Bucs return to A-Sun play Saturday, host FGCU in Memorial Center
Friday, February 6, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 7, 2009) -- With the goals of avenging a loss to Florida Gulf Coast earlier this season and remaining at the top of the Atlantic Sun Conference standings, the ETSU men's basketball team will welcome the Eagles into Memorial Center Saturday at 4 p.m.

This will be the third meeting all-time between the Bucs and FGCU, but the first time the Eagles have ventured into the Mini-Dome. The Bucs come into the game at 16-6 overall, 10-2 in A-Sun play, and remain tied with Jacksonville for first place in the regular season race. Meanwhile, Florida Gulf Coast stands at 10-15, 6-8, but defeated ETSU 64-61 back on Jan. 12 in Fort Myers.

Fans unable to attend the game can listen to the radio broadcast on the MSHA Buccaneer Sports Network, which is also available through audio streaming at ETSUBucs.com. In addition, the game will air through live video streaming at ASun.TV

For more on the game, click on the game notebook link above, or read the game notes below:


The series against Florida Gulf Coast

With FGCU just joining the A-Sun last season, the Bucs and Eagles have met just two times with both those games being played in Fort Myers ... The series currently stands at 1-1 after the Eagles handed the Bucs what was at the time their first league loss of the season, 64-61 back on Jan. 12.

Last time against FGCU

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 12, 2009) -- Suffering through several scoring droughts and ultimately posting a poor offensive effort, the ETSU men's basketball team was stunned inside Alico Arena, falling to Florida Gulf Coast 64-61 in Atlantic Sun Conference play ... With the loss, the Buccaneers drop to 11-5 overall, 5-1 in A-Sun play, while the Eagles improve to 8-10, 4-3 ... Early on the Bucs opened up a 16-8 margin, after Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) drilled a three with 11:59 left in the first half. FGCU's Delvin Franklin knocked down a free throw with 7:08 left to cut the margin to four points at 23-19, but FGCU was unable to get any closer in the first half. ETSU ended the first half on a 6-0 run to carry a 30-22 lead into the break ... FGCU came out in the second half and jumped on the Bucs right away, pulling even at 36-36 just 3:28 into the half. But ETSU would respond with a 9-1 run to regain their eight-point edge with 13:37 left. The Bucs would hold on to a healthy lead for awhile, and after an Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) dunk, ETSU held a 51-42 lead with 10:57 to play. The Eagles quickly cut into the nine-point lead, as Reggie Chambers knocked down a jumper and a three-pointer and Ed Rolax hit a pair of free throws to pull within 2 at 51-49 ... Once again the Bucs responded, running off six straight points to reassert an eight-point lead with 6:55 remaining in the game. A few minutes later, Franklin connected on a three-point shot to bring the Eagles back to within 3 points at 59-56. Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) of ETSU knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:28 left, giving the Bucs a 61-57 lead. After Kyle Marks' shot was blocked by Isiah Brown, Derrick O'Neil drew a foul and hit both free throws, advancing the score to 61-59 with 1:11 to go. On the Bucs next possession Chambers picked Courtney Pigram's (Memphis) pocket and ran the floor to perfection, hitting a layup and drawing a foul from Smith. With the scored tied at 61 and just 37 seconds remaining, Chambers connected on the free throw to give FGCU a one-point lead ... After ETSU called a timeout, the Bucs held the ball until about seven seconds left. Pigram handed off to Brown for the last shot, but Brown's 18-foot jumper was too strong, and the Eagles' Franklin pulled down the rebound off the back iron. Franklin hit both free throws at the other end, and Pigram's last second prayer was not answered, and FGCU held on for a 64-61 victory ... For the Buccaneers (11-5, 5-1), Jarvis Jones (Memphis) and Tiggs each had a team-high 13 points, and Tiggs also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds with a game-high five steals. Pigram scored 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting and also dished out a game-high eight assists. Smith added 10 points and 7 boards as well ... For the Eagles (8-10, 4-3), Franklin led all scorers with 18 points in addition to grabbing seven rebounds. Reed Baker scored 12 points in addition to swiping seve steals, the most this year by an Eagle and tied for the second most in school history.

Last time out

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 1, 2009) - Overcoming its worst first half production of the season, the ETSU men's basketball team got a double-double performance from junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) to make up a 10-point halftime deficit and avoid an upset at the hands of North Florida, dropping the Ospreys 67-64 Sunday afternoon at the UNF Arena ... Smith posted 14 rebounds and a career high 24 points in the winning effort, while senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) pitched in 17. With USC Upstate's 70-59 upset win over Jacksonville on Sunday, the Bucs move back into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference race, moving to 16-6 overall, 10-2 in the A-Sun. Meanwhile, North Florida drops to 4-17, 2-9 ... The first half was absolutely atrocious for the Buccaneers, as they committed 13 turnovers, had no steals or assists, and shot just 39 percent from the field. The result was ETSU's worst offensive first half of the year and a 33-23 advantage for the Ospreys at the break ... However, in the second half the Bucs unwrapped their patented fullcourt pressing style and the result was a more up tempo game. ETSU ultimately made up seven points to make it 47-44 with 10:53 left in the game, and from there the Bucs took their first lead at 50-49 on a layup by Tiggs with 8:02 left ... The Bucs ultimately moved out to a seven-point advantage with 1:45 left thanks to a 3-pointer by senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis), but a pair of 3-pointers by the Ospreys ultimately spurred a frantic rally late to make it 65-64 with 14 seconds left. Smith then hit a pair of free throws to move the advantage to 67-64, an attempted 3-pointer by UNF's Cortez Riley missed the mark, and an offensive rebound by senior forward Greg Hamlin (Flint, Mich.) on a missed free throw by Smith with two seconds left iced the win ... ETSU ultimately rebounded in the second half to shoot 52 percent from the floor for the game, and after committing 13 turnovers in the first half the Bucs had just five in the second half, while forcing 12 turnovers by the Ospreys ... For UNF, Eni Cuka led the way and matched Smith's efforts with a game-high 24 points.

