Bucs, Braves set for 8 p.m. meeting Saturday in Peoria, Ill.
Friday, November 28, 2008

PEORIA, Ill. (Nov. 29, 2008) -- With its first non-conference road win of the season already in hand, the ETSU men's basketball team heads out again to take on Missouri Valley Conference foe Bradley Saturday evening inside Carver Arena at 8 p.m. (EST).

The Buccaneers (3-2) and Braves (3-2) have never met on the hardwood, and this will be the only time during the regular season the Bucs will play a MVC member. ETSU is coming off a 78-65 win over Tennessee Tech earlier this week.

Live radio coverage of the game will be available on the MSHA Buccaneer Sports Network, while free audio streaming will be accessible at ETSUBucs.com.

For more on the game, see the game notes below or click on the notebook link located above.

Buc Shots

A seven-time NCAA Tournament and two-time NIT participant, the ETSU Buccaneers enter the 2008-09 season having come up just one win shy of the 20-win mark in 2007-08 and looking to avenge a hard fought loss to Belmont in the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament ... With a 19-13 overall mark and a third place finish in regular season league action (11-5) a year ago, the Bucs return their top two and three of their top six scorers from a year ago, led by first-team All Atlantic Sun selection Courtney Pigram (Memphis) ... The 6-1 guard will begin his senior campaign with 1,445 career points after having averaged a team-leading 15.8 points, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals a game last year .... Pigram will be joined by senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), who helped power the offense with 14.6 points and a team-high 2.9 offensive rebounds a game last season en route to earning second team All A-Sun honors.

The series against Bradley

This is the first meeting between the Bucs and Braves.

Last time out

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 24, 2008) - Building a 14-point halftime lead and surviving a second half rally which cut that advantage to just three points, the ETSU men's basketball team picked up a win in its first non-conference road game of the season, downing in-state and former Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee Tech 78-65 inside the Eblen Center ... A short-handed Buccaneer squad - now playing without senior guard Jocolby Davis (wrist/hand) and freshman Seth Coy (foot) who was injured over the weekend when a teammate stepped on his foot in practice - got a game-high 23 points from senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), 22 points from senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis), and junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) picked up his second career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds to pick up the win .. With the victory, ETSU improves to 3-2 on the year, while Tennessee Tech dropped to 3-1 ... While that trio spurred the offensive effort, the Bucs' defense was equally impressive, holding the Golden Eagles to 33 percent shooting from the floor and 22 percent from beyond the 3-point line. On the glass and in the paint, ETSU dominated 42-31 and grabbed 30 defensive boards to just 18 for Tennessee Tech. Offensively, the Bucs hit on 46 percent of their shots and were 78 percent from the foul line. But even with the strong statistical numbers, the Bucs still had to battle for the win.

After getting the lead to 16 on an early bucket by Brown in the opening seconds of the second half, the Bucs were unable to keep the Golden Eagles down. After a basket by Smith made it 46-34 with 16:11 remaining in regulation, Tennessee Tech put together a 10-1 run to make it 47-44 with 11:15 remaining on the clock. However, from there Tiggs scored 10 of his 23 to stop the Eagle run and build the lead back to 13 at 67-54 with 3:34 left on the clock. The Bucs iced the game at the foul line at that point, and never allowed Tech to threaten ... The first half saw the Bucs put together arguably their best all-around 20 minutes of season. As a team, ETSU hit on 45 percent of its shots from the field, 50 percent from beyond the 3-point line and 79 percent from the charity stripe, all the while getting the job done defensively by holding the Golden Eagles to just 29 percent shooting from the floor and 16.7 percent from beyond the arc. On the boards, ETSU held a 25-16 advantage, including an edge of 7-5 on the offensive glass.

Hamlin, Brown step up in Coy's absence

After freshman Seth Coy (Montgomery, Ind.) earned a spot in the Bucs' starting five, there was a lot of hope for the 6-11 post ... However, after a foot injury sidelined Coy for the Tennessee Tech game, the Bucs turned to 6-7 senior forward Greg Hamlin (Flint, Mich.) and 6-8 freshman post Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) to step in and pick up the slack ... The two responded in a fine fashion ... Hamlin posted his career best game, scoring eight points, grabbing seven rebounds, dishing out three assists and blocking three shots ... Meanwhile, Brown posted eight points and five boards ... The coaches would take a combined 16 points and 12 rebounds from the duo each night.

