JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 9, 2008) -- Fresh off a conference opening victory over USC Upstate, the ETSU men's basketball team will look to keep its perfect 5-0 home record intact as the Buccaneers host Campbell in Atlantic Sun Conference play Thursday evening at 7 p.m. inside the Memorial Center.
The Bucs (7-7, 1-0) are 7-0 all-time against the Camels, but are not overlooking their next opponent, considering Campbell is coming off a win over back-to-back defending A-Sun Tournament Champion Belmont last Saturday.
Fans unable to attend the game can watch it live via video streaming provided at ASun.TV, or can listen to the live broadcast of the MSHA Buccaneer Sports Network by clicking on the link above.
For more on the game, read the game notes below or click on both the ETSU and Campbell game notebooks on the links above.
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 guardCourtney 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.), sophomore point guard Dequan Twilley (Shelbyville), 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 Campbell
The Bucs and Camels have met seven times in their histories, with ETSU holding a perfect 7-0 mark.
Last time against Campbell
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 5, 2007)- Holding Campbell to just 27 percent shooting and using a 32-7 run midway through the first half, the ETSU men's basketball team pulled away and never looked back in an 87-57 win over its Atlantic Sun Conference opponent in front of 4,357 fans at Memorial Center ... The Buccaneers, who improved to 18-7 overall, 12-1 in A-Sun play, won their 10th straight game and maintain their two-game lead over league rival Belmont with five league games remaining. As for the Fighting Camels, they drop to 10-13, 5-8 ... While the Bucs pulled away for the 30-point win, Campbell actually led 10-6 with 14:55 left in the first half. But from there, 3-pointers by junior forward Kenyona Swader (Smyrna) and freshman guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) ignited a 13-0 run by the Bucs. While the Camels managed a free throw to finally answer the offensive surge, the Bucs promptly posted another 19-4 run to basically put the game on cruise control at 38-17 with 3:38 left before the intermission ... In the second half, the Bucs didn't let up, outscoring the Camels 44-34 and holding them to just 31 percent shooting. For the game, ETSU hit on 49 percent of its shots, forced 24 Campbell turnovers, collected 14 steals and rejected 11 shots ... The Bucs were led in scoring by Twilley, who finished with 15 points thanks to a career high five 3-pointers. Meanwhile, sophomore guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) and senior forward Eryk Thomas (Fremont, Calif.) netted 13 points apiece, while junior forward Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) picked up 10 points. Senior forward Brad Nuckles (Council, Va.) had a game-high eight rebounds and scored eight points, while sophomore guard Tayloe Taylor had a game-high seven assists ... For Campbell, Kyle Vejraska led the way with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 5, 2008)- The ETSU men's basketball team may have been facing a first year Division I opponent, but USC Upstate was not interested in making anything easy for the Buccaneers ... In the first meeting ever between the schools, ETSU held just a 3-point lead with 10 minutes left in the game, but the Buccaneers were able to overcome one of their worst offensive games of the year to pick up a win in the Atlantic Sun Conference opener for both teams 67-60 at Memorial Center. With the win, ETSU improves to 7-7 on the year, 1-0 in A-Sun play, while USC Upstate drops to 2-13, 0-1 ... Four Bucs reached double figures, led by a game-high 14 points and team-high seven rebounds from senior forward Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.). Along with Reed, sophomore guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) pitched in 13, senior guard Travis Strong (Memphis) added 11, and junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) netted 10 ... For USC Upstate, forward Bobby Davis posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while teammate Jeremy Byrd posted a game-high 14. Luke Payne and Mezie Uzochukwu each added 11 points apiece for the Spartans ... In the first half, ETSU used a 16-4 run from the 16 to 11-minute mark to build a 22-8 lead. From there, the Bucs basically maintained that advantage thanks to 50 percent shooting from the floor, ultimately holding a 39-27 advantage at the intermission ... In the second half, the Bucs just could not get going offensively. In fact, ETSU would hit just five field goals after the break and allowed the Spartans to get within three points on a 3-pointer by Rashawn Brailsford with 10:03 left in the game. Luckily for the Bucs, they managed a 7-0 spurt to make it a 10-point game at the 7:48 mark, and the Spartans were only able to get as close as five points at 55-50 the rest of the game ... For the game, ETSU hit on just 41 percent of its shots, but held the Spartans to 34 percent. The Bucs out-rebounded USC Upstate 36-35, and ETSU was a decisive 25-of-33 from the foul line for a 76 percent clip. The Spartans had 10 steals and forced 23 turnovers by the Bucs.
