ETSU men to play exhibition game Saturday in Brooks Gym
ETSU men to play exhibition game Saturday in Brooks Gym
Friday, November 12, 2004


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 12, 2004) - The East Tennessee State University men's basketball team, the two-time defending Southern Conference champions, will host VASDA USA in an exhibition game Saturday at Brooks Gym. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. and tickets will be $5, with season ticket holders admitted free.


"This will be a good test for our team and a chance to see where we are," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "After a lot of practice, it's good to have this chance to play a game in front of our fans."


The Buccaneers are winners of two-straight Southern Conference Tournament Championships, back-to-back participants in the NCAA Tournament, winners of four-straight SoCon North Division titles, and a near-upset winner over No. 4-seeded Cincinnait 80-77 in the first round of the 2004-05 NCAA Tournament. A year ago, ETSU set a new program record for consecutive wins with 16 (from Jan. 5 to Feb. 28) and conference wins with 15. The team also nearly matched the school record for wins (28) by posting a record of 27-6 in 2004-05.


Seniors James Anthony (Tampa, Fla.), Sam Oatman (Neenah, Wisc.) and Michael Tolliver (Bremo Bluff, Va.) hope to win another SoCon North Division title this season, meaning they would end their careers with a perfect mark of 4-for-4 in capturing those championships. Junior guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) is  the preseason choice for Player of the Year in the Southern Conference, coming off a sophomore season which saw him named to the All-SoCon First Team and collect his second-straight SoCon Tournament MVP award. Along with Smith, juniors Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) and Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) hope to keep their unblemished record of SoCon success alive for a third-straight year. In each of their first two years, Smith, Rhoda and Nuckles have played major roles in trips to the NCAA Tournament. Newcomers to the Bucs this season include junior college transfers Dillion Sneed (Chicago) and Chris Mitchell (Chicago), as well as true feshmen Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) and Greg Surmacz (Peterborough, Ontario).


The Bucs will open their regular season against UVa.-Wise on Saturday, Nov. 20, with tip scheduled for 4 p.m. in Memorial Center.