Bucs hope to keep winning streak alive Sunday at Stetson
Junior guard Courtney Pigram currently leads the Bucs with 16 points a game.
Junior guard Courtney Pigram currently leads the Bucs with 16 points a game.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

DELAND, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2008) - Having reached the top of the Atlantic Sun Conference standings, the ETSU men's basketball team will look to stay there Sunday when the Buccaneers face a road test at Stetson beginning at 3 p.m. inside the Edmunds Center.

 

ETSU (14-9, 8-2) has won six straight games, including a 24-point win 95-71 over Florida Gulf Coast Friday night. Meanwhile, the Hatters (11-13,6-4) have shown the ability to win against some of the best teams in the A-Sun, meaning Sunday's game will not be easy.

 

Fans unable to attend the game can watch live video streaming via ASun.TV or they can listen live at ETSUBucs.com. For more on the game, click on the game notes link located above or read the notes below.

 

Buc Shots

A seven-time NCAA Tournament and two-time NIT participant, the ETSU Buccaneers enter the 2007-08 season coming off a regular season Atlantic Sun Conference championship with a 24-10 overall record, and a 16-2 league mark a year ago ... The Bucs return the 2006-07 A-Sun Player of the Year in junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis), as well as the A-Sun Coach of the Year Murry Bartow and All A-Sun Freshman team pick Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) ... Along with returning players like Pigram and Smith, the Bucs also return significant contributors to last season's success such as senior post Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.), senior forward Kenyona Swader (Smyrna), and senior guard Travis Strong (Memphis) ... Newcomers for the Bucs that are expected to contribute early and often include junior college transfer Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), who was the JuCo Division II National Player of the Year last season, and lightning quick JuCo point guard Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) ... Several Bucs are currently leading A-Sun statistical categories, see page 6 of this notebook for more information on those players and their rank ... In addition, see where the Bucs ranks as a team and individually on the national charts on Page 4.

The series against Stetson

The Bucs and Hatters have met eight times, with ETSU holding a 6-2 advantage in the all-time series ... Since joining the A-Sun in 2005-06, the Bucs are 3-1 against Stetson ... ETSU's only loss to the Hatters came at home in Memorial Center during the 2005-06 season.

Last time against the Hatters

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 22, 2007) - With a dominating defensive effort and one of its best offensive nights of the season, the ETSU men's basketball team wrapped up the regular season Atlantic Sun Conference championship and the No. 1 seed in next week's league tournament, dropping Stetson in an impressive 84-49 victory inside Memorial Center. It is the first A-Sun men's basketball championship for the Bucs since joining the league in 2005-06 ... The regional television audience on CSS witnessed the Buccaneers improve to 21-8 overall, 15-2 in A-Sun play, thanks mainly to a double-double performance from senior Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.), who posted a 19-point, 11-rebound effort. He was joined in double figures by freshman guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) with 14 points, while sophomore guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) netted 12, but the story of the night was the Bucs' defense, which held Stetson to just 26 percent shooting from the floor ... ETSU forced the issue in the first half, turning up the defensive pressure and not allowing the Hatters a chance to even think about an upset. The Bucs forced 10 turnovers and picked up nine steals in the opening 20 minutes, holding Stetson (11-18, 6-11) to a dismal 16 percent shooting percentage. Meanwhile, the Bucs scorched the nets for a 52 percent shooting clip, hitting on 3-of-8 from beyond the 3-point arc and 9-of-11 from the foul line. In the end, those numbers led to a sizeable 38-16 lead for the Bucs as the two teams headed into the intermission ... In the second half, the Hatters - who led only once by two points at the 18:23 mark of the first half - used a pair of five-point runs to cut the ETSU lead to 16 at 42-26 with 13:45 left. However, from there the Bucs rolled away, outscoring the Hatters 31-13 over the next 10 minutes to take a 73-40 advantage and empty the bench in the final minutes ... The Bucs ended the game with a highly unselfish 26 assists on the night, out-rebounding Stetson 40-29, forcing 17 Stetson turnovers and grabbing 10 steals. ETSU shot 55 percent from the floor, 38 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and 85 percent from the foul line. Nuckles' double-double was his 12th on the season and his 17th all-time, and he is now just 33 points shy of reaching 1,000 for his career ... For Stetson, Garfield Blair was the only player to reach double figures in scoring with 11 points.

