MACON, Ga. (March 7, 2013) – Having won two of the last four Atlantic Sun Conference tournament championships, the ETSU men’s basketball team will be aiming to put aside the inconsistencies of the past regular season and manufacture a three-game winning streak inside Mercer’s Hawkins Arena this weekend.
The Buccaneers will begin their quest for a 10th trip to the NCAA Tournament Thursday afternoon when they take on Stetson at 2:30 p.m. in the A-Sun quarterfinals. ETSU has won eight of its last 10 games in the league championships, and the Bucs are 2-0 all-time against the Hatters in the tournament.
For more on the tournament, read the game notes below or click on the related links to the right. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the year, 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.
The Bucs in the A-Sun Tournament
Entering just their eighth Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, the Buccaneers are 11-5 all-time and have won eight of their last 10 games in tournament play ... Recently, ETSU enjoyed a perfect 3-0 run through the tournament back in 2010 ... The Bucs’ previous trips included a loss in the first round of the event in 2006, advancing to the finals in 2007, falling in the semifinals in 2008, and winning the tournament in both 2009 and 2010 ... In 2011, the Bucs lost to UNF in the semifinals. ... In 2012, the Bucs made the seimifinals before losing to eventual champion Belmont ... In conference tournaments all-time (including the Southern and Ohio Valley), the Bucs are 41-23, having gone 8-3 in league championship final games.
Bucs hoping to add one more NCAA trip
Having already made nine trips to the NCAA Tournament in its history, the ETSU men’s basketball team would like to add another conference tournament trophy to the case in the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center ... The Bucs’ current stretch of success under head coach Murry Bartow is arguably the second best run in ETSU hoops history ... The most memorable stretch was from 1989 to 1992, when the Bucs made four straight trips to the NCAAS, were ranked in the Top 10 nationally (1991), and defeated Arizona in the NCAA first round in 1992 ... The Bucs only other trip prior to that run came in 1968 ... While head coach Ed DeChellis took the Bucs to the tournament in 2003, Bartow has taken the Bucs to the tournament three times (2004, 2009 and 2010), while also leading ETSU to the 2007 NIT and the 2011 CIT. ... Bartow holds the most NCAA trips and the most overall postseason trips of any coach in school history.
Last time out in the A-Sun Tournament
MACON, Ga. (March 2, 2012) – After building a five-point halftime lead, the ETSU men’s basketball team was unable to stop a second-half offensive surge by the Belmont Bruins and ultimately dropped a hard fought 69-61 contest in the semifinals of the General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Conference Championships ... It was the first time in 15 straight games that the Bruins (26-7 overall) had faced a halftime deficit. ... The Buccaneers were led by a team-high 16 points from senior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), while fellow senior guard Tommy Hubbard (Boston) and junior guard Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.) netted 15 points apiece. ... In the first half, the Bucs played inspired basketball, out-rebounding the Bruins 21-12 and holding one of the nation’s top offenses to 36.4 percent shooting. The Bucs – who outscored Belmont 18-6 in the paint during the first 20 minutes – only trailed once at 8-7, but ultimately led by as many as eight points before the intermission. ... After the break, the Bruins opened with an 11-3 run and later used another 15-6 surge to make it 54-42 with just over eight minutes left in the game. ETSU did not crack though, putting together its own 14-5 run to make it 59-56 with 2:55 left in the game. ... At that point, a made 3-pointer by Belmont’s Kerron Johnson was decisive and put Belmont back on top by six with 2:32 left. However, the Bucs later had a chance to get within two points with 23 seconds remaining, but trailing 66-61 a 3-point attempt by Dubose rimmed out and effectively ended ETSU’s chances.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 1, 2013) – ETSU senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) has enjoyed plenty of success during his five years as a member of the ETSU men’s basketball team. Unfortunately, his last memory of the Dome will not be a good one. ... In front of 4,389 fans on Senior Night, Jones and the Buccaneers were unable to overcome a hot shooting start by the USC Upstate Spartans and ultimately dropped their regular season finale 88-56 in Atlantic Sun Conference basketball action at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... Suffering their worst conference defeat in terms of point margin since joining the A-Sun in 2005-06, the Bucs dropped to 10-21 overall, 8-10 in league play. Meanwhile, USC Upstate improved to 15-16, 9-9 on the season. ... Things did not go well for the Bucs from the beginning of the game. Hitting five 3-pointers in the opening five minutes of the game, USC Upstate quickly jumped ahead by 14 points at 19-5 and never allowed the Bucs to cut the deficit closer than six points the rest of the game.
The series versus Stetson
ETSU has faced the Hatters 19 times and the Bucs hold a slim 11-8 advantage in the series ... The Bucs are 2-0 all-time against the Hatters in A-Sun Tournament play.
