JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 30, 2010) -- Glad to be home for the first time in over a month, the ETSU men's basketball team will return to Atlantic Sun Conference action on Thursday night when the Buccaneers take on Campbell inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
The Bucs, who enter the game at 5-7 overall, 0-1 in league play, are hoping to break through in the A-Sun win column. Meanwhile, Campbell is 7-3 on the year, 1-0 in league play.
For more on Thursday's game, click on the game notes link above or read the notes located below. For more on ETSU men's basketball throughout the season, 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.
The series versus Campbell
The Bucs and Camels have met 13 times, with most of those games coming since ETSU joined the Atlantic Sun Conference for the 2005-06 season ... The Bucs hold an 11-2 edge in the series and had not lost to the Camels until dropping their last two games in Buies Creek, N.C., in 2009 and 2010 ... ETSU won the last meeting between the two, a 72-64 victory in the first round of last season's Atlantic Sun Tournament.
Last time out
CANCUN, Mexico (Dec. 24, 2010) - Wishing for some early Christmas cheer in the form of a solid performance on the court, the ETSU men's basketball team made it happen Friday in the third round of the Cancun Governor's Cup at the Poliforum Benito Juarez. ... Powered by a double-double performance from senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) that included a game-high 20 points and career-high 16 rebounds, the Buccaneers also utilized an effective man-to-man defense and a 16-point first half offensive run to drop former Southern Conference rival Appalachian State decisively in a 79-51 blowout. ... Smith was certainly not alone on the offensive end, as junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami) scored 16, junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) netted 14, and senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) had 13. The Bucs also shot 57 percent from the floor, 43 percent from 3-point range, and 74 percent from the foul line for the game. ... Meanwhile, they held Appalachian to just 32 percent shooting from the floor and 29 percent from beyond the arc. More impressively, the Bucs outrebounded the Mountaineers 39-26 for the game. ... Appalachian State did take advantage of the zone in the early going and led 5-0 with 18:43 left in the first half. However, Bartow took timeout at that point and did make the defensive switch, while also allowing the Bucs to use their fullcourt press defense. ... The combination worked in tandem with an efficient offense, as the Bucs responded with a 16-0 run over the next three minutes of play. Appalachian would get back to within six points at 25-19 but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the game, as ETSU manufactured another 9-0 run later in the half to build a 45-26 advantage. ... In the second half, ETSU never let up and the Mountaineers got no closer than 14 at 51-37 with 14:53 remaining. ... The Bucs, who finished 1-2 in the Cancun event, will return home on Christmas day and plan to enjoy a few days off for the holiday break. They will return to work later in the week to prepare for the return of Atlantic Sun Conference action, as the Bucs return to the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center to take on league foe Campbell.
Bucs' Smith earns A-Sun Player of the Week honors
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 28, 2010) - ETSU's Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) seemed to thrive in the warm weather of Cancun, Mexico, and the senior guard's play during the Cancun Governor's Cup has earned him the program's first Atlantic Sun Player of the Week honor for 2010-11, as announced by the league office on Tuesday. ... Smith, who was named to the event's all-tournament team, averaged a near double-double during the three games in three days, posting 14.3 points and nine rebounds per contest. He also shot 60 percent from the floor for the tournament. ... The most impressive performance for Smith came in the Bucs' 79-51 win over former Southern Conference rival Appalachian State. Against the Mountaineers, Smith netted 20 points and a career high 16 rebounds. ... He was joined on the all-tournament team by Colorado State's Travis Franklin, Ole Miss' Zach Graham, St. Louis' Brian Conklin, and Southern Miss' Gary Flowers.
ETSU duo chasing 1,000-point mark
While senior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) is already a member of the 1,000-point club, fellow senior Micah Williams has a shot at making it to the group:
Name Current Points
Micah Williams 841
With those point totals, Williams would need to average 8.4 points a game for the Bucs' final 19 regular season games to reach 1,000.
"Big 3" hitting on all cylinders key to Bucs' success
Coming into this season, the Bucs were counting on quality offensive production from their "Big 3" senior guards in Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.), Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) and Micah Williams (Manchester) ... All three have had double-figure scoring seasons in the past, and expectations were for much of the same in 2010-11 ... However, so far this season, six of the Bucs' seven losses have coincided with poor output from the trio ... In fact, when all three score in double figures, the Bucs have won each of those games (Tennessee Tech, Milligan and Dayton) ... But when one or two is having an off night, the Bucs have issues winning. Here is a breakdown:
Game Smith Williams Tubbs
Kentucky 15 7 2
Murray State 10 8 2
Tennessee Tech 26 10 13
Milligan 13 17 11
Dayton 17 16 26
USC Upstate 15 11 3
Charleston 9 16 2
Mississippi State 20 18 8
Mississippi 18 2 9
Southern Miss 13 16 14
Northeastern 10 22 9
Appalachian State 20 13 7
Plans, trains and automobiles await Bucs
The Bucs find themselves having just completed of a month-long road trip that saw them play 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 were completed ... In all, the Bucs traveled 3,776 miles by bus and 1,906 miles by plane during this time ... In total, it amounted to 5,682 miles and 67 hours/33 minutes of travel time.
Bartow among best in the country over last
When looking at coaches across the country, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow stands among a select group ... Of those coaches that have been at their current school for at least five years, only 24 have averaged better than 20 wins a season ... That list includes coaches such as Dayton's Brian Gregory, Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, UConn's Jim Calhoun, Florida's Billy Donovan, Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Duke's Mike Kryzewski, Louisville's Rick Pitino, Kansas' Bill Self, Maryland's Gary Williams and North Carolina's Roy Williams ... The list also includes Bartow, who is average 20.2 wins a year since 2005-06.
Bucs help bolster A-Sun to strong RPI standings
With a pair of signature wins already this season, the ETSU men's basketball team - along with other members of the Atlantic Sun Conference - is doing its part to put the league in some impressive company on the national hoops stage. ... With wins over Atlantic 10 Conference stalwart Dayton and Southeastern Conference West Division favorite Mississippi State, the Buccaneers have helped the A-Sun generate plenty of waves across the board in the national RPI rankings. As a result, one month into the 2010-11 NCAA men's basketball season, the Atlantic Sun Conference is ranked ahead of other mid-major leagues including the Southern, Ohio Valley, Big South, West Coast, Mid-American, WAC and Sun Belt. ... The A-Sun remains among the top half of the conferences in the country. CollegeRPI.com ranks the A-Sun 14th, immediately behind the Horizon, Conference USA and Missouri Valley, and ahead of the conferences mentioned above. Against the Southern, Big South, Sun Belt and Ohio Valley conferences, the A-Sun owns a 15-8 mark. ... The conference has more than held its own against the BCS conferences. With ETSU's win at Mississippi State, the conference grabbed its fifth win against the "Power-6" leagues. No conference eligible for consideration for the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll owns as many BCS wins as the A-Sun. The five wins represent the most for the league since they also picked up five wins in 2007-08.
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.
ETSU "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 nine NCAA Tournament trips, one NIT berth, 10 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. 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.