness their first win on the road in 2016 as ETSU beat SEC foe Mississippi State at “The Hump” in Starksville, MS on Wednesday night. The Buc’s came into the game needing a resume building road win, and they got what they needed. Quite frankly, ETSU looked like the better team all game. They led by as much as 10 and never trailed throughout. ETSU has played Miss. St. in the past, and came into the game leading the all-time series 2-1. They were able to add to that series lead via a buzzer beating put-back by Hanner Mosquera-Perea with barely a second left on the clock. Desonta Bradford stepped up big time, hitting multiple shots in the lane, beyond the arc, and sinking 2 critical free throws down the stretch to pull of the dub. Even though TJ Cromer is the leading scorer, Bradford can easily take over as the go-to guy when needed.

As far as stats go, Bradford led the way with 15pts, 4reb, and 2ast. TJ Cromer had 14pts on 6-14 shooting. There are many other contributors to mention as this team is DEEP. However, some of note are Devontavius Payne who had 9 pts and David Burrell with 8. Both players came in with ferocity and hit 3 big threes between them. For Mississippi State, the Buc’s were able to stifle the Bulldogs leading scorer in Quinndary Weatherspoon who finished with 13pts on 3-9 shooting. The Bulldogs leading scorer was F Aric Holman, who finished with 17pts, 6reb, and 4blks.

When you play on the road against a good team it’s all about managing the storm, and the Buc’s did that tonight. Something we never saw last game against Dayton, or UNC Wilmington. Tonight was a huge team building win for our Bucs. Our players proved to themselves they can play on the road and manage a comeback effort by the home team.

ETSU takes on Morehead St. at their place on Saturday Dec. 17th. While Morehead St. is always a respectable mid-major, they have struggled this year amid complications with their previous coach.

More analysis to come

ETSU @ Mississippi St. Boxscore

ETSU @ Mississippi St. Recap

Watch Replay: ETSU @ Mississippi St.

Desonta’s Dunk in Transition

Game Winning Shot:

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Bucs fall at Dayton 75-61

The Buc’s had another chance to pull of a signature win on the road, but they simply could not get it done against a very talented Dayton team picked to win the Atlantic 10 conference. Oddly enough, the Buc’s struggled inside even though that has been proven to be a strength, as their season avg in rebounding margin is +10. The Flyers were able to shut down the Buc’s leading scorer TJ Cromer (19 ppg) who went 1-11 from the field and finished with 4 pts. Desonta Bradford and David Burrell were the lone bright spots for ETSU who produced 12 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast (4 to) and 12 pts, 4 reb respectively. Charles Cooke led the way for Dayton going for 24 pts, 8 reb, and 4 blocks. Dayton also welcomed back the edition of Senior F Kendall Pollard who returned from injury and played a big part on the glass snagging 12 rebounds and scoring 12 points.

The Buc’s move on to Mississippi State on Wednesday Dec. 14. They will have their 3rd chance in as many tries to pick up a solid non-conference win on the road. The Buccaneer faithful, including myself, will be intently rooting for an improvement in play from our talented and deep squad. I’m hoping the Dayton game was merely a mirror of the Villanova game last year, where we lost badly, and then proceeded to beat Georgia Tech on the road courtesy of a Guyn 3 at the buzzer.

ETSU @ Dayton Boxscore

ETSU @ Dayton Recap

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ETSU Wins Sanford Pentagon Showcase

ETSU travelled to South Dakota over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to participate in the Sanford Pentagon Showcase. Aside from ETSU, the other teams involved in the round robin tournament include Milwaukee from the Horizon, South Dakota State from the Summit, and UC Irvine of the Big West. The Bucs went on to win the tournament with TJ Cromer claiming the tournament MVP and Desonta Bradford earning all tournament team honors. Now sitting at 5-1, ETSU will return home to face Lees McCrae and Limestone College before heading to Atlantic 10 foe Dayton on December 10.

Game One – ETSU 86 Milwaukee 62  Recap/Boxscore

Game Two – ETSU 71 South Dakota St. 59 Recap/Boxscore

Game Three – ETSU 72 UC Irvine 66 Recap/Boxscore

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ETSU gets a big win on the road versus Georgia Tech

ETSU went into Atlanta today to make a statement after their loss against Villanova Friday night and they did just that. ETSU squeaked by with a 69-68 win against Georgia Tech thanks to a last second 3-point shot by Ge’Lawn Guyn (video of the shot is below). Guyn finished with 24 points, 16 of them in the second half, 7 rebounds and one huge block that came late in the second half and resulted in a transition basket by Deuce Bello.

The Bucs led most of the first half and by as many as 7 until Georgia Tech went on a 20-8 run to end the half and leading 32-27. Tech than increased their lead to 8 early in the second half but the Bucs never game up. They slowly worked their way back into the game thanks to some hot shooting, the Bucs shot 57.7 percent from the field in the second half.

The win against Georgia Tech gives ETSU their first win over an ACC school since 1991, which is when ETSU defeated NC State in Raleigh. ETSU improved to 3-1 on the year with the win and handed Tech their first loss of the year and dropping them to 3-1 as well.

ETSU scored 36 points in the paint, 14 more than Georgia Tech. The Bucs also had 11 points off turnovers and 14 second-chance points. ETSU also shot 57.7 percent from the field in the second half. In addition to Guy’s 24 points T.J. Cromer and A.J. Merriweather also finished in double figures with 12 points a piece.

ETSU will finish up this 3 game road trip with a game against Charleston Southern on Tuesday and then will be back in Freedom Hall on Saturday the 28th. Go Bucs!

Ge'Lawn Guyn hits the game-winner over Georgia Tech. ETSU wins 69-68. #ETSUTough

A video posted by ETSU Athletics (@etsuathletics) on

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