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Bucs picked third in preseason poll

CONTRIBUTED BY ETSU ATHLETICS

SPARTANBURG – The ETSU men’s basketball team was picked to finish third, while brothers Ledarrius Brewer (Meridian, Miss.) and Ty Brewer (Meridian, Miss.) landed spots on the all-conference team, as the Southern Conference announced its preseason accolades on Wednesday.

The Bucs are coming off a historic season where the Blue and Gold went 30-4 overall and 16-2 in the SoCon en route to sweeping both the regular season and tournament championships.

The 30 wins set a program record, while ETSU became just the fourth team in the 100-year history of the SoCon to reach the 30-win mark.

The Bucs finished the season ranked No. 26 in the Coaches Poll and No. 27 in the AP Poll, while being just one of four programs to register 30 wins last year – joining No. 2 Gonzaga (31), No. 6 San Diego State (30) and Liberty.

The 2020-21 Buccaneer roster will have a much different look as ETSU lost all five starters and return three players that saw minutes from last year’s championship squad – Vonnie Patterson, Charlie Weber and Jordan Coffin.

In addition, Jason Shay moved from assistant to head coach after Steve Forbes was named head coach at Wake Forest back in April. Despite all the changes, the Bucs will have four NCAA Division I transfers ready to play.

Silas Adheke (Northern Kentucky), Ledarrius Brewer (Southeast Missouri State), Ty Brewer (Southeastern Louisiana) and Serrel Smith( Maryland) have combined to play in 230 games (109 starts), totaling 1,687 points, 817 rebounds, 168 assists, 143 steals and 75 blocks.

In the coaches poll, UNCG, Furman, ETSU, Mercer and Wofford made up the top five teams. Furman generated the most first-place votes with five, while UNCG (four) and ETSU (one) accounted for the other votes.

Two points separated both UNCG and Furman, 76-74, while the Bucs tallied 63 points, Mercer had 56 and Wofford totaled 47. The media had the top two teams reversed with Furman picking up 16 first-place votes (278 total) and UNCG bagging nine for 274 points. The Bucs had four first-place nods for 211 points.

This season marks the first year the Brewer’s will play for the Blue and Gold after Ledarrius sat out last year after transferring from Southeast Missouri State, while Ty was granted a NCAA waiver in August as he played his first two seasons at Southeastern Louisiana.

In two seasons at SEMO, Ledarrius averaged 13.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 59 games (49 starts). Brewer scored in double figures 44 times, including a career-high 34 points on 11-of-18 shooting (7-of-10 from three) against Eastern Illinois on Feb. 15, 2018.

Overall, Brewer – who was named to the Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer Team in 2018 – scored 805 points and registered 118 made three-pointers for the Redhawks. He also shot 40 percent from the field (277-689), 34 percent from beyond the arc (118-351) and 74 percent at the free throw line (133-180).

Ty totaled 563 points, 313 rebounds, 56 steals and 31 blocks in 57 career games (31 starts) at Southeastern Louisiana.

This past season, as a sophomore, Brewer played in all 31 games (28 starts), averaging 14.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. Brewer ranked fifth in the Southland Conference in rebounding and field goal percentage (.479) and 10th in scoring this season.

The Meridian, Miss. native also scored in double figures 24 times, including seven games with over 20 points and tallied nine double-doubles. In three games against Power-5 programs (Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State) this past season, Brewer averaged 23.3 points and 10.0 rebounds, while shooting 58 percent (30-of-52) from the field.

Joining the Brewer’s on the preseason all-conference team, were Furman’s Mike Bothwell, Noah Gurley and Clay Mounce, Mercer’s Ross Cummings and Jeff Gary, Chattanooga’s David Jean-Baptiste, Western Carolina’s Mason Faulkner and Wofford’s Storm Murphy.

UNCG’s Isaiah Miller was named Preseason Player of the Year.

The Bucs open the 2020-21 season on Nov. 25 against Abilene Christian in the Gulf Coast Showcase.

For more information on Buccaneer men’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s basketball tab.