CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Nov. 21, 2011) – The ETSU men’s basketball team will begin a six-game road swing Tuesday night, taking on Atlantic 10 Conference foe Charlotte at 7:30 p.m. inside the Halton Arena.
The Buccaneers (2-1) are coming off back-to-back home victories over Appalachian State and Troy, so the team will be looking to extend its current winning streak. Meanwhile, Charlotte stands at 2-1 on the year, with victories over Central Michigan and North Carolina Central, but the 49ers dropped their last outing at Lamar.
ETSU currently leads the all-time series against the 49ers at 2-1, with a two-game winning streak. The last meeting between the two teams came in 1991, and was broadcast at midnight on ESPN inside Charlotte’s former 3,000-seat arena known as the Mine Shaft.
For more on Tuesday night’s game, click on the game notebook link to the right, or read the game notes below. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2011-12 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.
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 Charlotte
The Bucs are currently 2-1 all-time against the 49ers, having started the series back in 1971 and last playing in 1991 ... ETSU has won the last two meetings, including a 96-80 win over Charlotte back in 1991 ... That last meeting was broadcast live on ESPN as a “midnight” game in the 49ers old “Mine Shaft.”
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY (Nov. 15, 2011) – Forcing 29 turnovers and swiping 18 steals, the ETSU men’s basketball team imposed its defensive will on former Southern Conference rival Appalachian State Tuesday evening, dropping the Mountaineers 81-68 in the Buccaneers’ regular season home opener at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... The Bucs had four players reach double-figure scoring on the night, led by senior guard Tommy Hubbard (Boston) with a game-high 23 points. In addition, senior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) netted 16 points, senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) added 12 points, and junior guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) pitched in 11 in the winning effort. ... A crowd of 3,789 looked on as ETSU improved to 1-1 on the year, while the Mountaineers dropped to 1-1. ... The game got off to an inauspicious start for the Mountaineers, who were accessed a technical foul for dunking during pregame warm-ups. The result was a pair of made free throws from Dubose and a 2-0 lead for the Bucs before the game even tipped off. ... From there, it only got worse for ASU. The Bucs’ defensive pressure in the first half was impressive, forcing Appalachian State into multiple turnovers from the outset and by the end of the half ETSU had collected 13 steals and forced 20 turnovers by the Mountaineers. ... That defensive pressure led to a lead of as many as 19 points for the Bucs, who held a 39-23 advantage at the intermission. In all, the Bucs outscored Appy State 26-8 in the paint and 21-4 off turnovers in the first half, with Hubbard leading all scorers with 13 points. ... In the second half, ETSU maintained its double-digit lead for most of the way, but with six minutes left, App State produced a 7-0 run over the next minute of play to make it 67-60. However, from there the Bucs answered with their own 7-0 spurt to end the threat and put the game away. ... Appalachian State got a team-high 18 points from guard Jamaal Trice, while Isaac Butts posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. ... For the contest, the Bucs held a 32-18 edge in points off turnovers, and a 48-34 advantage on points in the paint. Meanwhile, Appalachian State dominated the boards 46-33 and grabbed 23 offensive rebounds. ... The Bucs shot 47 percent from the floor, while holding Appy State to 39 percent from the floor, and 19 percent from 3-point range.
Early season scouting report for ETSU
After playing three games so far this season, the Buccaneers have seen some statistical regularities -- some positive and some negative. On the positive side, the Bucs are holding opponents to just 38 percent shooting from the floor and have forced an average of 20 turnovers a game ... in addition, the Bucs are collecting 11.7 steals a contest and averaging 12 assists per game ... However, on the negative side, ETSU is shooting just 28 percent from 3-point range so far this season, and is being out-rebounded by an average of 7.3 rebounds a game.
Florida connection proving valuable to Bucs
For much of the past 10 seasons, the Buccaneers have enjoyed a pipeline of quality players coming from the “Sunshine” state ... A glance at this year’s current roster shows that trend continuing ... Entering Saturday’s game, these have been the contributions of ETSU’s current Floridians:
Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) 11.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists
Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) 9.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists
Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) 11.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists
Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) 5.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.0 assists
In all, ETSU’s Florida players are averaging a combined 37.4 points, 19.3 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 8.0 steals per game so far this season.
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 146, but is just 38 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 did 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.
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. After the season opener at Virginia Tech, here is where each stands:
Isiah Brown........................................................................ 819 points
Tommy Hubbard ........................................................... 588 points
Adam Sollazzo ................................................................ 587 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
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 145-45 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 44-4 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.