Last time out

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 8, 2008) - A night after Belmont opened the door with a win over Jacksonville, the ETSU men's basketball team sprang to the top of the Atlantic Sun Conference standings with a 95-71 win over Florida Gulf Coast in the first ever meeting between the schools Friday night at Alico Arena ... With the win, ETSU (14-9 overall, 8-2 A-Sun) moves into a three-way tie with both Belmont and Jacksonville at the top of the league standings. Meanwhile, FGCU drops to 8-16, 4-6 ... For the game, five ETSU players reached double figures, with junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) leading the way with a game high 28 points, while junior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) pitched in 19, senior guard Travis Strong (Memphis) and senior forward Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) netted 14 each, and sophomore guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) added 10. The Bucs shot 55 percent from the field and 42 percent from beyond the arc, overwhelming the Eagles with their offensive efficiency, while defensively forcing 25 FGCU turnovers on 12 steals ... The offensive onslaught by the Bucs highlighted the first half, as ETSU scored a season best 54 points in the initial 20 minutes and led 54-32 at the break. With the score 16-11 in favor of the Bucs at the 11:53 mark, Swader slammed home a basket on an inbounds pass and ignited a 25-9 run that made it 41-20 with 6:16 left before the intermission. In all, the Bucs shot 65 percent from the field (20-of-31) and 47 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (7-of-15), with Pigram scoring 21 points and Tiggs tossing in 10 ... The Eagles battled in the second half, cutting the lead to 13 points at 82-69 with 5:36 remaining. But fortunately for the Bucs, a 3-pointer by Strong squelched the Eagles momentum and from there ETSU outscored FGCU 10-2 the rest of the way to win by 24 ... For FGCU, Delvin Franklin scored a game high 16 points, while Landon Adler pitched in 14 and Casey Wohlleb netted 11. The Eagles shot 48 percent from the field, but just 50 percent from the foul line.

Tiggs wins second A-Sun POTW honor

MACON, Ga. (Feb. 4, 2008) - ETSU junior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) became the first player this season to win multiple Atlantic Sun Player of the Week awards after averaging a double-double, 22.0 points per game and 10.0 rebounds, in leading the Buccaneers to a pair of home wins ... Tiggs kept the Buccaneers in a tie with Belmont, one game behind Jacksonville in the A-Sun by shooting 60 percent from the floor, 66.7 percent from the 3-point arc and 85.7 percent at the line ... In Friday night's CSS Game of the Week, Tiggs, a business major, turned in one of the best performances of the season, scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, in leading ETSU past Mercer for the sixth time in as many meetings. Seven of his 12 rebounds came at the offensive end. He connected on 11-of-16 shooting and on both of his 3-point attempts. Two days later, he scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half as ETSU won for the fifth straight game, defeating the upset-minded Kennesaw State Owls, 72-66. Tiggs did most of his damage from the charity stripe, making 10-of -12, 8-10 in the second half ... Tiggs, the 2007 NJCAA Coaches Association Division II National Player of the Year, has thrived in his first year in the A-Sun, averaging 15.7 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game. He ranks second in the A-Sun in field goal percentage at 56.0. He increased his stats across the board over his last six games, averaging 19.0 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game while shooting 60.0 percent from the floor.

Tiggs taking over

With his second A-Sun Player of the Week honor now in his possession, junior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) is certainly making an impression on the ETSU basketball program and the Atlantic Sun Conference in his first season wearing the Blue and Gold ... After several strong performances, Tiggs is second in scoring (15.9 ppg), and first in rebounding (6.0 rpg) and steals (1.6) on the team ... In the league, he ranks second in field goal percentage (56 percent) and is sixth in free throw percentage (80 percent) ... This season, he has already posted three double-doubles, and has reached double figures in scoring 14 times this season.

