HARRISONBURG, Va. (Dec. 5, 2012) -- Aiming to win for the third time in four games, the ETSU men's basketball team will take to the road Wednesday to face off with Colonial Athletic Association member James Madison.
Tip inside the JMU Convocation Center is set for 7 p.m.
The Buccaneers (2-3) will again play shorthanded, as freshman point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) will miss the contest with an ankle injury, and junior Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) is still listed as day-to-day as he recovers from an ankle injury as well. Without either of those players, the Bucs would be playing with just six scholarship players.
For more on the game, read the game notes below or click on the game notebook link above. For more on the ETSU men's basketball throughout the 2012-13 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.
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 were guards Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) and Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.), who both combined to score 19.7 points per game a year ago. ... However, both Cooley and Dubose have been dismissed from the team for violation of team rules and policies ... Along with those two, fellow guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) and forward Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) are the only other ETSU seniors 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, 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
With circumstances limiting the ETSU men’s basketball team’s roster to primarily seven players, the Buccaneers responded by placing four players in double figures en route to a 94-46 thumping of nearby Milligan College in non-conference basketball action at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... All four of those Bucs posted career highs, led by 27 points from redshirt freshman forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville). Meanwhile, sophomore guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) netted 16 points, sophomore post John Walton (Memphis) posted 15, and true freshman guard Mario Stramaglia (Birmingham, Ala.) pitched in 14. ... The Bucs were without the services of junior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.), who missed the game while resting his injured left ankle. Meanwhile, even though he started and played 11 minutes, freshman point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) sat out the majority of the contest simply to rest as well. ... It wasn’t as though the Bucs needed much help on this night. ... ETSU dominated every statistical category in the game, shooting 55 percent from the floor and holding Milligan to just 37 percent shooting. Meanwhile, ETSU held a 43-21 advantage on the glass, forced 19 Milligan turnovers, picked up 10 steals and dished out 20 assists. ... The Bucs outscored Milligan 44-24 in the paint.
The series versus James Madison
The Bucs lead the all-time series with James Madison 7-4 ... The two teams met for the first time in 1974 and the last meeting was in 2011-12 ... ETSU won the last game between the two teams, 70-56, and the Bucs have won the last three games.
Last time out against James Madison
JOHNSON CITY (Jan. 30, 2012) – ETSU’s senior class decided three losses in a row was enough. ... Senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) scored a season high 23 points, while fellow seniors Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) and Tommy Hubbard (Boston) pitched in 19 and 13 points, respectively, as the ETSU men’s basketball team enjoyed a 70-56 victory over Colonial Athletic Association foe James Madison in non-conference hoops action inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... The seniors were certainly impressive, led by Brown’s 23 points, nine rebounds and five steals in just 20 minutes of play. Meanwhile, Sollazzo grabbed five boards and another pair of steals to go with his 19 points, while Hubbard snatched five rebounds, collected four steals and scored 13 points. ... Indeed, the Bucs put together a strong performance, picking up an impressive 18 steals in the game and forcing James Madison into 23 turnovers on the night. ETSU also out-rebounded the Dukes 30-25. ... The Bucs shot an impressive 53 percent from the floor and outscored James Madison 42-20 in the paint, as well as 21-7 on points off turnovers. ... ETSU’s much-maligned offense looked definitively better in the first half of this game, as ETSU raced out to a 15-point edge at 20-5 with 10:47 left before the intermission. Unfortunately for ETSU, the Dukes regrouped at that point and outscored the Bucs 19-11 the rest of the half to cut the deficit to seven at the break, with ETSU leading 31-24. ... After the halftime break, the Bucs pulled back ahead by 16 at the 16:22 mark, and the Dukes never rallied.
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, Bartow 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 180 wins at ETSU ranks second on the Bucs’ all-time list ... In addition, Bartow’s 283 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 931 victories, ranking fourth on the all-time win list for Father/Son coaches.
Bucs not feeling charitable at the line
In a strange statistical anomaly, the Buccaneers have not had a free throw made against them in their last two games, and in fact, they did not even allow a team a free throw opportunity in their last game … Against Georgia, the Bulldogs were 0-for-1 at the charity stripe … Meanwhile, Milligan did not even attempt a free throw against the Bucs on Nov. 29 … Going back to the 1984 season, this was the first time no team has made a free throw against the Bucs, much less in back-to-back games.
Wilson named A-Sun newcomer of the week for second time
For the second time in his young career, ETSU redshirt freshman forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Newcomer of the Week on Nov. 27 ... The 6-foot-4 engineering major averaged 19 points and 5.5 rebounds last week as the Buccaneers picked up their first win of the season at Charleston Southern, and later dropped a contest at Southeastern Conference opponent Georgia. ... Wilson scored a career high 26 points and carried the Bucs’ offense in the hard-fought 59-57 win over Charleston Southern. He followed that performance with a team-high 12 points in the loss to Georgia. ... For the week, Wilson shot 47 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range.
Bucs get defensive in win at Charleston Southern
In their win against Charleston Southern, ETSU held its opponent to just 28.8 percent shooting from the floor ... It was the first time since Feb. 26, 2009 that the Bucs have kept a team under 30 percent shooting in a game ... In that 2009 contest, ETSU held Kennesaw State to just 26.3 percent shooting from the floor.
“Mr. Wilson” gives Bucs offensive spark
After red-shirting the 2011-12 season, Lester Wilson has been quite an addition for the Blue and Gold in 2012-13 ... In his first five collegiate games, Wilson is averaging 19.4 points and 6.0 rebounds, and currently leads the Atlantic Sun Conference in scoring ... The Knoxville, Tenn. native scored 20 points in his debut at Virginia Tech and followed that effort up with a 12-point showing against Tennessee Tech ... However, Wilson looked at his best, posting a career high 26 points and hitting on 5-of-10 shots from 3-point range in ETSU’s win over Charleston Southern, and followed that performance with a career high 27 points in the win over Milligan.
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 ... Currently, the team has eight players who are eligible and healthy enough to play, of that group there is only four total years of Division I experience ... On average, that’s less than a half year of experience per player ... With four freshmen and two junior college transfers that means 66 percent of the team is competing in their first season of Division I basketball.
Three-point streak for Bucs dates back nearly 20 years
Since Feb. 16, 1987, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 770 consecutive games. ... In that game back on Feb. 16, 1987, the Bucs were 0-for-8 in a loss to Davidson.
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 ... Both players were once again in the starting lineup against Charleston Southern, with McClain playing all 40 minutes and dishing out seven assists.
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 and through the first five games of the 2012-13 campaign ... After hinting that Walton would demand more playing time this year, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow has started the 6-foot-7 sophomore in the Bucs’ first two games this season ... at Virginia Tech, Walton responded with career highs for points (8), rebounds (5) and minutes played (30), and then bested or matched those marks with another eight points and eight rebounds in the win over Charleston Southern ... He set new career marks for points (15), rebounds (9) and minutes (30) in the win over Milligan (11/29).