The ETSU men’s basketball team had a very impressive season, finishing with an overall record of 24-12 and a conference record of 14-4.
Entering into the Socon Tournament this year, ETSU had collected the second most single season Southern Conference wins in program history. The team advanced into the SoCon semi-finals after defeating Mercer with a score of 81-65.
The team then defeated Furman 84-76 and advanced to the Southern Conference final. Although they lost to arch rival Chattanooga 73-67, they definitely had a very impressive season.
The team finished the season with 24 wins which was the third most in ETSU history. When compared to the 2014 season, they increased their record by eight wins.
In 2015 the team was 83rd in the NCAA national RPI compared to 192 in 2014. Other highlights from last season include the team winning their game against Georgia Tech, who is part of the ACC, and getting their 17th 20-win season in program history.
In March, the team participated in the Inaugural Vegas 16 Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was the fourteenth postseason trip in school history.
All of their achievements resulted in a 25 percent increase in total ticket revenue and a 20 percent increase in total attendance this season.
Head Coach Steve Forbes received a contract enhancement following the successful season which includes a $30,000 increase to his base salary.
Going into the 2016 season, the team already has some impressive recruits signed up to play for the Buccaneers.
6-foot-3 guard Jermaine Long (New Orleans) has signed on to transfer from Allen County Community College and play for the Bucs. He was ranked 21st in the country in scoring last season and averaged 20.6 points per game. He made 73 3-pointers and shot 80.7 percent from the foul line.
Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.) is transferring from John A. Logan College to be a part of the team at ETSU. Also a guard, 6-foot-2 Payne ranked 11th in the country in scoring last year with 21.6 points per game. He was also Region 24 Player of the Year and participated in the 2016 NJCAA All-Star Game in Las Vegas. He chose ETSU over Cincinnati, Memphis, Georgia Tech, Southern Illinois, UNI, and Loyola.
Another impressive recruit for the 2016 season is David Burrell (Milwaukee) who will transfer from Southwest Tennessee Community College. The 6-foot-6 forward averaged 15.1 points per game last season, finishing as a Region 7 first-team selection and the Region 7 Tournament MVP. He chose ETSU over Washington State, Bradley, Southern Illinois, UIC, Eastern Michigan, and Drake.
Currently, Coach Forbes is taking part in the third annual Coca-Cola Game Time Tour. The promotional tour stops in Elizabethton, Greenville, and Knoxville, hoping to initiate excitement for ETSU athletics.
Students and locals should be sure to get involved with ETSU basketball next season and check for updates at ETSUBucs.com.