JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 17, 2012) -- The ETSU men's basketball team will host Tennessee Tech on Saturday afternoon, as the Buccaneers open their regular season home schedule with a visit from their former Ohio Valley Conference rivals.
Tip inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center is set for 4 p.m.
The Bucs (0-1) are coming off a loss at ACC opponent Virginia Tech last week. Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles are 2-0 this season.
For more on Saturday's game, read the game notes below or click on the game notebook link located above. For more on ETSU men's basketball throughout the 2012-13 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's hoops link.
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Game Notes (ETSU vs. Tennessee Tech)
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.
After several years of quality returning players and at least some level of certainty regarding what to expect heading into the winter months, the 2012-13 ETSU men’s basketball team will enter the new campaign with several questions and concerns. ... The loss of standout seniors such as Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) and Tommy Hubbard (Boston) will be hard to overcome, considering that group combined for a total of 3,091 points in their careers ... A year ago, the Bucs enjoyed quality wins such as a road victory over Atlantic 10 Conference foe Charlotte, and finished with a respectable 17 victories on the season. The team finished fourth in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings at 10-8, reaching the league tournament semifinals. ... This season, the Bucs top two returning starters are guards Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) and Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.), who both combined to score 19.7 points per game a year ago. ... Along with those two, fellow guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) and forward Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) are the only other ETSU players to be returning after playing significant minutes last year, but Poderis is now lost for the season with a left foot injury and will be forced to redshirt, while Jones is academically ineligible for the first semester ... With so few returning, experienced players, ETSU will be looking to some unproven returning players, as well as a recruiting class that includes three incoming freshmen and a pair of junior college transfers, to come in and make an immediate impact. Sophomores Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) and John Walton (Memphis), along with redshirt freshman Lester Wilson (Knoxville) are expected to increase their production this year, while true freshmen guards Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.), Mario Stramaglia (Birmingham, Ala.), and Yunio Barrueta (Miami, Fla.) will look to blossom into early contributors. ... On the interior, Poderis and Walton will need help from junior college transfers Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) and Hunter Harris (Nashville). While they may have plenty of questions entering the season, the Bucs’ schedule will not provide much patience for development. The team will face teams such as North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss and Georgia in the opening weeks of the season, and will host 2011 Final Four participant VCU (Jan. 2) just days before the start of the Atlantic Sun Conference slate. The team will also enjoy a Christmas holiday trip to the Diamond Head Classic and face Arizona in the first round of that event on Dec. 22.
Last time out
BLACKSBURG, Va. (Nov. 10, 2012) – The youthful ETSU men’s basketball team knew the early portion of its 2012-13 schedule would be a learning process. The first lesson of the year came Saturday afternoon at Virginia Tech. ... Despite quality play from their batch of freshmen and newcomers – including a team-high 20 points from redshirt freshman Lester Wilson (Knoxville) – the Buccaneers had no answers against Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Virginia Tech, as the Hokies made 10 shots from beyond the 3-point line and shot over 50 percent in the first half en route to an 80-62 win at Cassell Coliseum. ... Wilson joined a group of five ETSU players who were making their first ever appearance in an NCAA Division I game. The group included true freshman guards Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) and Yunio Barrueta (Miami, Fla.), along with junior college transfers Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) and Hunter Harris (Nashville). ... While Wilson scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds, McClain made the start at point guard and responded with six points and three assists in 29 minutes of action. Meanwhile, Barrueta pitched in four points and a rebound in 15 minutes of play. ... ETSU out-rebounded this ACC foe 39-37 and swiped 14 offensive rebounds. In addition, the Bucs outscored the Hokies 36-26 in the paint and held a 36-17 edge in points off the bench.
The series versus Tennessee Tech
The Bucs and Golden Eagles have met 70 times since beginning their basketball series back in 1923 ... ETSU holds a 36-34 edge in the all-time series, but despite having won six in a row, the Bucs lost the last meeting between the two 83-74 back on Dec. 7, 2011.
Last time out against Tennessee Tech
COOKEVILLE (Dec. 7, 2011) – Outscoring the ETSU men’s basketball team 24-4 in the opening minutes of the second half, Tennessee Tech built a lead of as many as 28 points and ultimately cruised to a 83-74 win over the Buccaneers in non-conference basketball action at the Eblen Center. ... The loss extended the Buccaneers current losing streak to four games, as ETSU dropped to 3-5 on the season. Meanwhile, Tech – who had lost six straight to ETSU before this contest – improved to 4-4. ... In the first half, the Bucs and Golden Eagles traded baskets for 12 minutes of game play and were tied at 17-17 with 8:23 left before the intermission. However, at that point, an eight-point run by Tech led to a lead of as many as nine points at 33-24 with just under four minutes left on the clock. ... A 3-pointer by ETSU’s Jarvis Jones (Memphis) and a layup by teammate Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) then made it a four-point game at 33-29 with 1:20 left, but Tech outscored the Bucs 4-0 in the final minute to make it 37-29 at the break. ... Another nightmarish start to the second half put the Bucs in major trouble, as Tennessee Tech came out on fire from beyond the 3-point line and went on a 14-2 run. The Golden Eagles didn’t stop there, as they went on another 10-2 over the next two minutes to make it 61-33 with 12:57 remaining. ... ETSU tried to rally at that point, cutting the lead to 13 points at 72-59 thanks to a traditional three-point play by freshman guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) with 5:50 left in the game. The Bucs kept clawing away and ultimately got to within nine to close out the game, but never truly threatened the Golden Eagles.
