The East Tennessee State Buccaneers put their experiment on national display this morning in hosting the Green Bay Phoenix for the 6 am tip of the College Hoops Marathon? New Bucs head man Steve Forbes has put together a roster that has drawn some controversy but also a lot of excitement in Johnson City.
After watching ETSU's 103-90 victory this morning it's very clear that the Bucs will be a force to be reckoned with in the Southern Conference. The Bucs are athletic as it gets on the mid-major level and the excitement in the stands matches the show fans are enjoying on the floor.
The ring leader for ETSU's efforts is Cincinnati transfer Ge'Lawn Guyn who scored 27 points while adding 8 rebounds and 4 assists this morning. Guyn helps facilitate a backcourt that also includes T.J. Cromer (17 points), Missouri transfer Deuce Bello (7 points), and plenty of other high energy talent.
In the paint Canadian transfer Abednego Lufile came off the bench for 10 points and 7 rebounds. The frontcourt is a bit of a work in progress with true big and Indiana transfer Peter Jurkin still trying to find his way. ETSU starters Isaac Banks and A.J. Merriweather combined for 22 points and 8 rebounds.
The Southern Conference should be on notice at the very least. ETSU has averaged 105 points through two games. With that being said, you can still tell the chemistry is not totally there for the Bucs and right now they are purely getting away with their athletic ability. It'll be interesting to see if they can keep this pace up throughout the season.
On the Green Bay side of the house the Phoenix should be just fine this year. Carrington Love continues to show his athleticism and leadership with another solid game this morning. Love finished with 22 points, which was second for the Phoenix behind Kenneth Lowe with 23 points. Jordan Fouse had 15 points and 13 boards for a double-double.
Green Bay may have one of the best and most experienced starting fives in the Horizon League, it's just going to come down to who steps up from their bench.
From here we'll see ETSU's toughest test of the season as they head to Philadelphia on Friday to take on #11 Villanova. Green Bay will play Georgia Tech on Thursday, a team that ETSU will match up with Sunday in a bit of irony.