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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Scouting the Newcomers-Ron Giplaye, 6’6″ 230 lb PF

Ron Giplaye

 Scouting Report:

  • Giplaye’s physicality and upper body strength have always been his biggest assets. He’s added even more muscle to his frame this fall and now boasts a powerful, college ready body. Pound for pound he’s one of the best rebounds you’ll find….    ~ESPN Insider
  • “He’s a big body and should definitely help us on the interior…He played in the Big East, so he obviously has high-major talent. His greatest strength is his ability to rebound and defend the post.” ~Coach Bartow
  • “He has muscles in places most people don’t even have places…He’s a very strong physical player. He went to Wilmington (Del.) High School and transferred to Notre Dame Prep. “He’s a power player, good athlete, plays hard around the rim, very strong and  physical.”  ~Recruiting Analyst Tom Konchalski   http://www.zagsblog.com/2009/07/10/ron-giplaye-to-providence

Resume:

  • Providence College: Averaged 6.5 mpg, 1.5 ppg, 1. 8 rpg
  • Notre Dame Prep: 18 ppg & 13 rpg

Former Buc Comparison: Dillion Sneed

Ron GiplayeMost Buc fans remember Dillion Sneed, the bruiser from Chicago via Colby Community College who led the SOCON in rebounding in 2005 (9.5 rpg & 9.7 ppg).  In his two years with the Bucs, Sneed established himself as a ferocious rebounder and a tireless worker on the glass.  Like Sneed, Giplaye arrives at ETSU with the reputation of a superb rebounder and a gritty post defender.

Anticipated Role:

Although Giplaye will have to sit this year due to mandated NCAA transfer rules, he will undoubtedly bring toughness and intensity to practices.   This year’s frontcourt players will have the opportunity to practice everyday against Giplaye, a player who has played against the nation’s premiere post players in the Big East.  Giplaye has defended future NBA big men. His experience defending the nation’s best cannot be overstated.

At first glance, Giplaye’s modest production at Providence may seem unimpressive.  However, when one considers these numbers in the context of the Big East, these numbers carry greater significance.  Consider, for example, that Giplaye guarded 7′ 280 lb Andre Drummond of UCONN–the number one prospect in the class of 2011 and the number 9 pick in the 2012 NBA draft.   Even when Giplaye wasn’t guarding NBA lottery picks, he still guarded forwards from Georgetown, Syracuse, Pitt, Louisville, West Virginia, etc.  On the other end of the floor, he had to score on these guys.  Giplaye’s numbers belie his ability and potential.

Giplaye’s toughness, relentlessness, rebounding, and defense will help anchor a formidable frontcourt in 2013-14. His skills will blend well with the versatility of KGG, the athleticism of Lester Wilson, the length of John Walton, and a similarly relentless Hunter Harris.

In conclusion, although Ron Giplaye will not play this year for the Bucs, he will still serve a very critical role for this year’s team.  In addition, Giplaye can use this year to improve his offensive skills.

Welcome Ron!

Highlights:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6wOhjGOhAc[/youtube]

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Lester Wilson-6’4″ 205 lb F, Knoxville, TN

Lester Wilson

Introduction (by swvabucsfan):

Lester Wilson
“Basketball wise he is undersized for the forward position, but we think he is a lot like Kevin Tiggs in the sense that he doesn’t fit a position. He is a high-major athlete and is unbelievably efficient from 10 feet and in.” ~Coach Bartow

Lester’s comment on arriving at ETSU last year was how great it was that he could now go to the weight room any time he wanted.  This indicates the kind of work ethic that he brings to the game.  Although a glance at Lester this year tells you right away how he’s been spending his time.  “The Action Figure” is noticeably bigger and stronger than last year.  He showed admirable commitment and patience in taking a redshirt year last year to improve his skills.  Although still not a polished or complete player, he is already able to score the ball with range beyond the arc as his performance against UT players in the Rocky Top League indicates.

