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?


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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ESPN – Bucs are superior to 64% of D1 programs.


ESPN – Bucs are superior to 64% of D1 programs.

ESPN has pegged ETSU as superior to almost 2/3’s of D1 basketball programs based on performance over the last 50 years.The Bucs are tied for 112th out of about 309 rated schools.The rankings by Harold Shelton of ESPN Stats & Information are at:http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/8298598/conference-breakdowns-50-50-rankings

Obviously the exercise is less than a science – which is good to remember when we see Chattanooga 67th, Montana 75th, Charlotte T-86th, Louisiana-Monroe 93rd, North Carolina A&T 94th, Drexel95th, LaSalle 96th, Northeastern 98th, Winthrop and Bucknell T-104th, and New Orleans T-110th.

And what on earth are we doing tied with Coppin State at 112th?  Coppin State??

The arbitrariness of the boundaries hurts some teams.A 50 year cutoff makes for a neat headline, but Ohio State, for example, can’t count the the 1960 national title or the great class with Jerry Lucas, John Havilicek, Bobby Knight and Mel Nowell.Which leaves the top ranked Ohio State center listed as Garry Bradds rather than Jerry Lucas. West Virginia and Cincinnati are deprived of Jerry West and Oscar Robertson. Indiana gets credit for the Knight years, but not Branch McCracken’s national titles. Indiana had great basketball before Bobby Knight was old enough to throw a chair. But you’ve got to draw the boundaries somewhere.

On the other hand, this list has the ETSU Bucs looking down at Valparaiso and Ball State T-118th, Mississippi State T-121st, Bradley 123rd, Virginia Tech T-126th, Navy 130th, Auburn T-144th, Marshall T-159th, Georgia 171st, Appy State T-180th, Penn State 210th, all of the OVC except Murry State (Belmont doesn’t qualify), all of the MAC except Miami and Ohio U., and all of the Southern except for Chattanooga, Charleston and Davidson.

The ETSU tradition can’t be ignored by anyone taking an honest look at the D1 basketball history.

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