Bucs' RPI, Strength of Schedule rank among best in nation
Though the Bucs are off to a 7-7 start, it's understandable when considering ETSU has only played four home games so far this season ... More importantly, the Buccaneers' strength of schedule (SOS) currently ranks 27th 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 includes St. Mary's (4th), Dayton (7th) and Syracuse (11th) ... As for RPI, the Bucs rank a respectable 134th out of 342 Division I teams.
Home Sweet Dome
Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 112-36 inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 75 percent ... The Bucs ETSU 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 5-0 at Memorial Center so far.
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.
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 nine straight regular season conference games.
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
New starting five
During the Bucs recent trip to the Rainbow Classic, head coach Murry Bartow used a completely new starting five, with junior guardJocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.), junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis), sophomore guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.), junior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) and senior forward Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) ... While that group went only 1-2 on the trip, they did pick up the win over SEC foe Georgia and lost a close overtime battle with Louisiana-Lafayette ... However, the Bucs reshuffled the lineup again versus Appalachian State, moving Pigram to the point position, and inserting seniors Travis Strong (Memphis) and Kenyona Swader (Smyrna) to go with Tiggs and Reed ... That starting five is now 2-0 on the year.
Davis, Pigram and assist/turnover ratio
One positive to come from the early season schedule as been the play of both junior guardsJocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) and Courtney Pigram (Memphis) ... From a distribution of the basketball and offensive production standpoint, both have shown an ability to pick up assists without turning the ball over ... Currently, Davis ranks fourth in the A-Sun with an assist/turnover ratio of 1.5 ... As for assists per game, Pigram ranks 3rd with 4.0 a game.
Pigram eclipses 1,000 points
Beginning just his third season at ETSU, junior guardCourtney 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 1,164 for his career and ranks 19th 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.
Swader, Tiggs breaking out
Entering this season, a great deal was expected of both junior transferKevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) and senior forward Kenyona Swader (Smyrna) ... Following 13 games, the two are definitely meeting or surpassing those expections ... In the Bucs' win at UNCA, Tiggs scored the game winner with 1.7 seconds left and also picked up 20 points ... In the first Marshall game, Tiggs broke out with a game-high 26 points, and setting career marks in most every statistical category ... In all, Tiggs has scored at least 20 points in five of the Bucs' 14 games, and currently stands tall on the Atlantic Sun stat sheets, ranking second in field goal percentage and sixth in free throw percentage ... Meanwhile, Swader has provided an immediate offensive threat in his first 14 games, currently standing sixth on the team with 7.0 points per game ... Currently, Swader is 10th in the A-Sun with a 39 percent 3-point field goal percentage.
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."
1,116 wins and counting
With a win Jan. 25 against Belmont, the Bucs collected the program's 1,100th win all-time ... In over 80 years of basketball, the Bucs are 1,116-901-27.
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.
Bucs dominate Preseason All A-Sun Picks
Last season, ETSU won its first Atlantic Sun Conference men's basketball title, but Belmont denied the Buccaneers the conference's automatic bid in the final of the General Shale Brick Men's Basketball Championship ... Entering the 2007-08 season, both the coaches and the media predict that the Buccaneers will again be battling the Bruins for conference supremacy ... Both chose ETSU as the favorite to win the conference and defend its regular-season title with Belmont second ... The Bucs were the clear choice by the media to win the tournament ... The Buccaneers, who have gone 28-10 in A-Sun play in their two years in the league, will continue to be led byCourtney Pigram (Memphis). The junior from Memphis, Tenn. was named the preseason Player of the Year following up his Player of the Year award for the 2006-07 season. As a sophomore, Pigram averaged 18.1 points per game, second-best in the conference and also ranked in the top 10 in steals (2nd, 2.62 SPG), 3-point field goals per game (3rd, 2.62 3-pt FG per game) and assists (7th, 3.74 APG). He turned in one the league's virtuoso performances of the season when he dished out a conference-record 18 assists against Mercer on February 24 to go along with 29 points and eight rebounds. The 18 assists set an A-Sun record, were one off the school record and were the second-highest single-game total in Division I in the last two seasons.