If he keeps that Tommy Hubbard work ethic, he can expect to continue with the kind of improvement by leaps and bounds that Tommy showed over his career.  But Lester has power, speed and athleticism that Tommy could only dream about.   Whatever you see from him this fall, know this:  there is better, much better, to come.

Rocky Top League-7/02/12:

Lester Wilson
The Action Figure

Lester Wilson, fittingly dubbed the action figure, dropped 49 pts. on July 2nd in the Rocky Top League. The (Pilot) Rocky Top League games are held in the sweltering Bearden High School gym in Knoxville. Although these games are primarily a showcase for UT basketball players, it was Lester who was getting “oohs and aahs” from the UT-centric crowd (as well as snickers about UT’s lack of recruiting interest in him). These matters aside, it was clear why Lester is nicknamed the action figure: His physique is chiseled, like that of an action figure. He is built like Terrell Owens, and like Terrell Owens, has great length and speed down the floor. In addition, he has huge mitts, allowing him to palm the ball with ease.

It should be noted that defense is not at a premium in the Rocky Top League. Any defense is token at best, so Lester’s 49 were not exactly against Gary Payton-like defenders. Nevertheless, Buc fans should be thrilled about Lester’s debut as a Buccaneer in a few months. First and foremost, Lester possesses spectacular athleticism, matching his action-figure physique. He was dunking with power and ease, and with a little flair. His dunks rattled the rim, prompting the entertaining MC to sing Lester’s praises. In addition to his leaping ability, he runs the floor extremely well. He never appeared winded either, and it was HOT in that little gym.

Lester Wilson
A supremely gifted athlete that plays with passion and is very coachable, describes this Knoxville phenom. Wilson can play above the rim scoring off the interior feed or using his speed, which is big time receiver fast, to finish with a flurry on the break. ~ESPN Insider

In watching Lester, it was difficult to “box him in” with respect to position. His game fits most closely to a ‘4’, but he is probably the height of a ‘3’. Will he be able to guard a taller ‘4’? Will he be able to guard a quicker ‘3’? I’ll be curious to see how Bartow uses him. Tommy Hubbard and Kevin Tiggs held their own quite well against taller players, and I think that Lester’s strength, length, and athleticism will compensate for his relative lack of height.

Questions aside, Lester’s athleticism will allow him to be a productive freshman. I suspect that he is more athlete than basketball player at this point in career, which means that he has not even begun to scratch the proverbial surface of his potential.

Resume:

  • 27 ppg, 13 rpg in high school
  • All-district, all-region all four years of high school

Highlights:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmfUiJVz5yE[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLTBkrKlREs[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsy_4kzbQJU[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-WVpCqlpO0[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH03AXIHmLU[/youtube]

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Scouting the Newcomers: Yunio Barrueta, 6’4″ 215 lb SF, Miami, FL

Yunio Barrueta

“Yunio reminds us a lot of a young Mike Smith — thick and powerful,” said Bartow, referring to the A-Sun player of the year two seasons ago. “He’s only 6-4 but he’s really put together, very strong, and we may be able to play him all over the floor like we did Mike.” http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Sports/article.php?id=101396

Highlights:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OToH_5UVOuQ[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy27necHrtw[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTInorxNjDo[/youtube]

 

 

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Scouting the Newcomers-Hunter Harris, Nashville, TN via Volunteer State

Hunter Harris
“Hunter had a 40-point, 20-rebound game as a freshman, and over his two years he averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds a game. But the best thing about him is that even though he’s that good, he doesn’t show it. He is a really humble kid and he just plays hard all the time. If the ball is loose or he’s going after a rebound, he’s playing at one rate of speed and that’s hard.” Coach Rusty Melvin, Volunteer State
Hunter Harris
“The first thing you notice about Hunter is that he has a great motor…He plays with a tremendous energy, and he’s very bouncy and athletic. He can score the basketball, he can really rebound, and we also like his versatility.” Coach Bartow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hunter Harris, 6’6″ 235 lb PF, Nasvhille, TN via Volunteer State

Resume:

