ETSU to face SIU Edwardsville in second round of Charleston Classic
Friday, November 14, 2008

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Nov. 14, 2008) -- The ETSU men's basketball team will continue with play in the second round of the Charleston Classic Saturday at 11:30 a.m., facing SIU Edwardsville inside the Carolina First Center.

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

The series against SIU Edwardsville

The Bucs and Cougars have met just one time with that game coming in 1983 and ETSU winning 56-52.

Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 14, 2008) - Temple's preseason All-American Dionte Christmas scored a game-high 26 points and the defending Atlantic 10 tournament champions held off a late ETSU rally to take a 79-65 win over the Buccaneers Friday afternoon in the first round of the Charleston Classic at the Carolina First Center ... In the season opener for both teams, Temple built a lead of as many as 24 points in the second half and held on as a late ETSU offensive surge cut the lead to nine points with 3:31 left. Now both teams will continue with second round play Saturday, as the Owls will play in the winner's bracket semifinals at 2 p.m. and the Bucs will play in the loser's bracket semis at 11:30 a.m. ... In the first half, ETSU's offense struggled to find any sort of rhythm and Christmas was everything that was expected, scoring 15 points on four long range bombs and three foul shots. Meanwhile, ETSU stars Courtney Pigram (Memphis) and Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) struggled to get anything going and finished with three and seven points, respectively, before the intermission ... Yet even with those issues, a Pigram 3-pointer with 10 seconds left in the first half would have made the lead 10, but it was waved off by the officials for a controversial five-second call. Temple responded in those waning seconds with a three of their own, making the score 44-28 in the second half. The six point swing was a dagger for the Bucs ... In the second half, Temple continued to put the pressure on the Bucs and it wasn't until ETSU began to press the Owls that they got some rhythm offensively. A 16-3 run made it 72-63 with 3:30 left and the Bucs had three shots to score again and cut the lead even more, but those attempts would not fall and Temple held on ... For the game, Temple shot 48 percent from beyond the 3-point line - 67 percent in the first half and just 27 percent in the second. The Owls out-rebounded the Bucs 50-44 and had 20 assists. The Bucs only turned the ball over 14 times, while forcing 18 Temple miscues on nine steals ... ETSU was led by junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.), who posted his first career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, Pigram pitched in 18 and freshman Jarvis Jones (Memphis) scored 12 ... Temple got a double-double from Christmas and teammate Lavoy Allen. Christmas finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Allen had 14 points and 15 boards. Ryan Brooks scored 15 and Ramone Moore netted 11 for the Owls ... ETSU shot 36 percent from the floor and just 50 percent from the foul line.

Injury bug early on

As the preseason unfolded over the last three weeks, the Bucs have dodged their share of injuries, but will still be without a key starter heading into the season ... Senior guard Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) will miss at least two months with an injured wrist suffered during an attempted car jacking in Atlanta ... Davis' injury means that freshman point guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) will be forced into the starting role at the point against Temple ... Meanwhile, freshman post Seth Coy (Montgomery, Ind.) was slowed with an injured foot for much of the preseason and just returned two weeks ago, while sophomore post Tommy Hubbard (Boston) is still nursing a sore elbow.

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 ... 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.

Getting defensive and stopping 3-pointers

During the offseason, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow renewed his team's commitment to the defensive end of the floor, promoting assistant coach Scott Wagers to defensive coordinator and empowering the ninth-year assistant to lock down ETSU's opponents ... The main concerns in recent years have been perimeter defense, as a year ago the Bucs averaged a hefty 78.6 points per game, but allowed 77.2 a contest ... Most notably, the Bucs were dismal defending the arc, giving up a school single season record for 3-pointers with opponents breaking the mark for makes (295) and attempts (841).

Pigram named preseason POTY; Bucs picked second

MACON, Ga. (Oct. 8, 2008) - For the second straight year, ETSU guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) is the preseason pick by both coaches and the media to be the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year. Meanwhile, Pigram and the Buccaneers were picked to finish second by the coaches and third by the media in preseason A-Sun voting released Wednesday by the conference office ... Pigram, a senior shooting guard, was the 2007 A-Sun player of the Year and is a two-time All A-Sun First Team Selection. He has scored 1,445 points in his career and led the Bucs in scoring last season with 15.8 a contest ... While Pigram topped the preseason's individual list, an unprecedented three straight conference championships and nine returning letter winners earned the Belmont Bruins the nod from both the coaches and the media as the preseason pick to win their second consecutive Atlantic Sun regular-season title as well as a fourth straight conference championship ... Meanwhile, ETSU's roster features a talented group of players including Pigram, who needs 555 points to join Centenary's Willie Jackson as just the second player in conference history to accumulate 2,000 points. Pigram and Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) represent one of the top returning duos in the conference. The two seniors combined to average over 30 points per game.

Non-conference home win streak at 15

Over the last four seasons, the Bucs have fared well against non-conference opponents within the confines of Memorial Center ... In fact, the Bucs have won 17 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 118-38 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.