This has been a busy month for new East Tennessee State head coach Steve Forbes, with three players transferring out and two committing to the Southern Conference program. Saturday night the Bucs landed another piece for its backcourt in the form of guard Ge’Lawn Guyn, who spent his first four seasons at Cincinnati.
News of Guyn’s commitment was first reported by Scout.com, and he’ll be eligible to play immediately for ETSU.
Due to a finger injury Guyn played in just two games for the Bearcats last season, and it was announced in early March that he’d been granted a release from his scholarship. Guyn played 19 minutes per game as a junior in 2013-14, and he averaged 21.5 minutes per game in the two contests he played in during the 2014-15 campaign.
For his entire career, Guyn averaged 3.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in just over 13 minutes of action per game. While the numbers certainly don’t jump off the page, Guyn gives ETSU another perimeter option to call upon with seniors Petey McClain and Lester Wilson, and sophomores Desonta Bradford and A.J. Merriweather being their most experienced returnees.
ETSU also adds junior college transfer T.J. Cromer and freshman Shemar Johnson to its backcourt. Guyn’s the second transfer from a Division I program to join ETSU this spring, with dismissed Indiana forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea being the first.
Prior to their win Saturday over Furman, East Tennessee State suffered yet another personnel loss. Sophomore guard Devin Harris, who’s averaging 6.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game on the season, suffered a sprained MCL in his knee during pregame warmups according to Jacob Young of WJHL News Channel 11.
Despite being 6-foot-4 Harris is one of East Tennessee State’s best rebounders, ranking second on the team in rebounding, and in the game prior to Saturday he accounted for 13 points and ten rebounds in 28 minutes of action in a win at UNCG. According to Young’s report, it’s currently unknown when Harris will be able to return to the lineup.
Now, we find out that Harris will be out indefinitely, but maybe not the rest of the season, because of a sprained MCL. Harris told News Channel 11 Sunday night that there’s no definite time table for his return, but he’s planning to be back with the team for the SoCon tournament the first week of March.
Harris was one of two players who weren’t available for head coach Murry Bartow, with leading scorer Jalen Riley missing the game to attend his grandmother’s funeral. Riley is expected to play Monday night in ETSU’s home finale according to Joe Avento of the Johnson City Press.
East Tennessee State’s interior depth took a hit earlier this week when senior forward Ron Giplaye suffered a knee injury on Wednesday. According to Joe Avento of the Johnson City Press Giplaye tore the patellar tendon in his knee, and the injury is a season-ending one.
The injury is the latest setback for Giplaye, who underwent open heart surgery in August 2013 and played in just five games last season. Through six games in 2014-15 Giplaye was averaging 4.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 18.2 minutes of action per game, leading the team in rebounding.
“Obviously, he’s an important guy,” ETSU head coach Murry Bartow said on Wednesday. “He’s our leading rebounder and one of our best post defenders. If we lose him, it would be tough for us right now.”
With East Tennessee State having played in just six games, there’s a chance that the program could petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility for Giplaye. Giplaye played two seasons at Providence College before transferring to ETSU in 2012.
Without Giplaye the Bucs will need even more from senior Alex Bates, who’s averaging 3.7 points and 3.5 rebounds in 12.5 minutes of action per game. Bates has started five of ETSU’s six games.