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Scouting the Newcomers: Kinard Gadsen-Gilliard, aka KGG

Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard

 6′ 6″ 250 F Georgetown, SC via Roane State

Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard“Kinard is a versatile player that can score the basketball inside and out….He’s also a great passer, can defend multiple positions, and is a good rebounder. We like his skill level and he’s a quality young man. His junior college coach Randy Nesbitt did a great job with him at Roane State.”  ~ Coach Bartow (etsubucs.com)

“I really think the best is ahead of him…He wasn’t really a scorer when he first came to us, but he’s developed into a guy that can come down and pull a 3-pointer with a defender on him. He’s also been able to post up and score for us. He’s gotten better and better during his time here.” ~Coach Nesbitt (etsubucs.com)

Resume:

Highlights:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECkGOihnWrw[/youtube]

 

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Scouting the Newcomers: Mario Stramaglia, 6’2″, 180lb SG, Birmingham, AL

Mario Stramaglia
Mario Stramaglia

“You’re not going to find too many kids like him,” Mountain Brook boys basketball coach Bucky McMillan said. “He’s the hardest-working player I’ve ever been around. It’s impossible for anyone to work harder than him. He’s the last player to leave the weight room and the last one to leave the gym. And when he’s not at our gym he goes to the gym at Mountain Brook Baptist Church to shoot. “He makes 1,500 shots a day. I’m not talking about taking 1,500. He makes 1,500 even if it takes him five hours to do it.”  http://highschoolsports.al.com/news/article/6446635807782733953/super-mario-stramaglia-has-bright-future-for-mountain-brook/

“Mario is a two-guard and a big-time shooter….He’s a strong, powerful and athletic player who can really score. We are very excited about what he can bring to our program.”  ~Coach Bartow

Written by bucfaithful & swvabucsfan:

An unusual combination guard.  Like fellow Alabaman McClain, Mario is a physical 6’0” who has put in time in the weight room.  He’s got good jumping ability, able to drive and finish with a slam, and sometimes jumping center for his high school team.  But his greatest asset is a classic jump shot from all points along the arc.  He’s a real competitor, but may have to have a little patience this year with senior guards Sheldon Cooley, Marcus Dubose and Jarvis Jones already aboard.  You really need to see the highlight films to get a sense of what he can do

Resume:

  • Stramaglia, a 6-foot-1 guard who is entering his senior season at Mountain Brook High School, averaged 18 points and five rebounds a game as a junior, while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range. The 1,000-point scorer has averaged double-figure scoring in each of his previous three high school seasons, and was picked to participate in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s North/South All-Star Game. He was also an All-Metro, All-Area and All-State selection last season (etsubucs.com)
  • Named part of the “Super 8” (One of the best 8 players in Alabama)
  • Mountain Brooks High School’s all-time leading scorer

 

Highlights:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDjnGMFFX74&feature=related[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ-XKy-oXfY&feature=relmfu[/youtube]

 

 

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Scouting the Newcomers: Petey McClain, 6′ 185 lb PG, Mobile, AL

Petey McClain

Petey McClainLorenzo Petey McClain

“We love his speed and he has a great motor….Petey really knows how to compete and knows how to run a team. He can score and is phenomenal off the dribble.” ~Coach Bartow

Written by bucfaithful and swvabucsfan

This first installment of “Scouting the Newcomers” profiles Lorenzo “Petey” McClain.  Petey arrives at ETSU with great expectations and big shoes to fill following the graduation of Adam Sollazzo.

Many Buc fans have been yearning for a throwback to the explosive small point guards of yester year: Mr. Jennings, Timmy Smith, Jason Niblett, Eric Palmer.   They’re hoping that ‘Petey’ may provide it in a physical, 6’0” package.   He’s drawn early praise from Courtney Pigram among others.  Murry will give him every chance to get significant minutes at the point.

Resume:

 

Highlights:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3i1yrXruK8[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW8LQGbdAL4[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt57djn5U6c[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXzD1t62hxE&sns=tw[/youtube]

 

 

 

 

 

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