Bucs to play Tennessee Tech in ESPN BracketBusters

The ETSU men's basketball team will play host to former Ohio Valley Conference rival and in-state foe Tennessee Tech as part of the annual ESPN BracketBuster Saturday, Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. inside Memorial Center ... The Buccanneers and the Golden Eagles have met 66 times in a series that dates back to 1923. The two teams are tied in the series 33-33, but the Bucs have enjoyed three straight wins, with the last meeting coming in 2004 ... "This will be a good late season test for our team as we prepare for our conference tournament," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team is currently enjoying a five-game winning streak. "We have a long tradition against Tennessee Tech, and this will be a fun matchup for our fans that remember the days in the OVC. Having a return trip next year to Tennessee Tech will also give our fans a non-conference game they can travel to easily." For more on Tennessee Tech, visit www.ttusports.com.

Swader, Strong power resurgent offense

During their present six game winning streak, the Buccaneers have found their rythm on offense thanks in great part to the shooting of senior forward Kenyona Swader (Smyrna) and senior guard Travis Strong (Memphis) ... In going 6-0, the Bucs are averaging 85.5 points a game ... Individually, Swader is averaging 13.2 points and 6.3 rebounds a game, while Strong is averaging 13.7 points a game ... As for percentage shooting, Strong is 25-of-27 from the foul line (93 percent) and is hitting 40 percent from beyond 3-point range ... Meanwhile, Swader is connecting on 59 percent from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range.

Bucs' RPI, Strength of Schedule rank among best in nation

Though the Bucs are now 14-9 on the year, the team's slow start is understandable when considering ETSU played an exceptionally tough early season schedule ... As of Jan. 21 the Buccaneers' strength of schedule (SOS) ranked 74th in the country according to RealtimeRPI.com ... That SOS rank is obvious when looking at the RPI of ETSU's opponents in the early season schedule, which included -- at the time -- St. Mary's (4th), Dayton (7th) and Syracuse (11th) ... In fact, until just recently the Bucs SOS was as high at 18th in the country, before entering conference play ... As for RPI, the Bucs rank a respectable 137th out of 342 Division I teams.

Home Sweet Dome

Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 116-37 inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 76 percent ... The Bucs had won five straight at Memorial Center during the 2006-07 season before a loss to Belmont (1/2) ... The Bucs then rattled off 10 straight at home to stand at 15-1 on the Memorial Center floor that season, but fell to Belmont in the final game of the year in the championship of the A-Sun Tournament ... This year, the Bucs are 9-1 at Memorial Center.

The Bucs at the Rainbow Classic

Spending a week in Hawaii during the winter months is always enjoyable, but ETSU's second trip ever to the Rainbow Classic was a bittersweet experience ... While the Bucs picked up their first win over a Southeastern Conference opponent since 1991-92 with a 76-58 victory over Georgia in the first round, the team finished the trip 1-2 after falling in back-to-back games to St. Mary's and Louisiana-Lafayette ... While the St. Mary's game was expected to be difficult -- considering the Gaels were ranked No. 2 in the RPI -- the 82-80 overtime loss to a 3-7 Lafayette team kept the Bucs from evening their season record to 6-6 coming home from the islands ... In two trips to the Rainbow, the Bucs are now 2-4 all time.

