DELAND, Fla. (Jan. 16, 2014) – Leaving behind the cold and snow of Northeast Tennessee, the ETSU men’s basketball team will head to sunny Florida for an important, two-game road swing in Atlantic Sun Conference play this weekend.
The trip begins with a matchup against Stetson Thursday night in Deland, Fla. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside the Edmunds Center. The team will then head to Fort Myers, Fla., to take on Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday at 7:35 p.m. in Alico Arena.
The Buccaneers (9-8 overall, 2-2) are currently fifth in the league standings but just one game back of first place in the loss column. Meanwhile, Stetson has opened the season at 1-4 in league play.
For more on Thursday night’s game, read the game notes below or click on the game notebook link to the right. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2013-14 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 University 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 ETSU men’s basketball program was glad to see the 2012-13 campaign come to an end, following a season which saw the team face multiple obstacles and challenges -- such as a brutal schedule that featured the likes of North Carolina, Arizona, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Georgia and Hawaii ... Other issues for the team included senior post Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) missing the
ankle injury that he suffered in
the preseason, senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) being academically ineligible for the first two months of the year, and two other senior guards who were expected to be major contributors were dismissed from the team in early November for violations of team rules … This left head coach Murry Bartow and his coaching staff with a young, inexperienced group of underclassmen, several true freshmen, one redshirt freshman and a pair of junior college transfers … Those obstacles proved to be tough to overcome, as the Buccaneers posted a 10-22 record and finished 8-10 in Atlantic Sun Conference play … It was the toughest campaign in Bartow’s 10 seasons at ETSU, a tenure that has produced many championships, postseason tournament appearances and 20-win campaigns … In all, Bartow’s teams have earned three NCAA Tournament invitations (2004, 2009 and 2010), one NIT appearance (2007), and one CIT berth (2011), and the Bucs have eclipsed 20 wins five times.
The series vs. Stetson
ETSU has faced the Hatters 19 times and the Bucs hold a slim 11-8 advantage in the series ... The Bucs won the last meeting 62-61 back on Feb. 9, 2013 in Deland, Fla.
Last time out vs. 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. ... Stetson had manufactured a 10-0 offensive run to make it 54-34 with just over 12 minutes left in the game. At that point, 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.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 11, 2014) – ETSU junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) scored a team high 19 points and three other teammates reached double figures, as the ETSU men’s basketball team used a strong second half offensive performance to down Northern Kentucky 74-65 in Atlantic Sun Conference play Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... Along with Rembert, senior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville) helped power the offense with 17 points, while fellow senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) pitched in 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists. In addition, freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) added 10 points, five boards and three assists. ... In all, the Bucs would shoot 50 percent from 3-point range (8-of-16), while dishing out 18 assists and committing just nine turnovers in the game. ... While ETSU led by as many as seven at 13-6 early on, the first half was otherwise a tight contest. In fact, the game was tied at 28 before Merriweather put the Bucs up 30-28 with a layup just as the first half buzzer sounded. ... In the second half, the difference in the game was a 15-3 offensive run by the Bucs, a surge that turned a 35-35 contest with 15 minutes left into a 50-38 ETSU lead with 8:23 remaining. After a NKU 3 pointer made it 50-41, the Bucs then scored another nine straight to grab their largest advantage of the game at 57-41.
Rembert hoping to stay hot as A-Sun schedule begins
Junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) has made the most of his increased playing time over the last two seasons ... Last season, Rembert ranked fourth in the A-Sun in 3-point field goal percentage at 39.7 percent for the year, and currently ranks second this year with a 44.0 percent mark ... This year, he has shown a marked improvement in his style of offensive play, and currently leads the team with 15.4 points per contest ... He also leads the league in made 3-pointers with 2.8 per game ... In fact, his numbers are good enough to rank him 27th nationally in both percentage and total makes from 3-point range (see list on Page 4 of these notes).
Bartow gets win No. 300; aiming for No. 200 at ETSU
ETSU head coach Murry Bartow won his 300th career game on Saturday against Kennesaw State, and is now just two wins away from No. 200 as head coach of the Buccaneers ... Bartow is the second winningest coach in program history, behind only legend Madison Brooks’ 370 victories for the Blue and Gold ... Bartow’s .582 winning percentage also ranks second in the modern era for the Bucs, behind only Alan LeForce’s .607 percentage.
Merriweather continues to shine, posts double-double
Freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.) has certainly made an impression in the early going this season, and he continued to make more news with his third career double-double in the win over Kennesaw State (1/4) ... In that game, Merriweather also netted a career high with 19 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds ... His current team ranks are first in rebounding (6.8 rpg), second in scoring (11.6 ppg), first in steals (1.5 spg), and third in minutes played (28.5 mpg). ... He followed that effort with a career high 20 points in the loss at Mercer (1/6).
Difference between winning and losing for ETSU
Rebounding has been a particular indicator for the Bucs this season when it comes to wins and losses ... The statistics below show the differences for the Bucs is several important categories so far this season.
Statistical category Wins (9-0) Losses (0-8)
ETSU scoring 81.4 PPG....................... 67.1 PPG
Opponent scoring 70.3 PPG........................ 78.0 PPG
Rebounding margin -0.2........................................ -7.6
Shooting % .488.................................... .391
3-pt. shooting % .392................................... .295
Assists 13.2 APG..................... 11.4 APG
All-around effort by Gadsden-Gilliard impressive
Setting new personal bests with 12 rebounds and six assists in the win over Samford (11/21), senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) had people thinking “triple-double” when he added an 18-point effort to his statistical line ... The Bucs hope that KGG can make these types of efforts more consistent ... KGG responded to that expectation by putting together a 19-point, seven-rebound and seven-assist outing against Marshall in an 88-78 victory on Nov. 30.
Giplaye makes return following open heart surgery
Earlier this year, the Buccaneers got a serious scare when junior forward Ron Giplaye (Lowell, Mass.) had to undergo open heart surgery for a condition that was described as “life threatening.” ... Following the successful procedure, Giplaye has slowly regained his strength and was able to play two minutes against Tennessee Tech (11/27), marking his first competitive compeition since the 2011-12 season when he played at Providence. ... He then played five minutes in the loss to Georgia Tech (12/7), scoring his first two points in an ETSU uniform and grabbbing three 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.
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 811 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game. ... The Bucs currently rank as the 7th longest streak in the NCAA, just behind Arkansas and ahead of Oakland.
Shuffling starters was the “new normal” for Bucs
Last season, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow used 17 different starting lineups in the team’s 32 games ... Injuries and dismissals left ETSU’s coaches searching for the right combination all season. ... Bartow hoped to find more stability with his rotation in 2013-14, but he had used five different starting lineups in the first five games of the year. ... Since that time, he has played with the same starting lineup in 11 of the last 12 games, with the team going 8-4 in those contests.
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.