COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 24, 2008) -- Looking for their first road win of the season, the ETSU men's basketball team will face Tennessee Tech Monday evening at 8 p.m. (EST) inside Eblen Center.
The Buccaneers (2-2) are coming off a 96-66 win over Wingate in their regular season home opener, and hope that senior Courtney Pigram (Memphis) can continue with strong play he displayed against the Bulldogs. In that win, Pigram became just the second ETSU player to post a triple-double, scoring 21 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists.
For more on the game with Tennessee Tech, see the game notes below or click on the game notebook link above.
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 Tennessee Tech
The Bucs and Golden Eagles have met 67 times in their histories, with the teams enjoying several years as rivals in the Ohio Valley Conference ... The all-time slate is led by ETSU 34-33, but the Bucs have won foiur straight, with the last victory coming back on Feb. 23, 2008, an 88-80 Buc victory at Memorial Center.
Last time out against Tennessee Tech
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 23, 2008) - In need of a confidence boost, the ETSU men's basketball team got one during ESPN's BracketBuster Saturday courtesy of the Ohio Valley Conference's Tennessee Tech ... The Buccaneers won for just the second time in their last five games, getting a career high six 3-pointers and 20 points from senior Travis Strong (Memphis), while senior Kenyona Swader (Smyrna) posted his second career double-double to lead ETSU to an 88-80 win over the Golden Eagles on Senior Day in front of 3,118 fans at Memorial Center ... A blowout seemed eminent in the first half, as the Bucs built a lead of as many as 19 points twice and held a 49-30 advantage with 2:37 remaining before the break. However, Tech bounced back with a 7-0 run to close out the half and trail 51-39 at the intermission ... In the second half, the Golden Eagles kept the pressure on in a big way, outscoring the Bucs 26-12 over the opening nine minutes, taking the air out of the Dome and giving Tech a 65-63 lead with 11:02 left in the game. Strong answered the challenge quickly with a 3-pointer that gave the Bucs the advantage back at 66-65, and ETSU would never relinquish the lead again, outscoring Tech 23-8 over the next seven minutes to lead 86-73 with 3:30 remaining in the half ... For the game, Strong was 6-of-12 from beyond the arc and finished with 20 points. He was joined with a team-high 20 by junior Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), while junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) posted 15 points. Swader finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Tech got a game-high 22 from Daniel Northern, while Amadi McKenzie netted 17, Rashaud Nixon added 12 and Anthony Fisher pitched in 11.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 20, 2008) - On what turned out to be a historic regular season home opener, senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) became just the second ETSU men's basketball player in program history to record a triple-double and head coach Murry Bartow picked up his 200th career win, as the Buccaneers trounced non-conference foe Wingate 96-66 at Memorial Center ... In front of a crowd of 2,750 fans, Pigram posted game-highs with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to steal the show. He joins former ETSU guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.), who posted the program's first triple-double against Kennesaw State back in 2006. While Pigram rewrote the record books, 6-11 freshman forward Seth Coy (Montgomery, Ind.) also did his part with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor and senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) matched Pigram with 21 points to lead ETSU (2-2) to the win ... The Bucs shot 60 percent from the floor for the game, and held Wingate (0-2) to just 31 percent from the field. ETSU out-rebounded the Bulldogs 45-33, and forced 20 turnovers, while shooting a strong 78 percent (21-of-27) from the foul line ... Despite the solid numbers, the game did not start well for the Bucs, as Wingate hit a pair of 3-pointers early to take an eight-point lead at 12-4. However, from there the Bucs went to the "12-feet and in" offense, slashing to the basket and finding Coy in the middle of the paint for point-blank shots. The result was a nine-minute stretch of action that saw the Bucs outscore Wingate 33-13 and take a 37-25 lead with five minutes left in the half ... The first half ended with ETSU leading 43-31, and the Bucs poured it on the second half, outscoring the Bulldogs 53-35 in the final 20 minutes to take the 30-point win, 96-66.
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
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 three
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 200-146 for his career, a 58 percent winning percentage ... Bartow, the son of legendary coach Gene Bartow, is also 97-62 (.606) at ETSU, leaving him just three 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 15.3 points per game and is averaging a team-best 6.8 rebounds a game ... Smith is shooting 46 percent from the floor and has posted a team-best 2.3 steals per game ... Smith, who has scored 660 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.