JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2010) -- In their final regular season tune up before the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, the ETSU Buccaneers' men's basketball team will take on league champion Jacksonville Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. inside the Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Bucs (16-14 overall, 12-7 A-Sun) still find themselves battling for seeding heading into the season's final day of action. Meanwhile, the Dolphins wrapped up at least a share of the league title with their win over Campbell Thursday night.
For more on the matchup, click the game notes link above or read the game notes located below.
Winning their second straight game with a 61-46 win over North Florida and assuring themselves of at least a .500 season, the ETSU Buccaneers will end the regular season Saturday at 2 p.m. taking on the Jacksonville Dolphins ... The Bucs improved to 16-14 overall, 12-7 in Atlantic Sun Conference play, while the Dolphins assured themselves of at least a share of the A-Sun regular season title with a win over Campbell Thursday evening ... ETSU and JU met in the championship of the A-Sun Tournament a year ago, with the Bucs prevailiing and earning a trip to the NCAAs ... The Bucs hope to continue to build momentum as they prepare for next week's Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament ... Preseason All Atlantic Sun Conference pick Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) has been out for much of the season and will applie for a medical redshirt to hopefully rejoin the Bucs in 2010-11 ... In Smith's absence, Tommy Hubbard (Boston), along with Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) and Micah Williams (Manchester) have stepped up their games. In fact, Hubbard has posted double-doubles 13 times this season. ... Currently, Hubbard and Tubbs lead the team in scoring, with Hubbard averaging 13.9 points per game, and Tubbs pitching in 12.4 a contest ... Williams is the only other ETSU player averaging double figures with 11.5 a contest.
The series against Jacksonville
ETSU and Jacksonville have met 11 times with the Buccaneers holding a 7-4 edge in the all-time series ... Since joining the A-Sun in 2005-06, the Bucs are 6-2 against the Dolphins, including an 85-68 win over the JU in the finals of the A-Sun Tournament last March ... The Bucs only losses to JU since joining the conference came in 2007 and 2009 during trips to JU ... ETSU won the last meeting between the two schools back on Dec. 21, 2009 in Johnson City, 93-70
Last time against Jacksonville
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 21, 2009) - Trailing by five at 27-22 with 6:39 left in the first half, the ETSU men's basketball was able to find its stride offensively and ultimately outscored Jacksonville by 28 points the rest of the game, winning 93-70 in a key early season Atlantic Sun Conference matchup at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... A crowd of 3,271 looked on as four ETSU players scored in double figures, while junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) posted his seventh double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Buccaneers' attack. The Bucs - who will not play again until a Jan. 4 road trip to USC Upstate - enter the Christmas break with a perfect 2-0 A-Sun record and 6-7 overall mark. Meanwhile, Jacksonville - the preseason league favorite - falls to 1-7, 0-2. ... While Hubbard finished with yet another double-double, junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) pitched in a team high 17 points, junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) tossed in 16, and sophomore guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) added 14 in the winning effort. Meanwhile, freshman point guard Bruce Grimm (Rochester, Ind.) made just his second career start and responded with six points, six assists and four steals, while turning the ball over just twice. ... For Jacksonville, A-Sun preseason player of the year Ben Smith finished with a game high 32 points, while Travis Cohn netted 15. ... Early on, this meeting of regular A-Sun contenders and a rematch of the 2009 league tournament title game looked liked the battle that was expected. Both teams traded the lead in the opening 14 minutes and the Dolphins even pushed out to their largest advantage of the contest at 27-22. However, the Bucs answered that charge by outscoring JU 19-5 to close out the half and lead 41-32 at the break. ... After the intermission, the Bucs kept the pressure on and never let up, outscoring the Dolphins 25-12 over the first 10 minutes of the second half, and ultimately holding a lead of as many as 35 at 93-58 with 2:32 left.
Last time out
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2010) - Forcing North Florida into 19 turnovers and outscoring the Ospreys 23-7 off those miscues, the ETSU men's basketball team's play on the defensive end proved critical as the Buccaneers enjoyed a 61-46 victory in Atlantic Sun Conference action Thursday night at the UNF Arena. ... While the Bucs held UNF to just 30 percent shooting for the game and swiped 10 steals, ETSU got a team-high 14 points from freshman guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) in the victory. In addition, ETSU got 10 points apiece from guards Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) and Micah Williams (Manchester), as the Bucs' bench outscored the Ospreys' subs, 28-12. ... The Bucs managed to win despite shooting just 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from the free throw line, but ETSU did hit on 42 percent from the field. UNF held a 46-36 edge on the boards, but the Ospreys were just 2-of-21 from beyond the 3-point arc. ... In the first half, the Bucs built a lead of as many as nine points at 22-13 when Sollazzo hit a layup at the 4:59 mark. UNF answered to pull back to within five at 24-19 with 3:04 left, but six straight points from the Bucs - capped by another Sollazzo score with three second left in the half - made it 30-19 at the break. ... The Bucs enjoyed their 11-point advantage despite hitting on just 3-of-9 shots from the free throw line. However, ETSU connected on 42 percent of its shots from the field in the first 20 minutes, while using their fullcourt defense to hold the Ospreys to just 29 percent shooting from the floor and an 0-for-8 clip from 3-point range. ... After the break, the Bucs kept the defensive pressure on the Ospreys early and used multiple UNF turnovers to build their lead to as many as 16 at 39-23 with 16:19 left in the game. UNF managed to cut that advantage to nine points midway through the second half, but that would be as close as the Ospreys would get as the Bucs pushed back out to a 19-point advantage late in the game. ... The Ospreys were led offensively by Andy Diaz with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Jan. 30 not a good day for Bucs
For the second year in a row, the Buccaneers dropped a critical overtime game on Jan. 30 ... One year ago, the Bucs fell 82-72 at Jacksonville, in a game that Dolphins' guard Ben Smith hit a long range 3-pointer to tie the game in regulation and force the extra period ... The Bucs again found themsevles in an overtime game on Jan. 30, losing a nine-point lead in regulation with six minutes left and ultimately giving up a five-point lead in OT to fall to Lipscomb, 85-84.