Three 1,000-point scoreres on the same team?

While it is not rare to have multiple players on the same team that "eventually" become 1,000-point scorers, having multiple players on the same team that have already eclipsed 1,000-points is rare ... This season, the Bucs have a possibility of having three players that have all reached 1,000 points in their careers ... Those players include Courtney Pigram (Memphis), Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) and Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) ... Currently, Pigram has already reached that mark and stands at 1,847 points for his career, while Tiggs has 914 points and Smith has posted 918 for his career ... With a guaranteed 9 games left, Tiggs would have to average 9.6 points a game and Smith would need 9.1 a contest to reach 1,000 points ... The only two times in ETSU history that the Bucs have had three or more 1,000 point scorers on the floor at the same time was in 1990-91 and 2003-04 ... In 1990-91, four 1,000-point scorers were on the floor together at the same time, Keith "Mister" Jennings, Calvin Talford, Major Geer and Alvin West were on the floor together ... The other season this occurred was in 2003-04, when Jerald Fields, Zakee Wadood and Tim Smith all reached 1,000 points.

Pigram remarkable in 39-point effort against JU

He had "that" look, and ETSU fans were treated to one of the most impressive individual performances in Buccaneer basketball history ... Senior guard Courtney Pigram's 39-point effort in ETSU's 84-82 victory over Jacksonville in Jan. 3 tied for 9th on the program's all-time single game scoring list, while coming up just three points shy of the Memorial Center's all-time single game scoring mark of 42 points, which was set by Dimeco Childress against Western Carolina back in 2002.

ETSU the "only" A-Sun team picked among nation's best "Prestige" programs

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (July 22, 2008) - Since the beginning of 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 a new "Prestige" ranking released by ESPN.com ... The Buccaneers, who have enjoyed six NCAA Tournament trips, one NIT berth, seven 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 Conference team, as well as former Southern Conference rivals Appalachian State, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro. The Bucs also were placed ahead of every current member of the Colonial Athletic Association with the exception of Old Dominion ... In addition, the Bucs ranked ahead of SEC schools such as Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Georgia, Mississippi and Auburn, as well as other major programs such as Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, DePaul, Bradley, Clemson, California and Florida State.


Pigram, Tiggs impressive on offensive end in 2008-09

Seniors Courtney Pigram (Memphis) and Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) have enjoyed impressive offensive performances this season, and the two rank among the nation's best when it comes to offensive production ... As of Jan. 25, Tiggs leads the Atlantic Sun Conference and ranks 23rd nationally with a 20.3 points per game average, while Pigram ranks second in the A-Sun with 18.3 points a game ... In addition, Pigram has moved to 5th on the ETSU all-time scoring list with 1,847 points in his career, passing former ETSU great Tom Chilton ... He ranks 10th on the A-Sun all-time scoring list ... Additionally, Pigram is one of just four active players nationally with more than 1,500 points, 350 assists and 200 steals in their careers ... That list includes:

Player, School......................................................Asts Stls Pts

David Holston, Chicago State 419 204 1959

Courtney Pigram, ETSU 372 212 1847

Dominic James, Marquette 576 208 1631

Jerel McNeal, Marquette 375 245 1606

16-6 start ranks as one of best ever for Bucs

The Bucs 16-6 mark matches is the best start for ETSU since the 2003-04 season, when that team opened the year at 18-4 through 20 games ... The Bucs' three non-conference road wins this season (Tn. Tech, Marshall and Appalachian), also fall just one win shy of the 2003-04 season in which the Bucs won four non-conference road games (Houston, UNC-A, Tn. Tech and Fresno State) ... That 2003-04 squad ultimately finished with 27 wins, a SoCon regular season and tournament title, and a trip to the NCAAs.

Bartow reaches 100th victory at ETSU;

recently eclipsed 200 career wins with Wingate victory

ETSU head coach Murry Bartow reached 100 wins at ETSU with the Buccaneers 81-61 win over Mercer (12/5), a milestone which comes after just having reached 200 career coaching wins as the Buccaneers defeated Wingate (11/20) ... Bartow is now 214-150 for his career, a 59 percent winning percentage ... Bartow, the son of legendary coach Gene Bartow, is also 112-67 (.626) at ETSU, which gives him the best winning percentage in school history ... In his previous five seasons at ETSU, Bartow has averaged 19 wins a year.

Home Sweet Dome

Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 127-39 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 championship of the A-Sun Tourney... In 2007-08, the Bucs were 11-2 at Memorial Center ... This season the Bucs are 8-1 at home.