Another championship banner

With a win against Stetson (2/22), the Bucs wrapped up an outright 2006-07 A-Sun regular season title and garnered the No. 1 seed in the week's league championship tournament ... For ETSU, it was the continuation of a recent string of success that dates back to the 2000-2001 season ... In all, the Bucs have captured championships in five of the last seven seasons, including back-to-back NCAA Tournament trips in 2002-03 and 2003-04, and a trip to the NIT in 2006-07 ... Here is the championship breakdown:

2000-2001 -- Southern Conference North Division Championship

2001-2002 -- SoCon North Division championship

2002-2003 -- SoCon North Division championship; SoCon Tournament Championship

2003-2004 -- SoCon North Division championship, SoCon Regular Season Championship, SoCon Tournament Championship

2006-2007 -- Atlantic Sun Conference Regular Season Championship

Non-conference home win streak at 16

Over the last three seasons, the Bucs have fared well against non-conference opponents within the confines of Memorial Center ... In fact, the Bucs have won 16 straight non-conference homes games since losing a 90-73 contest to Fresno State back on Nov. 27, 2004 ... ETSU has enjoyed wins over teams such as Marshall (2), Chattanooga, Central Michigan, Morehead State, Tennessee Tech, UNC Asheville, Eastern Kentucky, Radford and Appalachian State in that time frame ... Against conference opponents, the Bucs have won 10 straight regular season conference games.

Pigram eclipses 1,000 points

Beginning just his third season at ETSU, junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) has already eclipsed the 1,000-point mark with a jump shot from the right corner at the 17:52 mark against Chattanooga (11/28) ... That basket gave Pigram 1,000 for his career and following the contest with the Mocs ... The junior now stands at 1,308 for his career and ranks for 10th on the all-time program scoring list ... The 6-1 shooting guard scored 325 points as a freshman and then netted a remarkable 614 as a sophomore ... His 614 points a year ago ranks 6th on the single season list.

1,123 wins and counting

With a win Jan. 25, 2007 against Belmont, the Bucs collected the program's 1,100th win all-time ... In over 80 years of basketball, the Bucs are 1,123-903.

Bucs on the Tube

Along with the new ASun.TV package which will video stream all ETSU men's and women's home games on the Internet, the Bucs will again have a significant presence on the television screen as well this year ... In fact, ETSU's trips to Oklahoma State (Dec. 8) and Syracuse (Dec. 15) both aired live locally, with the Oklahoma State game showing on WKPT (ABC) and the Syracuse contest aired on WJHL (CBS) ... The Bucs will also appear on regional cable through the Friday night CSS Atlantic Sun Game of the Week with the Jan. 25th trip to Jacksonville and the Feb. 1 home game against Mercer scheduled for air on CSS ... In addition, Charter Main Street will air its weekly ETSU replay on Charter 13 and Comcast 14 Tuesday nights at 8 p.m., with the weekly games beginning on Dec. 4th with the Tennessee-Wesleyan game ... For a complete schedule, visit ETSUBucs.com.

Chilton's No. 42 comes out of retirement

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 31, 2007) - For many years, Tom Chilton's No. 42 has held a special place in ETSU basketball's history. Next season, fans will see that special number on the floor once again ... Chilton, who ranks first all-time with 26.1 points per game and fifth on the all-time scoring list with 1,801, has agreed to allow junior transfer Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) to wear his No. 42 jersey for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 season. Chilton, who now makes his home in Madison, Ind., said he was honored a current player would want to wear his number ... "I wish him the best and I'm honored he wants to wear No. 42," said Chilton, whose 42 is the only retired number in ETSU's program history. "I hope he always considers that the number doesn't make the player, but the player makes the number. A lot of hard work and effort went into that number during my time there, but ETSU gave a lot back to me and I wouldn't be where I am today without that university, so I'm happy to allow the number to be worn again." ... ETSU head coach Murry Bartow said he was appreciative Chilton would allow the number to come out of retirement, and he reiterated that the number will go back into retirement two years from now ... "Tom Chilton was one of the finest players to ever wear an ETSU uniform, and his willingness to allow Kevin to wear the number shows he is still proud to be a part of our program's tradition," Bartow said. "It's our expectation that Kevin understand the importance of the number and the responsibility that goes with wearing it." ... Tiggs, the 2007 National Junior College Division II Player of the Year, said he certainly understood the history behind the number ... "Mr. Chilton was and is a legend here, so wearing his number comes with a great deal of responsibility," Tiggs said. "I just want to play in a way that would make him proud."

 

 

 

 

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