JOHNSON CITY (Nov. 4, 2011) – The ETSU men’s basketball team will play its final preseason exhibition game Saturday, hosting NCAA Division II opponent Carson-Newman at 4 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
The Buccaneers are coming off a 101-72 win over Tusculum College in their first exhibition game last week, but will be without the services of senior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) and junior guard Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.) on Saturday. Dubose – who scored a game-high 30 points in the win over Tusculum – will miss with a rib injury, while Sollazzo is still recovering from an ankle injury suffered earlier this week in practice.
This will be the Bucs final tune up for the upcoming regular season, which will open on Nov. 12 when the team ventures to Blacksburg, Va., to take on Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia Tech. Game time for that matchup is 2 p.m.
For more on Saturday’s game, click on the link to the right, or read the game notes below.
We are “ETSU”
The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics would like to ask both the print and broadcast media to honor our request to be called “ETSU” ... East Tennessee State in first reference is acceptable, but subsequent references should be ETSU ... On TV graphics please use ETSU ... Our nickname is the Buccaneers, but Bucs is also acceptable.
While posting its highest RPI since the 2003-04 season, head coach Murry Bartow led the ETSU men’s basketball team to another successful season in 2010-11, a campaign that included 24 wins and ultimately ended with a run to the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament … Led by seniors such as Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) and all-conference performer Micah Williams (Manchester), the Bucs enjoyed impressive road wins at Atlantic 10 Conference member Dayton and Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State, while also finishing second in the A-Sun Conference standings … Along with Smith and Williams, fellow senior Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) continued to impress fans with his high-flying dunks, which twice landed him as the No. 1 play of the day on ESPN’s SportsCenter and earned him a spot in the national slam dunk championships … Unfortunately for the Bucs, Smith, Williams and Tubbs have departed, leaving the team with the unenviable task of having to replace over 42 points of offensive production from a year ago – equal to 60 percent of the team’s scoring in 2010-11 … The Bucs will begin looking for those offensive numbers from returning starters such as senior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) and senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.), while senior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) – a 2010 A-Sun all-conference and all-tournament performer – will return to the floor after taking a medical redshirt season a year ago … Other returning players looking to improve their production will include junior guards Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) and Jarvis Jones (Memphis), junior forwards J.C. Ward (Marietta) and Lukas Poderis (Tampa), and redshirt freshman point guard Ryan Woumn (Lynn, Mass.) … The Bucs have also added a talented recruiting class that includes three true freshman and one junior college transfer … As opposed to last season – when the team returned a bevy of talented and experienced players – the younger and more inexperienced Buccaneers will face more questions than usual this season when they take the floor to open the 2011-12 campaign at Virginia Tech on Nov. 12.
The series versus Carson Newman
The Bucs and Eagles have played preseason games several times in recent years, including a 96-61 win over the Eagles last November ... Both teams have also met in regular season action over the years, with ETSU holding a 32-20 advantage in the overall series ... The Bucs have won five straight in the series, and the last time the two teams met in regular season action was 1996.
Last time out against Carson-Newman
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 2, 2010) - Senior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) made a triumphant return and the ETSU men’s basketball team showcased its experience and athleticism in a 96-61 trouncing of Division II foe Carson-Newman in the 2010-11 exhibition opener for the Buccaneers at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... Smith, who missed much of last season with an injury and was granted a medical redshirt, returned to action and scored a game-high 25 points in the contest. Meanwhile, the Bucs - who led by as many as 21 points in the first half - displayed their fullcourt, trapping defense in the opening minutes of the second half to power a 23-0 run and put the game away. ... While Smith led the way offensively, the Bucs also got 17 points from senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester), 12 points from senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.), and 10 points apiece from junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) and sophomore guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa, Fla.). Meanwhile, Brown also posted a game-high eight rebounds and six blocks, with junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa, Fla.) dished out a game-high 10 assists. ... In the first half, the Bucs pulled out to an early lead thanks to a 13-0 run to open the game. That advantage grew to as many as 21 points at 36-15 with six minutes left in the half, but the Eagles managed to claw their way back into by outscoring the Bucs 16-11 the rest of the way to trail 47-33 at the break. ... Part of C-N’s ability to stay in the game came thanks to their 9-of-24 (37.5 percent) shooting from beyond the arc. However, the Bucs posted a 52.6 percent clip (20-of-38) from the field and out-rebounded the Eagles 26-20 to still hold a comfortable lead. ... In the second half, the Bucs never let the Eagles contemplate an upset. Going to their trapping, fullcourt defence, ETSU got multiple steals and several easy baskets to build a lead of 80-43 with just over 10 minutes left in the game. From there, the Bucs put the game on cruise control the rest of the way. ... For the Eagles, Ishmael Sanders had a team-high 17 points, while Antonio Sullivan and Erwin Staten added 12 apiece.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 29, 2011) – Junior transfer Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.) scored a game-high 30 points, leading the ETSU men’s basketball team to a dominating 101-72 win over Tusculum College in exhibition basketball action Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU-MSHA Athletic Center.... Dubose and the Bucs raced out to a large lead in the early going with a 16-2 run to open the game and never looked back. Along with Dubose, four other ETSU players reached double figures in scoring – including 15 points from junior guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa, Fla.), as well as a double-double effort with 14 points and 10 rebounds from redshirt senior Tommy Hubbard (Boston). ... What Bartow and the ETSU Homecoming crowd of 3,226 fans saw was a stingy Buccaneer fullcourt press that forced 22 turnovers from the Pioneers. The Bucs took those miscues and utilized them by outscoring Tusculum 40-6 on turnovers. ... In addition, ETSU enjoyed an advantage with depth off the bench, outscoring Tusculum 46-22 in bench points. The Bucs also shot 54 percent from the field, 44 percent from 3-point range, and held the Pioneers to a 25 percent clip from beyond the arc. ... While the Bucs led 54-32 on the break, the Pioneers managed to shorten that gap in the second half, as ETSU held just a 47-40 edge after the intermission. ... Along with Dubose, Cooley and Hubbard, the Bucs also got a 13-point effort from senior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), while senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) pitched in 10 points. ... For Tusculum, Jordan Davidson led the way with 20 points, while Tommy Klempin netted 16 and Kevin Vest added 12.
