Jeromy Rodriguez commits to ETSU – 6’7 PF

Jeromy Rodriguez

ETSU has confirmed the commitment of their 2nd player for the 2017-2018 season and it’s 6’7 225lbs JUCO PF Jeromy Rodriguez out of Northwest Florida State. Rodriguez was a double double machine this year for NWF. Averaging 14.7 pts and 9.7 rebounds a game and shooting an efficient 64.3% from the field. Rodriguez recorded an impressive 15 double doubles this year. Rodriguez will look to fill the void in the middle for the Bucs after the graduation of Tevin Glass and Hanner Mosquera-Perea.

In addition to ETSU, Rodriguez had offers from Wichita State, Portland and St. Bonaventure. According to JucoRecruiting.com he also had interest from Iowa State, East Carolina, Houston and Pitt. Additionally JucoRecruiting rated Rodriguez as the 16th best JUCO basketball player for 2017.

Assistant Northwest Florida State basketball coach, Rory Kuhn, had this to say about Rodriguez: “Jeromy has a high motor and gives relentless effort, he is one of the hardest working and hardest playing bigs in the country.”

Rodriguez will join Bo Hodges (class AA Mr. Basketball in Tennessee) in the 2017-2018 signing class. Forbes and the ETSU basketball coaching staff still have a busy spring ahead of them as they look to fill the remaining four scholarships.

Tweet below confirming the commitment of Jeromy Rodriguez

Highlights from Rodriguez during his HS days at Pope John XXIII Regional High School

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Socon Champs ETSU to play Florida in the NCAA Tournament

ETSU Reaction

After winning the 2017 Southern Conference tournament last week the Bucs learned on Sunday that they will play the Florida Gators in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday at 3:10PM in Orlando Florida.

ETSU will be making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2010 when they faced Kentucky as a 16 seed. This time around the Bucs will be a 13 seed, which is their highest seed since 2004. That year ETSU was a #13 as well and nearly upset Cincinnati, losing 76-73.

ETSU finished the regular season at 27-7, just one win away from tying a school record for wins.

The 4th seeded Florida Gators finished 24-8 and second in the SEC, however the Gators also lost three out of their last four, including a first round loss to Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament. Florida’s big man, John Egbunu, was also lost for the year due to an injury suffered on February 14th versus Auburn.

ETSU and Florida have three opponents in common from the regular season. Mercer, Tennessee and Mississippi State. Like ETSU, Florida beat both Mercer and Mississippi State. Only difference is Florida won at home versus Tennessee by 13 points, where ETSU lost at home to Tennessee by four points.

The Gators have opened as 10 point favorites but ETSU seems to be a favorite among several national sports broadcasters to pull off the upset, including Jon Rothstein of CBS and Jay Bilas of ESPN.

If ETSU wins it will be their first NCAA tournament win since 1992, which is when the Bucs famously beat the 3rd seeded Arizona Wildcats 87-80.

Below is the ETSU basketball’s team reaction to drawing Florida in the first round during the selection show.

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Bucs start conference play at 3-0

After a big come from behind victory on Saturday versus Mercer, the ETSU basketball team now sits atop the Socon standings as the only undefeated team at 3-0. The Bucs will look to continue their great play with a huge game against UNC-Greensboro on Thursday night. I’ll join the athletic departments request to #FillFreedom on Thursday night! The Spartans will come into Johnson City with a 12-5 overall record and 3-1 in the Socon with a big win over Chattanooga last week.

I expect this to be an exciting game that comes down to the wire. Both games against UNCG last year ended with ETSU hitting a last second shot to win in Johnson City and with ETSU closing the game on an 8-0 run against the Spartans in Greensboro for the win.

Come out and #FillFreedom on Thursday night!

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ETSU beats UNCG on last second three from T.J Cromer

T.J. Cromer

T.J Cromer scored 20 points and was 3-5 from the 3-point line including hitting the winning 3-point shot with 8 seconds left in the game. Cromer was not the only Buc that shot well from the 3-point line. As a whole ETSU tied a school record with 15 made 3-point shots. Ge’Lawn Guyn was 6-9 from the 3-point line with a career high 28 points and Lester Wilson shot 5-9 from beyond the arc with 17 points, which is a season high from Wilson.

The Bucs played in front of 3,078 energetic Buc fans, which is the second highest attended home game of the year. The game featured 11 ties and 11 lead changes. ETSU fell behind early, trailing by 13 points, but ETSU quickly cut into that lead and outscored UNCG 32-18 to finish the first half to lead by one point at halftime.

Neither team led by more than 5 points in the 2nd half and UNCG led by four with 2:18 left in the game, but ETSU was able to come away with the win thanks to Guyn’s and Cromer’s 3-point shooting late in the game.

ETSU will be back in action at Freedom Hall on Monday night, taking on SoCon foe VMI at 6 p.m.

Below are two different perspectives of the winning shot from last nights game.

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Deuce Bello makes SportsCenter Top 10 with dunk against EKU

Deuce Bello

Senior guard Deuce Bello made the SportsCenter Top 10 last night with a big dunk off a missed shot from GeLawn Guyn. The dunk came in at #5 on the countdown for the day. Additionally, the dunk came at a perfect time as ETSU was tied with Eastern Kentucky 71-71 before the dunk. It’s the second time this year that ETSU has made the SportsCenter top 10, the other time came against Wisconsin-Green when A.J. Merriweather made the top 10 highlights.

ETSU went on to win 87-81 to improve to 5-5 on the year. The Bucs next game will be Tuesday night in Knoxville win they take on Tennessee.

