Fleece blanket giveaway highlights Saturday games
Friday, November 30, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 30, 2007) -- The first 1,500 fans to arrive at Memorial Center Saturday for ETSU's men's basketball game with Tennessee-Wesleyan will receive a fleece blanket provided by Phil Bachman Toyota. Tip time for the Bucs vs. Bulldogs is set for noon.

ETSU (2-3) will be looking to rebound from its third loss of the season Wednesday night in Chattanooga. That game followed a similar story as in the team's previous two losses, with the Bucs building a significant first half lead only to see foul trouble and poor rebounding doom their hopes for the win.

Fans unable to attend the game in Memorial Center can watch live via video streaming at ASun.TV, or can listen to the free audio stream provided at ETSUBucs.com. For more on Saturday's game, click on the game notes link above or read below for game day information:

Buc Shots

A seven-time NCAA Tournament participant and two-time NIT participant, the ETSU Buccaneers ended the 2007-08 season coming off a regular season Atlantic Sun Conference championship with a 24-10 overall record, 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.), 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 finished last season 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 ranked as a team and individually in the NCAA charts last season on page 4.

The series against Tennessee-Wesleyan

This is the sixth meeting between the Bucs and Bulldogs, but the first since 1947 ... ETSU leads the all-time series 4-1 and has won the last three meetings.

Last time out

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Nov. 28, 2007) - Committing 30 fouls, giving up 31 points at the free throw line and getting out-rebounded 56-33, the ETSU men's basketball team relinquished a 13-point halftime lead to former Southern Conference rival Chattanooga in an 80-76 non-conference loss Wednesday night at the McKenzie Arena ... The Buccaneers, who led 40-27 at the half, could not keep the momentum in the second 20 minutes, as Chattanooga scored 55 points after the break. Overlooked in the loss was a major accomplishment by junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis), who reached the 1,000-point plateau with a basket at the 17:52 mark of the first half ... Indeed, the Bucs have been frustrated on the road, losing by four at Dayton in the season opener, by one in overtime at Marshall, and now by four at rival Chattanooga. In all three games, the Bucs have held double digit leads only to see their opponents rally back from the foul line and with offensive rebounds. This game was no different ... Leading by as many as 16 points with just over three minutes left in the first half, ETSU eventually led 40-27 at the break. However, Chattanooga came out in the second half and took advantage of ETSU's fouling issues, as the Mocs were in the bonus by the first media time out with 15:50 left in the game. Ultimately, UTC's defensive stops, foul shots and rebounding would get them to a tie game at 56-56 with just over nine minutes left in the game ... A Pigram 3-pointer made it 59-56 ETSU, but from there the Mocs regained the lead thanks to five straight points from guard Stephon McDowell and never gave up the advantage for the final eight minutes ... Chattanooga out-rebounded the Bucs 56-33 and the Mocs were 31-of-44 from the foul line compared to ETSU's 17-of-23 clip from the line. More disturbing for ETSU was the fact that the Mocs shot just 37 percent from the floor for the game ... The Bucs were led by 20 points from junior Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), while Pigram had 19. Senior guard Travis Strong (Memphis) had 12 points, while senior forward Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.). For Chattanooga, Nicchaeus Doaks had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while McDowell pitched in 19 points, and Kevin Goffney had 15. For the Mocs, Khalil Hartwell had a game-high 14 rebounds.

Tiggs named A-Sun Player of the Week

MACON, Ga. (Nov. 26, 2007) - Senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) averaged 23.0 PPG in two overtime games last week, but his effort in the final minute of the Buccaneers' two-point win at UNC Asheville secured him his first Player of the Week award. He scored six of the Buccaneers final eight points, including the decisive final basket as ETSU escaped with an 89-87 win ... With ETSU trailing by a point, Tiggs grabbed an offensive rebound and scored for a one-point lead, only to have the Bulldogs hit a 3-pt field goal for an 87-85 lead. After turnovers by both teams, ETSU tied the game on a lay up with just under six seconds left, and Tiggs then stole the inbounds pass to score the game-winning layup with 1.7 seconds left. He finished the game with a team-high 20 points, his second straight game of at least 20 points ... The UNC Asheville game culminated a break-out week for Tiggs. He scored 26 points for ETSU in its one-point loss at Marshall. For the week, he averaged 23.0 PPG and 6.5 RPG while hitting on 60.7 percent of his field goal attempts (17-28), going a perfect 12-12 from the free-throw line and picking up four steals and a pair of blocks ... Tiggs, a business major from Flint, Mich., entered his first season with the Buccaneers with high acclaim. A year ago, he earned The NJCAA Coaches Association Division II National Player of the Year honor after averaging, 18.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 3.2 SPG in leading Mott Community College to a national championship.

Foul issues

With 125 fouls in their first five games -- an average of 25 a contest -- the Buccaneers are certainly hearing the whistle too much ... By comparison, ETSU opponents have committed just 85 fouls against the Bucs ... In particular, during the Bucs three losses of the season, they have been whistled 26 times (Dayton), 27 times (Marshall) and 30 times (Chattanooga) ... In all three games, the Bucs had multiple players leave the game with five fouls, including three players against UTC ... Against the Mocs, those 30 fouls led to a lop-sided foul shot differential, as the Mocs were 31-of-44 from the line compared to just 17-of-23 for ETSU.

Pigram closing in on 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 1,017 for his career ... 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 all-time list.

Swader, Tiggs breaking out

Entering this season, a great deal was expected of both junior transfer Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) and senior forward Kenyona Swader (Smyrna) ... Following five games, the two are definitely meeting or surpassing those expections ... In the Bucs' last win UNCA, Tiggs scored the game winner with 1.7 seconds left and also picked up 20 points ... Against Marshall, 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 three of the Bucs' five games, and currently stands tall on the Atlantic Sun stat sheets, ranking 2nd in scoring, second in field goal percentage, fifth in free throw percentage and sixth in steals ... Meanwhile, Swader has provided an immediate offensive threat in his first four games, currently standing fifth on the team with 7.8 points per game ... Currently, Swader is sixth in the the A-Sun with a 47 percent 3-point field goal percentage, and is 4th in overall field goal percentage at .577.

Bucs leading the A-Sun in field goal percentage

Currently, the Bucs sport three of the best shooters in the Atlantic Sun Conference, as Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) and Kenyona Swader (Smyrna) ranked 2, 3 and 4, respectively ... For a complete breakdown of the Bucs' standing in the Atlantic Sun Conference stat sheets, go to Page 6 of this notebook.

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."

A great season in 2006-07

With 16 wins in its last 19 games a year ago, ETSU enjoyed a 2006-07 record of 24-10 overall, 16-2 in A-Sun play ... It was the best overall and conference record for the Bucs since the 2003-04 season ... That season, the Bucs were 27-6 and 15-1 in Southern Conference play, losing by three points to Cincinnati in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Home Sweet Dome

Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 108-36 inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 75 percent ... 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 this season, but fell to Belmont in the final game of the year in the championship of the A-Sun Tournament.

Non-conference home win streak at 13

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 13 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, Chattanooga, Central Michigan, Morehead State, Tennessee Tech, UNC Asheville, Eastern Kentucky and Radford in that time frame.

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, plans are for ETSU's trips to Oklahoma State (Dec. 8) and Syracuse (Dec. 15) to air live locally, with the Oklahoma State game showing on WAPK and the Syracuse contest airing on WJHL ... The Bucs will also appear on regional cable through the Friday's 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 and click on the men's basketball schedule link.

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 by Courtney 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.

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

1,111 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 1,109-891-27 all-time after dropping Lipscomb on March 2.