Pigram makes history with triple-double

With his 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Wingate (11/20), senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) became just the second ETSU player to record a triple-double and the first to reach that special feat in NCAA Division I-A play this season ... He joins former Buc Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) on that exclusive list at ETSU ... In Atlantic Sun Conference play, Pigram is just the sixth player to accomplish that feat since 1996-97, and he is the first to post a triple-double against a non-conference opponent ... A full list of those players can be found below:

A-Sun Triple Doubles

Since 1996-97

Player School Date Opp Pt-Rb-Ast

Courtney Pigram ETSU 11/20/08 Wingate 21-10-10

Tim Smith ETSU 1/25/06 KSU 21-10-10

Damitrius Coleman Mercer 2/27/05 JU 13-14-14

Damitrius Coleman Mercer 1/03/05 FAU 14-12-11

Kingsley Edwards UCF 1/16/05 Troy 10-10-14

Dexter Lyons UCF 1/11/03 Troy 14-13-10

Bartow picks up 200th career win, just two

shy of 100 ETSU victories

ETSU head coach Murry Bartow reached 200 career coaching wins as the Buccaneers defeated Wingate (11/20) earlier this week ... Bartow is now 201-146 for his career, a 58 percent winning percentage ... Bartow, the son of legendary coach Gene Bartow, is also 99-62 (.609) at ETSU, leaving him just two shy of 100 with the Buccaneers ... In his previous five seasons at ETSU, Bartow has averaged 19 wins a year.

Bartow adds three early signees to 2009-10 class

ETSU men's basketball head coach Murry Bartow announced Wednesday that the Buccaneers have received three national letters of intent for their 2009-2010 recruiting class ... Three high school seniors have signed the dotted line with the Bucs, a trio that includes 6-foot-3 guard Sheldon Cooley of Tampa, Fla., 6-foot-8 forward Lukas Poderis of Port Richey, Fla., and 6-foot-1 guard Bruce Grimm of Rochester, Ind. ... Cooley, who averaged 22.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 7.0 blocks and 5.1 steals a game during his junior season at Plant High School, has been a four-year letter winner on the Panther squad. He was the Western Conference Player of the Year in 2007-08, a first team All-Suncoast and All-Tribune pick, and a third-team All-State Class 5A selection. Along with multiple other player of the year and all-star selections, Cooley will finish his senior season as his high school's all-time leading scorer ... While Poderis is originally from Lithuania, he currently plays at Ridgewood High School in Port Richey, Fla., the same school that produced former ETSU standout Andrew Reed. Poderis has helped his high school to three straight 20-wins seasons, and a year ago he averaged 18.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 67 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range. A 1,000-point scorer, Poderis was the Sunshine Athletic Conference Player of the Year last season, and a third-team All-State pick ... Grimm has been a three-year starter at Rochester High School, was a first-team all-conference selection as a sophomore and junior, while also receiving his team's most valuable player award. He averaged 20 points a game, while dishing out five assists, three steals and three rebounds a contest as a junior ... The Bucs are scheduled to have one more scholarship open for the 2009-2010 season.

ETSU 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.

Smith stepping up in junior year

In his first three games this season, 6-foot-6 junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) has done his part and then some ... Currently, Smith is third on the team 14.6 points per game and is averaging a team-best 7.6 rebounds a game ... Smith is shooting 46 percent from the floor and has posted a team-best 2.2 steals per game ... Smith, who has scored 672 points in his career, was named a team captain and has fit that role well.

Non-conference home win streak at 18

Over the last five seasons, the Bucs have fared well against non-conference opponents within the confines of Memorial Center ... In fact, the Bucs have won 18 straight non-conference home games since losing a 90-73 contest to Fresno State back on Nov. 27, 2004 ... ETSU has wins over teams such as Marshall (twice), Tennessee Tech (twice), Chattanooga, Central Michigan, Morehead State, UNC Asheville, Eastern Kentucky, Radford and Appalachian State during that time frame.

Home Sweet Dome

Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 119-38 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.