Welcome Coach Steve Forbes!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted but with a new era of ETSU basketball starting I thought now would be as good as time as ever to welcome coach Steve Forbes to East Tennessee State. I for one am very excited about coach Forbes starting. Three weeks ago when the search began for a new basketball coach I heard Steve Forbes name as one of the possible candidates, after reading up on what he has accomplished in his coaching career I knew this is who I wanted as our coach.

Coach Forbes comes to us from Wichita State where he was an assistant under Gregg Marshall. During his time at Wichita State the Shockers went 65-6 and received a #1 seed in the 2014 NCAA tournament.

Before coming to Wichita State Forbes was the head coach at Northwest Florida State where in two seasons he went 61-6.

Forbes also spent five years at the University of Tennessee as an assistant under Bruce Pearl. During his time there the Vols made 5 NCAA tournament appearances, including three sweet sixteens and their first ever elite 8 appearance.

Additionally, Forbes served as an assistant at Texas A&M, Illinois State, Louisiana Tech and Idaho.

In case you missed it, below is the full press conference.

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ETSU Releases 2013-2014 Basketball Schedule

2013-2014 Basketball Schedule

Today the ETSU men’s basketball team released the full schedule for the 2013-2014 season. According to ETSUbucs.com ETSU will play a record 17 home regular season games this year, 19 if you include the 2 exhibition games. Some of the non-conference home games include matches against Valparaiso, Winthrop, Morehead State and Austin Peay. ETSU also goes on the road to play Charlotte, Western Kentucky and Georgia Tech. The Bucs begin conference play on January 4th against Kennesaw State in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Perhaps the most interesting games on the schedule are the “Roundball Showcase” games which is 3 games over a span of nine days that will be played in the Freedom Hall Civic Center in Johnson, City. Those three games will be against Samford, Stephen F. Austin and Marshall. There was a rumor a few months ago that majority of the home games might be played inside of Freedom Hall this upcoming season. It turns out the only games that will be played in Freedom Hall are the 3 “Roundball Showcase” games. I believe it will be an interesting experiment to see how the games at Freedom Hall play out, both from an attendance and basketball atmosphere standpoint. Opinions on playing at Freedom Hall seem to very split among ETSU fans based on the poll at the top of the page.

The 2013-2014 basketball schedule is certainly not one of the stronger schedules in recent years, however I believe that the idea of having 17 home games will be good for the team and the ETSU fans, especially after last years disappointing season.

What does everyone else think of the schedule? Are you okay with a weaker schedule in exchange for more home games?

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Isaac Banks Signs with ETSU

Isaac Banks

According to a recent tweet from NextUpRecruits Isaac Banks, class of 2013, has committed to ETSU with an official signing upcoming. Banks is a 6’7 forward out of John Curtis School in River Ridge, Louisiana, averaged 19 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks a game as a senior and was an all-metro, all-district and all-state selection two years in a row during his prep career. He is described as “a long athletic forward who can handle the ball.” Banks did not play AAU ball and as a result went largely unnoticed and can potentially be a steal for ETSU.

Although there is no official word yet but it appears that Isaac Banks will become the 13th scholarship player for the upcoming season. Welcome to ETSU Isaac!

Update 8/15/13: As expected, Isaac Banks has officially signed with ETSU.

 

Below is a clip of from Isaac Banks’ Senior year

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Adam Sollazzo signs with Basket Ravenna Piero Manetti

Adam Sollazzo
Adam Sollazzo - Basket Ravenna
Adam Sollazzo signs with Basket Ravenna Piero Manetti

On Saturday former ETSU guard Adam Sollazzo signed a professional contract with Basket Ravenna Piero Manetti, as he makes his Italian league debut. Adam is the first foreign basketball player to play in the city of Ravenna. Last season Adam played in a professional league in Germany for Uni Riesen Leipzig. During his time in Germany he averaged 19 points per game while shooting 46% from the field and 34% from three point range, with 7 rebounds and 4 assists per game.

This is what the owner Roberto Vianello said about Adam: I am proud and happy to be the first president to ink a foreign player in the history of this city. I’m faithful that Sollazzo could write important pages of our sporting course and that will help us achieve the goal we have set for the next season. I am equally sure that the arrival of Adam will galvanize our supporters and will give more trust to those who want to help us to complete the search of resources that enable us to make a championship as we imagine.

Here is what Adam had to say after being signed: I am very happy to be able to make my debut in the Italian league and excited about the idea of being able to measure with a tournament that can open my good name and good career prospects. Italy, the country of origin of my grandparents (born in Potenza, Basilicata), who moved to the United States in the twenties, is a special place in my heart: the idea of being able to play in a nation that has a special meaning has impressed me from the beginning.

Congrats to Adam! We will continue to track Adam Sollazzo’s professional career. Below are a few more links on his signing with Basket Ravenna.

http://www.ilrestodelcarlino.it/ravenna/sport/basket/2013/07/20/922778-acmar-acquisto-adam-sollazzo-americano.shtml

http://www.sportando.net/ita/italia/legadue/59891/basket-ravenna-firmato-adam-sollazzo.html

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John Walton transferring

According to a few sources it appears John Walton has decided to transfer from ETSU after only two seasons with the Bucs. I’ve been hearing the rumor for a few weeks now but hesitated posting anything about it without confirmation. However, the rumor seems to be true since Walton does not appear on the updated roster which was recently released on ETSUbucs.com.

Walton is the 3rd player to transfer from the Bucs this off-season, Mario Stramaglia and Yunio Barrueta being the others. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, the loss of players from ETSU basketball in the last couple of seasons is alarming and certainly does not reflect well on Bartow.

Walton averaged 5.7 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game for the Bucs this past season and showed a lot of improvement over his first season with the Bucs. I’m hearing he’ll be transferring to Troy, so good luck to John!

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Update: ETSU extends offer to Eddie Keith

Eddie Keith

Following up on a story from last week. ETSU has extended an offer to Eddie Keith, a 6’4″ 180lbs SG from Orlando. Keith also received two more offers, from UTPA and LaSalle. We will continue to follow Eddie Keith in the recruiting process.

Update 8/9/13: Eddie Keith has narrowed his list of offers from 19 down to 6. (ETSU, App St, Lamar, IPFW, FIU, & Jacksonville)

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ETSU Basketball considering move to Freedom Hall

Freedom Hall in Johnson City TN
Freedom Hall
Freedom Hall in Johnson City TN

According to a report from WCYB, ETSU is considering moving basketball games to Freedom Hall for the upcoming season and possibly even permanently. While Freedom Hall only sits about 6,500 for basketball and is a couple of miles of campus it is specifically designed for basketball, unlike the Dome, and could make for a better basketball atmosphere as well. Obviously, Freedom Hall will need to undergo some major renovations if this is going to happen. The only way I can see it working is if the renovations include transforming Freedom Hall to be branded as an ETSU facility and moving the scoreboard, the new lighting rig, banners and etc to Freedom Hall as well.

Of course the major concern with this possible move is the fact that Freedom Hall is about 2 miles from campus. Student attendance is already suffering, would it suffer more if the basketball arena is off campus? I think a possible solution could be a shuttle service for students that did not feel like making the short trip.

What is your opinion on a possible move to Freedom Hall for all basketball games? Please see the poll on the right side of the page to cast your vote.

See the full video and report from WCYB

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