Bartow atop list of second generation coaches
Murry Bartow’s coaching lineage is undeniable ... As the son of the late Gene Bartow, he had the fortunate opportunity to grow up learning from one of the most successful basketball coaches in college history ... Setting off on his own career, Murry has carried on the family tradition of success ... His 61 percent winning percentage at ETSU makes him the winningest Buccaneers’ head coach by percentage, and his 179 career wins ranks second on the ETSU all-time list ... In addition, Murry’s 282 career victories ranks No. 1 among second generation college coaches, besting the 252 wins by John Thompson III ... Along with his father’s 647 career wins, the Bartow men have combined for 929 victories, ranking fourth on the all-time win list for Father/Son coaches.
Wilson named A-Sun Newcomer of the Week
Many ETSU basketball fans had been eagerly awaiting the debut of redshirt freshman Lester Wilson (Knoxville). Against Virginia Tech last Saturday, the 6-foot-4 forward did not disappoint. ... Posting a team-high 20 points to go along with nine rebounds, Wilson was definitely impressive against the Hokies. For his efforts, he was named the Atlantic Sun Conference newcomer of the week on Tuesday. ... In that game last week, Wilson hit on 8-of-15 shots from the field and was 3-of-6 from 3-point range, as he came off the bench to play 27 minutes.
Home Sweet Dome ... against non-conference teams
Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 153-48 overall inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 77 percent ... But when looking at the past 11 years, the Bucs are an even more impressive 46-4 against non-conference opponents ... Last year, the Bucs went 10-3 overall at the Dome and a perfect 4-0 against non-conference opponents.
McClain makes start at point, Barrueta provides valuable play
True freshmen Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) and Yunio Barrueta (Miami, Fla.) showed signs of a bright future in the Bucs’ loss at Virginia Tech ... McClain started at point guard and played 29 minutes, scoring six points and dishing out three assists ... Meanwhile, Barrueta came off the bench to net four points on 2-of-2 shooting.
Talented Bucs still face obstacle with experience
At no time in the tenure of ETSU head coach Murry Bartow have the Buccaneers had less experience ... This season, the team has 13 active players on the roster and only 13 total years of Division I experience combined among all those student-athletes ... On average, that’s just one year of experience per player on average ... With four freshmen and two sophomores that means that nearly half the team are “underclassmen.”
Bucs ranked 2nd, Cooley 12th in steals a year ago
Key to the Bucs’ success last year was the ability to swipe the ball from opponents ... Senior Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) returns this season after ranking 12th nationally with 2.48 steals per game, and as a team, the Bucs ranked second nationally with 10.2 steals per game.
Dubose to be counted on to provide offensive spark
Last season, senior guard Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.) ranked third on the team with an average of 10.8 points per game ... Those numbers were solid for a first-year junior college transfer, and he also posted statistics such as 16 games of double-figure scoring and six games of 20-plus points ... However, consistency was an issue at times for Dubose, who also posted nine games of five points or less ... Head coach Murry Bartow has publicly stated that a key to the Bucs’ success this season will be having Dubose become a more consistent offensive threat.
Walton on his way up the depth chart
After playing limited minutes a year ago, forward John Walton (Memphis) has been impressing the ETSU coaching staff during the preseason ... After hinting that Walton would demand more playing time this year, ETSU head caoch Murry Bartow started the 6-foot-7 sophomore in the Bucs’ opener at Virginia Tech ... Walton responded with career highs for points (8), rebounds (5) and minuts played (30).
Junior college transfers set to power Bucs’ inside game
With the signing of junior college transfers Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) and Hunter Harris (Nashville), the Bucs are hoping to have added some strength -- and beef -- to their inside game this season ... At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Gadsden-Gilliard is a rare combination of size and agility, while Harris is a high energy player who can rebound and block shots at a high level ... With the loss of senior post Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) for the season due to a foot injury, the expectations for Harris and KGG have only risen. ... In the season opener at Virginia Tech, KGG and Harris combined for 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Bucs have tradition of postseason appearances, success
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.