On their way to 1,000 points
As they begin their seniors seasons, ETSU’s trio of Isiah Brown, Adam Sollazzo and Tommy Hubbard are all eying the 1,000 point mark for their careers. When the season begins on Nov. 12 against Virginia Tech, this is where each stands:
Isiah Brown........................................................................ 798 points
Tommy Hubbard ........................................................... 573 points
Adam Sollazzo ................................................................ 568 points
To reach 1,000, the three would have to average the following during the regular season:
Isiah Brown..................................................... 7.0 points per game
Tommy Hubbard....................................... 14.7 points per game
Adam Sollazzo............................................ 14.8 points per game
Block party for Brown
With a block in last season’s finale against Iona, senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) set a new school record for blocks in a single season, swatting away a total of 71 shots on the year ... For his career, he now stands fifth on the all-time list at 141, but just 43 blocks behind the program’s all-time leader Zakee Wadood ... In addition to those marks, Brown’s six-block performance against Belmont last year also matched the program’s single-game record ... At the time, Brown joined six other ETSU players who have had six-block games, including former standouts Brad Nuckles, Eryk Thomas, Jerald Fields, Zakee Wadood, Greg Dennis and Greg Hamlin.
Getting to the free throw line a key for the Bucs
In recent years, the Bucs have focused on playing stingy defense, but also driving to the basket on offense and trying to get “tough” points thanks to fouls ... One way for the ETSU coaching staff to determine how successful the Bucs have been is charting free throw attempts and makes ... Well if this statistic is a true indicator, then the Bucs are doing just as the coaches would like ... Last season, ETSU set a school record for free throw attempts, putting up a total of 856 free tosses ... The Bucs also made their share of those attempts, ranking second on the all-time list with 580 makes ... The 2010-11 edition of the Bucs came up just nine makes short of the all-time record, held by the 1991-92 Bucs at 589.
Bucs add to postseason resume
The ETSU men’s basketball team has enjoyed its share of postseason success and ranks as one of the nation’s most prestigious basketball programs ... The Buccaneers have earned berths to the NCAA Tournament nine times (1969, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010) and NIT twice (1983, 2007) ... In 2011, the Bucs made their first ever appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, winning twice and advancing to the semifinals of that event ... it was the program’s 12th postseason tournament appearance all-time.
Home Sweet Dome ... against non-conference teams
Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 143-45 overall inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 77 percent ... But when looking at the past 10 years, the Bucs are an even more impressive 42-4 against non-conference opponents ... Last year, the Bucs went 13-2 at the Dome.
ETSU “only” A-Sun team picked among nation’s best “Prestige” programs
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 ESPN.com’s “Prestige” ranking released back in 2008 ... Since that time, the Bucs have only added to their list of prestigious honors … The Buccaneers, who have enjoyed nine NCAA Tournament trips, one NIT berth, 11 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. 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.
Bartow gets wins No. 250 overall and 150 at ETSU; ranks among best coaches in last five years
With his team’s win over Florida Gulf Coast on Jan. 8, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow picked up his 250th career victory ... He then collected his 150th win at ETSU when the Bucs downed Jacksonville on Jan. 15 ... When looking at coaches across the country, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow stands among a select group ... Of those coaches that have been at their current school for at least five years, only 24 have averaged better than 20 wins a season ... That list includes coaches such as Dayton’s Brian Gregory, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, UConn’s Jim Calhoun, Florida’s Billy Donovan, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Duke’s Mike Kryzewski, Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Kansas’ Bill Self, Maryland’s Gary Williams and North Carolina’s Roy Williams ... The list also includes Bartow, who is average 20.2 wins a year since 2005-06.