Last time out against Stetson
DELAND, Fla. (Feb. 9, 2013) – Saturday magic struck again for the ETSU men’s basketball team. ... Down 20 points with just 12 minutes left in their game with Stetson, the Buccaneers rallied to close the contest on a 28-7 offensive run and ultimately grabbed the lead courtesy of a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) with six seconds left, dropping the Hatters 62-61 in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the Edmunds Center. ... The win marks the fourth Saturday victory in league play for the Bucs this season, as well as the fourth time this year that the team has rallied from a double-digit, second-half deficit to win. ... Trailing 54-34 with just over 12 minutes left in the game, the Bucs switched a full-court press defensive scheme which included a trapping half-court strategy as well. ... That switch helped make Stetson ineffective offensively, while leading to several easy buckets for the Bucs as ETSU went on a 15-1 run to make it 55-49 with just over four minutes left. From there, it appeared Stetson would hold on as they scored the next three points to regain a nine-point edge. ... However, the Bucs closed on another 11-3 run to get the win. Rembert’s game-winning shot came after the Bucs inbounded the ball with 16 seconds left and senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) avoided the Hatters’ defensive pressure to find Rembert open in the right corner. ... With 5.4 seconds left, Stetson’s Joel Naburgs attempted to force the ball up the floor for the win, but the Bucs stopped his progress and his pass attempt was intercepted by ETSU’s sophomore post John Walton (Memphis) as time expired.
Jones, Wilson named to A-Sun all-conference teams
Following a regular season in which he finished third in the Atlantic Sun Conference in scoring, ETSU senior Jarvis Jones (Memphis) has been named to the All-Atlantic Sun Conference second team, the league office announced onTuesday. ... In addition to Jones’ selection, freshman Lester Wilson (Knoxville) also earned league honors by being a unanimous selection to the A-Sun All Freshman squad. Wilson ended the year second on the team in scoring with 13.1 points per game and eclipsed 20 points on seven occasions during the season. ... Jones, who ended the year with 16.2 points per game, ranked in the Top 10 among A-Sun players in multiple categories, including steals (2nd, 1.8 spg), free throw percentage (8th, 76 percent) and minutes played (1st, 36.8).
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.
Young 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 10 players who are eligible and healthy enough to play, and of that group there are only six 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 earning reputation as “Comeback Kids”
With their comeback from 20 points down to beat Stetson on Feb. 9, the Buccaneers continue to build a reputation as a team that won’t go away no matter the score ... The Bucs have now won five of their 10 victories being down significantly ... In wins over Charleston Southern (Nov. 20), FGCU (Jan. 12) and Stetson (Feb. 9), the Bucs were down by as many as 19 points and still won ... ETSU also came back from second-half deficits to drop UNF (Jan. 26) and Lipscomb (Feb. 2).
Jones meeting expectations for Bucs
ETSU head coach Murry Bartow expected the return of senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) would improve his team’s efforts on the offensive end of the floor … He was right. … Recently, Jones almost single-handedly won the game for the Bucs against Lipscomb (Feb. 2), scoring a career high 36 points and hitting three straight 3-pointers in overtime -- including the game winner ... Since returning to the team in the middle of December, Jones has averaged a team-best 16.2 points per game, and currently ranks third in the A-Sun in scoring ... He also ranks second in steals per game (1.8), 8th in free throw percentage (76%) and first in minutes played (36.8).
Rembert heating up from outside, nearing national mark
Sophomore guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) has made the most of his increased playing time this season, having made a 3-pointer in 28 straight games and currently ranks second in the A-Sun in 3-point field goal percentage at 40 percent on the season ... Against Jacksonville last month, he gave ETSU’s coaches even more reason to utilize him ... Hitting on 5-of-7 attempts from 3-point range against the Dolphins and counting the six games since that time, Rembert has made 50 3-pointers on the year.
Shuffling starters the “new normal” for Bucs
ETSU head coach Murry Bartow has used 17 different starting lineups in the team’s 31 games this season ... Injuries and dismissals have left the ETSU’s coaches searching for the right combination, as the team currently stands at 10-21.
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 averaging 15.3 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. ... Wilson has posted six 20-plus point games so far this season.
Three-point streak for Bucs dates back nearly 20 years
Since Feb. 16, 1987 in a game against Davidson, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 793 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game.
ETSU picked among nation’s best “Prestige” programs
In 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 Bucs -- who have enjoyed nine NCAA trips, one NIT and one CIT berth, 14 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 team, as well as former SoCon rivals Appalachian State, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro. In addition, at that time the Bucs ranked ahead of SEC schools such as Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Georgia, Mississippi and Auburn, as well as programs such as Notre Dame, DePaul, Bradley, Clemson and Fla. State.