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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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ETSU Releases 2015-2016 Basketball Schedule

Today the ETSU Buccaneer faithful were delighted to hear that the men’s basketball team finally released the full schedule for the 2015-2016 season. ETSU will play 31 regular season games including 15 home games. Some of the non-conference home games include matches against Green Bay, UNC Wilmington, Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State. ETSU also goes on the road to play Villanova, Tennessee, Charleston Southern, Tennessee Tech, UNC-Asheville, NC Central and Georgia Tech. The Bucs begin conference play on January 2nd against Western Carolina in Cullowhee, NC.

Obviously, the most exciting non-conference home game should be the November 17th game against Wisconsin-Green Bay which is part of the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and will be played at 6AM. Last year Green Bay finished 2nd in the Horizon league with a 24-9 record. Even though the game is at 6AM I think it’s important that ETSU does everything possible to try and fill Freedom Hall and create an exciting atmosphere for the start of the season.

As for the away non-conference games ETSU will play three games in five days as part of the 2015 NIT Season Tip-Off. In those three games ETSU will play at Villanova on November 20th, at Georgia Tech on the 22nd and at Charleston Southern on the 24th. Other interesting road games will include ETSU visiting Tennessee for the second straight year on December 22nd and playing at NC Central on January 4th.

The 2015-2016 basketball schedule certainly presents some challenges for the Bucs, which will feature a completely new coaching staff and nine new players, especially with the trips to Villanova, Ga. Tech and Tennessee but it’s also very exciting to see how the Bucs will do against this tough competition.

The season is only two months away and I can’t wait for it to start. What are your opinions on the schedule?

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A recap of the 2015-2016 basketball recruiting class

With the signing of Deuce Bello yesterday, Steve Forbes and the rest of the coaching staff have completed the roster for the 2015-2016 season.

Here is a quick recap of the players that Steve Forbes and the rest of the coaching staff have signed since April.

T.J. Cromer

TJ-CromerT.J. Cromer is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound shooting guard from Albany, Georgia that averaged 20 points per game last season for Columbia State. He connected on 107 3-pointers and shot 46 percent from the three-point line. Cromer helped lead his Columbia State team to a 26-7 overall record in 2014-15. He was also named third team JUCO All-America and first team All-Region honors last year.

Nigel Holley

Nigel-HolleyNigel Holley is a a 6’8″, 220lbs PF from Wilmington. Holley comes to ETSU from Vincennes University where he averaged 3.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 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.

Shemar Johnson

Shemar-JohnsonShemar Johnson is a 6’6, 180lbs SG from Columbus, Miss. He averaged 16.3 ppg & 4.6 rpg, & 1.0 spg at Columbus HS. Johnson is a lefty shooting guard with some very long arms that can handle the ball well enough to play point as well. Being very athletic, he played well above the rim catching several lob passes through the backdoor. One of his favorite moves was his quick first step to the basket and then pull-up from about 10 to 12 feet. In addition to ETSU he also had offers from Murray State, Southern Illinois and Tennessee Tech.

Hanner Mosquera-Perea

Hanner-Mosquera-PereaHanner Mosquera-Perea is a 6’9 225lbs PF from Istmina, Colombia. Perea has spent the last three seasons at Indiana University where he played 20 minutes a game and averaged 6.5 ppg & 4.3 rpg and led the Hoosiers in blocked shots. He was a top 50 player out of high school and might be considered one of the most highly touted recruits to ever play at ETSU. Hanner will have to sit out this season but will be available in 2016-2017.

Ge’Lawn Guyn

GeLawn-GuynGe’Lawn Guyn is a 6’2 185lbs PG from Lexington, KY. Guyn has spent the last three seasons at Cincinnati University where he averaged 2.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg and 1.0 apg. He started all 34 games for Cincinnati as a junior and is eligible immediately at ETSU since he has graduated from Cincinnati. He is an experienced, strong guard and known as an impressive defender.

Abednego “Bennie” Lufile

Abednego-LufileAbednego Lufile is a 6-foot-7, 240-pound forward from Burlington, Canada. He averaged 12.3 points and 8.6 rebounds at Sheridan Junior College in Wyoming. His brother Chadrack played for Forbes at Wichita State. He was rated as the 16th best player in Canada coming out of high school.

Tevin Glass

Tevin-GlassTevin Glass is a 6’8 195lbs forward from Norcross, GA. Glass comes to ETSU from Wichita State where he averaged 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in limited playing time. He appeared in 19 games. Before Wichita State Glass played for Coach Forbes at Northwest Florida State College, where he averaged 12.0 points and 5.8 rebounds as a sophomore. Glass has to sit out this season but won’t count against the school’s scholarship total this year. He’s reportedly paying his own way until a scholarship becomes available next season.

Toriano Stokes

Toriano-StokesToriano Stokes is a 6’8 230lbs center from Memphis, Tennessee. He averaged 16 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks a game last season for Memphis Westwood High School. He reportedly had a dunk in every game and had six in one. Stokes was a finalist for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. He was listed as the 12th-best recruit coming out of Memphis. With a 7’1″ wingspan and a 9’4″ standing reach Stokes will immediately add size and athleticism to the Bucs’ front court.

Deuce Bello

Deuce-BelloDeuce Bello is a 6’4 198lbs SG from Greensboro, NC. Bello starred at Westchester Country Day School in High Point, North Carolina, was a top 50 player out of high school and considered one of the top athletes in his class. He spent two seasons at Baylor University before transferring to University of Missouri where he averaged 1.8 ppg in limited playing time. He is expected to bring a tremendous amount of athleticism to ETSU.

The new commits will join Peter Jurkin (red-shirted last season) Petey McClain, Lester Wilson, A.J. Merriweather, Isaac Banks and Desonta Bradford.

While the roster for the upcoming season is complete we will continue to closely follow recruiting for the 2016-2017 season.

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