JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 15, 2014) – With an impressive win over first-place FGCU on Thursday night, the ETSU men’s basketball team will try to wrap up its regular season home schedule with another victory on Saturday afternoon, as the Buccaneers take on Stetson at 4 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
The Bucs, who are now 15-12 overall, 8-6 in Atlantic Sun Conference play, will be honoring seniors Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.), Hunter Harris (Nashville), Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) and Todd Halvorsen (Kingsport) prior to the game.
After dropping a contest earlier this year to the Hatters (7-17, 5-7), the Bucs will be looking to even the season series against their visitors from Deland, Fla.
Fans are also encouraged to bring their children to games this year to take advantage of the special Sweet Frogs $5 kids’ ticket during men’s basketball games.
For more on this game, read the game notes below or click the game notebook link located 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 season with 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 20 times and the Bucs hold a slim 11-9 advantage in the series ... The Hatters won the last meeting earlier this year 64-58 back on Jan. 16, 2014 in Deland, Fla.
Last time out vs. Stetson
DELAND, Fla. (Jan. 16, 2014) – Stetson’s Edmunds Center has historically been a difficult place for the ETSU men’s basketball team to play. Thursday night was no different. ... Playing their final game at Stetson as members of the Atlantic Sun Conference, the Buccaneers suffered yet another disappointing loss to the Hatters, falling 64-58 after struggling through a poor offensive effort in the second half. The Bucs shot just 31 percent from the field in the second half, going 9-of-29 and scoring just seven points over the final six minutes of the game. During that final stretch, the Hatters outscored the Bucs 14-7 to turn a 51-50 ETSU edge into the six-point victory. ... For ETSU, senior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville) scored a team-high 13 points, junior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) added 12 points, and guards Lester Wilson (Knoxville) and Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) netted 10 points apiece. ... Stetson was led by senior forward Willie Green’s game-high 15 points, as the Hatters outscored the Bucs 30-18 in the paint. ... The first half was a back-and-forth contest most of the way, with the Bucs holding their largest lead at 30-24 with 25 seconds left. However, a 3-pointer by Stetson guard Glen Baral with three seconds left made it 30-27 at the break. In the first half, the Bucs shot 48 percent from the field and an impressive 57 percent from 3-point range, while also out-rebounding the Hatters 16-10. But those numbers did not transfer to the second half. ... After the break, ETSU built a lead of as many as seven at 37-30, but found that lead short-lived as Stetson went on a 12-3 run to regain the advantage at 42-40. Later, with the game tied at 58, Stetson scored the final six points of the contest to pick up the victory.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 13, 2014) – Dunk City meet Trey City. ... The ETSU men’s basketball team hit nine 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 12 for the game, leading wire-to-wire in an 89-81 victory over Florida Gulf Coast in Atlantic Sun Conference play at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... Junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) scored a career high 31 points and four other ETSU players reached double figures to power the Buccaneers, who improved to 15-12 overall, 8-6 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, FGCU – which began the game tied for first place in the league – dropped to 16-10, 10-3. ... Along with Rembert – who hit six 3-pointers on the night and moved into fourth place on the program’s all-time single season list for made threes – ETSU also got two double-double efforts from senior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville) and freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson). Harris finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Merriweather added 10 points and 11 boards. ... Meanwhile, sophomore forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) netted 18 points on six 3-pointers, and junior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) netted 11. In addition, sophomore point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) had eight assists on just two turnovers. ... The Bucs’ shooting was remarkable in the first half, especially from long range, as Wilson and Rembert combined to hit nine 3-pointers. That outside shooting was particularly sharp in the first six minutes of the game, as Rembert hit four in a row and Wilson added another during a 22-8 run to open the contest. ... From there, the ETSU lead ballooned to as many as 19 points at 38-19, but FGCU managed to cut that advantage to 11 thanks to a 9-1 run which made it 39-28 with five minutes left before the intermission. The Bucs did manage to regroup at that point and ultimately finished the half with a 45-32 advantage. ... After the break, FGCU continued to cut into the ETSU lead and actually pulled to within four points at 71-67 with 3:54 left in the game. However, Wilson made his final three of the game at that point to make it 74-67 and the Eagles never got any closer.
Rembert making place in history during 2013-14
Junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) has become one of the most feared shooters in the Atlantic Sun Conference, and this season he is on pace to rewrite ETSU’s recordbooks ... With 78 3-pointers so far this season, Rembert is just nine makes away from besting the progarm’s single season record of 86 set by Courtney Pigram (Memphis) in 2006-07.
Riley breaks out; continues great “sixth man” play
For weeks, those around the ETSU men’s basketball team have argued that junior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) may be the best “sixth man” in the league ... Recently, Riley has been proving those people right ... In his last six games -- which includes a career-high, 30-point effort against Lipscomb (2/8) -- the junior guard has eclipsed double digits each time, averaging 18.2 points a game, while shooting 47 percent from the field, 43 percent from 3-point range, and 86 percent at the foul line.
Free throws key to ETSU victories this season
What a difference a year can make ... Last season, the Buccaneers struggled for consistency at the foul line, but this year has been a different story ... The Bucs currently lead the Atlantic Sun Conference with a 74 percent shooting clip from the charity stripe, and their numbers are also good enough to rank 20th in the country in free throws made as of Feb. 9 with 468 ... In fact, earlier this year the Bucs hit a remarkable 32-of-33 free throws in a single game ... In games against NKU and Lipscomb last week, they were 14-of-15 at the line against NKU (2/6) and then 35-of-41 at the stripe in the win over Lipscomb (2/8).
Resurgent Wilson giving Bucs a lift on offense
Sophomore Lester Wilson (Knoxville) was expected to be a major offensive weapon for the Buccaneers this season, but only recently has the forward made his presence felt ... Since Jan. 25, Wilson is averaging 13.7 points and 5.7 rebounds a game, while shooting 45 percent from the field and 93 percent at the foul line ... he has also ... By comparison, before his recent streak, Wilson had averaged 7.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game on just 33 percent shooting from the field and 26 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Bartow gets win No. 300 overall and No. 200 at ETSU
ETSU head coach Murry Bartow won his 300th career game on Jan. 4 against Kennesaw State, and captured his 200th win on the ETSU bench on Jan. 25 against Jacksonville ... Bartow is the second winningest coach in program history, behind only legend Madison Brooks’ 370 victories for the Blue and Gold. In addition, Bartow’s .580 winning percentage also ranks second in the modern era for the Bucs, behind only Alan LeForce’s .607 percentage.
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 third this year with a 43 percent mark ... This year, he has shown a marked improvement in his style of offensive play, and currently leads the team with 16.1 points per contest ... He also is first in the league in made 3-pointers with 2.8 per game ... In fact, his numbers are good enough to rank him nationally in both percentage and total makes from 3-point range (see NCAA list to the left).
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 (15-0) Losses (0-12)
ETSU scoring 82.9 PPG....................... 66.4 PPG
Opponent scoring 72.9 PPG........................ 78.6 PPG
Rebounding margin +0.1....................................... -7.7
Shooting % .475.................................... .380
3-pt. shooting % .399................................... .304
Assists 13.3 APG..................... 10.7 APG
Merriweather continues to shine, posts double-double
Freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.) has certainly made an impression 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 (6.4 rpg), fourth in scoring (10.4 ppg), first in steals (1.4 spg), and third in minutes played (27.2 mpg). ... He followed that effort with a career high 20 points in the loss at Mercer (1/6).
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 821 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 33 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 19 of the last 21 games, with the team going 12-7 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.