DAYTON, Ohio (Dec. 1, 2010) -- As it begins the long journey home, the ETSU men's basketball will start a month-long, eight-game road swing Wednesday evening as the Buccaneers take on Atlantic 10 Conference foe Dayton. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
The Bucs (2-2), who have played inside the UD Arena twice over the past two seasons, will look to extend their current two-game winning streak. In their previous two trips to Dayton, the Bucs have played well, but have twice come out on the losing end -- falling 78-74 to the Flyers during the 2007-08 regular season opener and then losing a hard-fought, 10-point affair to No. 1 seed Pittsburgh in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
For more on Wednesday's matchup, click on the game notes link above or read the game notes below. For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's hoops link.
We are "ETSU"
The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics would like to ask both the print and broadcast media to honor our request to be called "ETSU" ... East Tennessee State in first reference is acceptable, but subsequent references should be ETSU ... On TV graphics please use ETSU ... Our nickname is the Buccaneers, but Bucs is also acceptable.
The ETSU men's basketball team only added to its rich history of success during the 2009-10 season, capturing its second straight Atlantic Sun Conference Championship and earning the program's ninth trip all-time to the NCAA Tournament ... Posting the program's fourth 20-win season in the past seven years, the Bucs overcame multiple challenges during the season before dropping Mercer in the A-Sun finals ... The Bucs were led by a team of "role" players that included forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston), guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.), guard Micah Williams (Manchester), guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa, Fla.), post Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.), and post J.C. Ward (Marietta, Ga.) ... Hubbard finished the year as a second team All ASun player after leading the Bucs in both scoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.2 rpg), and was named to the league's All-Tournament squad ... Meanwhile, Williams finished the year on a tear, scoring in double figures in 11 straight games, including a 32-point effort against Campbell en route to being named the A-Sun Tournament MVP ... Only losing senior guard Jocolby Davis off the roster from 2009-10, the Bucs will add Smith back to the mix after receiving a medical redshirt a year ago, and a trio of incoming recruits will also add to the talent pool ... For those reasons, there is certainly reason to be excited and expectations will be high.
The series versus Dayton
ETSU and Dayton have only met once despite long and storied histories ... The Flyers bested the Bucs in that last meeting, which occured just three years ago in the season opener for both teams during the 2007-08 campaign ... ETSU lost that game, 78-74.
Last time out against Dayton
DAYTON, Ohio (Nov. 10, 2007) - ETSU junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) scored a team high 30 points, but a late first half rally by Dayton and some lost possessions midway through the second half cost the Buccaneers as the Atlantic 10 Conference's Flyers protected their home court in a hard-fought 78-74 win over ETSU in the season opener for both schools Saturday afternoon at UD Arena ... The Bucs held a lead of as many as nine points midway through the second half, but 14 first half fouls by ETSU helped Dayton stay close early on and the Flyers 43-31 advantage on the boards - particularly a 17-10 edge on the offensive glass - were too much for the Bucs to overcome. ... In the first half, the Bucs rode Pigram's hot shooting to a lead of as many as nine points with 10 minutes left before the break, as the junior guard scored 20 first-half points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and a 3-of-4 clip from beyond the line. ... As a team, ETSU would hit on 50 percent of its shots from the field and an impressive 47 percent from beyond the 3-point line in the first 20 minutes, helping to give them the advantage throughout the first half. However, the Flyers managed to stay right with the Bucs thanks to ETSU's 14 team fouls and an 11-of-17 clip from the foul line, as the Bucs held a 41-40 advantage at the break. ... In the second half, both teams traded the lead throughout, with Dayton finally taking their largest lead of the contest at 69-64 with 3:08 remaining in the game thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by Flyers' senior guard Brian Roberts. Roberts, who finished with a game-high 31 points, helped put the game away in the final minutes with three foul shots as well, but the Bucs still made things interesting thanks to a long 3-pointer by Pigram with 13 seconds left to make it 74-72. ... After a couple of foul shots by the Roberts, junior transfer Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) hit a lay up to make it 76-74, but with two seconds left Dayton in-bounded a long pass to forward Chris Wright who hit a lay up to end the game.... While no other ETSU player reached double figures on the night, Roberts was joined by teammates Wright and Marcus Johnson, who scored 22 and 11 points, respectively. As a team, the Bucs hit on 45 percent of their shots, including a 41 percent clip from 3-point range. However, the Flyers matched those numbers with 47 percent from the floor and 46 percent from outside the arc. ... An encouraging statistic for the Bucs was just 12 turnovers on the night.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 27, 2010) - Scoring 61 first-half points, the ETSU men's basketball team's early offensive barrage was simply too much for NAIA Division II opponent Milligan College, as the Buccaneers rolled to a 103-55 trouncing of the Buffaloes Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... With the win, the Bucs improved to 2-2 on the year as they prepare for an eight-game road trip that will take them away from Johnson City for over a month. ... The Bucs got a double-double effort from junior Curtis Wilkinson (Bude, Miss.), as the 6-foot-8 forward finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) had a team-high 17 points to go along with four steals, while junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) netted 16, senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) pitched in 13, and senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) added 11. ... Junior Adam Sollazzo (Tampa, Fla.) also had a strong night at the point, dishing out a career high 10 assists. As a team, the Bucs enjoyed some efficiency on the offensive end that resulted in 25 assists on 38 made baskets. ... In the first half, the Bucs never let the Buffs even think about an upset. Hitting on 69 percent of their shots from the floor, 50 percent from 3-point range, and 79 percent from the foul line, ETSU built an early 10-2 lead and never looked back. ... In all, the first half ended with Milligan giving up eight turnovers on five ETSU steals, and the Buffs shot just 23 percent from the floor - 18 percent from 3-point range. ... The second half was a little better for the Buffs, as they were only outscored 42-38. However, at that point the Bucs were simply on cruise control. ... Milligan got a game-high 18 points from Hudson Fricke. ... As a team, the Bucs finished shooting 61 percent from the floor, 47 percent from 3-point range, and 70 percent from the line. They out-rebounded the Buffs 41-31, and held Milligan to just 30 percent shooting from the floor. ... In the paint, ETSU outscored Milligan 54-14, and enjoyed a 40-21 edge in bench scoring.