Century mark not usual for ETSU defense
Giving up 100 points in the loss to Belmont (1/23/10) was not usual for the Buccaneers ... Before that game, the Bucs had not given up 100 or more point in over two years ... The last time it happened was on Dec. 15, 2007, when the Bucs lost to Syracuse 125-75 ... This season, the most points the ETSU defense had allowed was 85, in games at Arkansas and UAB ... For the year, the ETSU defense is giving up an average of just 67.0 points per game.
Jones steps up at the point
Coming off the bench to play the point guard position in the Bucs' last game against Lipscomb, sophomore guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) answered in a big way with a career high 17 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with .4 seconds left in regulation ... Jones played 23 minutes in the game and was 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
Williams bringing more offense to the table
Junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) has worked his way into the starting lineup thanks to more consistent play on the offensive end ... He has scored in double figures in 16 of his last 21 games, and recently matched his season high with 22 points against Stetson (2/6) ... He most recently scored 10 in the win over North Florida (2/25) ... Currently, Williams is one of three Bucs averaging double figures scoring this year with 11.5 points per game.
Hubbard steps up game in 2009-10
Much has been written and reported about junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) and his efforts to improve his offensive game, and those strides have led to some solid numbers ... He currently leads the Bucs with 13.9 points per game and 8.6 rebounds a contest ... while he has posted 13 double doubles on the year, his efforts began to pay off on the offensive end against Chattanooga back on Nov. 17 ... Setting career bests for points (26) and rebounds (13), Hubbard collected his first career double-double against the Mocs ... In addition, he hit his first 3-point shot in three seasons with the Bucs, and didn't stop there -- ultimately finishing with four long-range bombs on the night.
Record setting night from the arc for Bucs
Hitting on 11-of-14 shots from 3-point range against Arkansas, the Bucs put their name in a multiple of record books ... First, those numbers set a new school record for 3-point field goal percentage in a game with a 78.6 percent mark, breaking the previous record of 66.7 percent which had been done three times previously ... In addition, it was the best shooting effort in the "nation" this season for teams taking more than 10 shots in a game ... And it was the best percentage by a team in the A-Sun since Nov. 28, 1999 when UCF was 11-of-14 in a game against South Carolina state.
Sollazzo to honor Coy with number change
When ETSU's rising sophomore forward Seth Coy (Montgomery, Ind.) was tragically killed in a car accident this summer, it left the entire Buccaneer community with a deep sense of loss ... As is often the case, those that are left to mourn have looked for ways to remember the Bucs' 6-foot-11 "Gentle Giant." ... For sophomore guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), who was Coy's roommate, the answer was simple ... Changing his jersey number from No. 20 to Coy's No. 43, Sollazzo will play the 2009-10 season to honor his friend and have that memory with him each night.
ETSU the "only" A-Sun team picked among nation's best "Prestige" programs
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (July 22, 2008) - Since the beginning of the modern era for NCAA Division I-A basketball - marked by the expansion of the NCAA Tournament field to 64 teams in 1984-85 - the ETSU men's basketball program ranks in the Top 30 percent of the 300 programs that were eligible for the postseason at that time, this according to a new "Prestige" ranking released by ESPN.com ... The Buccaneers, who have enjoyed six NCAA Tournament trips, one NIT berth, seven 20-win seasons, and a slew of conference regular season and tournament championships since 1984-85, ranked tied for 82nd out of 300 teams, meaning they were in the Top 27 percent of schools making the list. ETSU was ranked ahead of every current Atlantic Sun Conference team, as well as former Southern Conference rivals Appalachian State, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro. The Bucs also were placed ahead of every current member of the Colonial Athletic Association with the exception of Old Dominion ... In addition, the Bucs ranked ahead of SEC schools such as Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Georgia, Mississippi and Auburn, as well as other major programs such as Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, DePaul, Bradley, Clemson, California and Florida State.