OXFORD, Miss. (Dec. 14, 2012) – Senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) will return to action for the first time this season, as the ETSU men’s basketball team will end its current three-game road swing with a trip to Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi Friday evening.
Tip inside the Tad Smith Coliseum is set for 8 p.m. (EST).
Jones, who was academically ineligible for the team’s first seven games of the season, is a welcomed addition to a Buccaneers’ roster which has been decimated by injuries and dismissals. A talented outside shooter and scorer, Jones’ return is even more critical considering the Bucs have had to play the last two games without the services of freshman point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.).
While he’s not played the position regularly, Jones has been a serviceable point guard for the program in the past.
For more on Friday night’s game, read the game notes located below or click on the game notebook link to the right. For more on 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 has missed the first seven games of the year for academic reasons ... Jones will return against Ole Miss ... 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
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Dec. 8, 2012) – Depleted by injuries and disappointing circumstances from earlier this season, the ETSU men’s basketball team is currently a shell of its normal self. That’s not a good thing when facing No. 20 North Carolina. ... Shooting just 19 percent from the floor in the first half and scoring only 12 points before the break, the Buccaneers trailed by 30 at halftime and were simply no match for perennial powerhouse UNC in a 78-55 defeat Saturday evening inside the Dean E. Smith Center. ...
On the bright side, the Bucs got a game-high 18 points from sophomore Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.), while redshirt freshman Lester Wilson (Knoxville) posted his first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, junior Hunter Harris (Nashville) netted 11 points. ... For the Tar Heels – who posted 30 assists on 31 made shots for the game – Leslie McDonald led the way with 14 points, while Brice Johnson and Reggie Bullock scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. ... In the first half, ETSU actually led 2-0 on a layup by Harris, and the Bucs’ defense was looking good, holding the Tar Heels’ offense in check for the most part. However, at that point ETSU’s offense went ice cold, and as the Bucs’ shooting suffered UNC hit its stride. ... The Tar Heels went on a dominating 34-2 run and led by as many as 32 in the first half. ... The second half got off to a better offensive start for ETSU, and the Bucs actually finished the final 20 minutes outscoring the Tar Heels, 43-36.
The series versus Ole Miss
The Bucs have played the Rebels 13 times, with Mississippi holding an 8-5 edge in the tightly contested series ... ETSU dropped the last matchup 71-50 back on Dec. 18, 2010 in Oxford ... The Bucs last win in the series came back in 1985, a 70-64 victory at home in overtime.
Last time against Ole Miss
OXFORD, Miss. (Dec. 18, 2010) - A 13-0 run to open the game and another 9-0 offensive burst at the end of the first half were the difference Saturday afternoon inside the Tad Smith Coliseum, as the Ole Miss Rebels dropped the ETSU Buccaneers 71-50 in non-conference basketball action. ... The game started poorly for the Bucs, as the Rebels hit three of their first five 3-point attempts and opened the game with a 13-0 run over the first eight minutes. Meanwhile, in that same time frame, the Bucs were dismal, going 0-of-8 from the field and committing six turnovers. ... ETSU woke up in a big way though, as senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) finally got the Bucs on the board with a three-point play at the 12:21 mark, and that sparked an 8-0 run to make it 13-8 with just over 12 minutes left before the break. The Bucs got to within five points on three different occasions in the half and trailed just 31-26 after back-to-back 3-pointers from senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.). However, at that point the Rebels closed the first half with their 9-0 run to make it 40-26 at the break. ... The Bucs’ offense opened the second half poorly once again, scoring just eight points over the first eight minutes and allowing the Rebels to build their lead to as many as 21 points. ETSU never got closer than 14 after the break.
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 181 wins at ETSU ranks second on the Bucs’ all-time list ... In addition, Bartow’s 284 career victories ranks No. 1 among second generation college coaches ... 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.
ESPN names Wilson to nation’s Top 25 freshmen list
While circumstances have forced the ETSU men’s basketball team to struggle in the early going this season, talented redshirt freshman forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) has still given the Buccaneers reason for hope. ... Wilson, who is currently the nation’s top freshman scorer and is averaging 19.7 points per game, was listed as one of the Top 25 freshmen in college basketball Thursday by ESPN hoops writer John Gasaway. The list – which included players such as UNLV’s Anthony Bennett, UCLA’s Jordan Adams, Michigan’s Nik Stauskas and Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon – had Wilson ranked at No. 25. ... Currently the Atlantic Sun Conference’s leading scorer, Wilson has posted four 20-plus point games so far this season. Of those contests, he scored a career high 27 points in the win over Milligan back on Nov. 29, after scoring 26 in the Bucs’ previous win over Charleston Southern on Nov. 20.
Bucs get defensive in win at Charleston Southern
In their win against Charleston Southern, the Buccaneers 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.
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.
Bucs not feeling charitable at the line
In a strange statistical anomaly, the Buccaneers did not have a free throw made against them in back-to-back games, and in fact, they did not even allow a team a free throw opportunity in their game against Milligan … 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.
Three-point streak for Bucs dates back nearly 20 years
Since Feb. 16, 1987, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 772 consecutive games. ... In that game back on Feb. 16, 1987, the Bucs were 0-for-8 in a loss to Davidson.
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 win over Charleston Southern, KGG and Harris combined for 18 points and 12 rebounds.
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).
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.