Plans, trains and automobiles await Bucs
After Saturday's game with Milligan, the Bucs will head on the road for the next month, playing a total of eight games away from the ETSU/MSHA Atheltic Center ... Trips to Dayton, Ohio, Charleston, S.C., Starkville, Miss., Oxford, Miss., and Cancun, Mexico await ... In all, the Bucs will travlel 3,776 miles by bus and 1,906 miles by plane during this time ... In total, it will amount to 5,682 miles and 67 hours/33 minutes of travel time.
ETSU duo chasing 1,000-point mark
While senior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) is already a member of the 1,000-point club, two other seniors have outside shots at making it to the group:
Name Current Points
Tommy Hubbard 567
Micah Williams 727
With those point totals, Hubbard would have to average just over 14 points a game this season to reach 1,000, while Williams would need to average 10 points a game to reach the mark.
Defense shines despite offensive woes
While much has been made of the Bucs poor offensive effort against Murray State, the squad's defensive effort was superb and encouraging ... Utilizing a new 3-2 zone, the Bucs held Murray State to just 50 points, which is the second time this "calendar" year the Bucs have held a team to less than 50 -- the last time coming Feb. 25, 2010 at North Florida (61-46) ... The Bucs are currently allowing 66 points per game in three contests, which includes allowing just 60 points against Tennessee Tech ... Against the Racers, the Bucs also forced 16 turnovers, out-rebounded Murray State 39-30, and held them to 37.8 percent shooting.
Home Sweet Dome
Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 141-45 inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 77 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 ... In 2008-09, the Bucs were again 11-2 at home, and last year the team was 9-5 at the Dome.
Bucs counting on
If the Bucs will be looking for any edge this season, they will find it in the experience department ... All told, the Bucs have 33 years of previous college experience on its 15-man roster, a group that includes players with multiple years of experience like three fifth-year seniors (Mike Smith, Micah Williams and Justin Tubbs), and a fourth-year junior (Isiah Brown).
Smith happy to be back on the floor with Bucs
One year ago, the Bucs were forced to play all put four games without the services of guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) due to an injury … However, Smith is back and brings his 1,221 career points with him … Without Smith, the Bucs struggled to score points last season (69.3 points per game) and relied heavily on its defensive efforts to win games … This year, the Bucs hope to continue to hold team's down offensively, while returning to their normal "high scoring" ways ... In his return game against Kentucky, Smith netted 15 points, and he recently followed up that performance with a career high 26 points against Tennessee Tech
Sollazzo continues number change in honor of Coy
When ETSU's rising sophomore forward Seth Coy (Montgomery, Ind.) was tragically killed in a car accident during the summer of 2009, it left the entire Buccaneer community with a deep sense of loss ... As is often the case, those that are left to mourn have looked for ways to remember the Bucs' 6-foot-11 "Gentle Giant." ... For junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), who was Coy's roommate, the answer was simple ... Changing his jersey number from No. 20 to Coy's No. 43, Sollazzo will played the 2009-10 season in honor of his friend ... In addition, the Bucs were a special "43" batch on their uniforms this season in honor of their fallen friend and teammate … Sollazzo and the team have chosen to continue to honor Coy in this manner this season.
ETSU the "only" A-Sun team picked among nation's
best "Prestige" programs
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 ESPN.com's "Prestige" ranking released back in 2008 ... Since that time, the Bucs have only added to their list of prestigious honors … The Buccaneers, who have enjoyed eight NCAA Tournament trips, one NIT berth, nine 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.