Bucs to host Eagles Saturday in A-Sun action
Bucs to host Eagles Saturday in A-Sun action
Saturday, January 8, 2011

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 8, 2011)
-- Despite the cold weather outside, the ETSU men's basketball team hopes to stay hot as it takes on Florida Gulf Coast in Atlantic Sun Conference basketball action Saturday inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Tip is set for 4 p.m. and the game is still scheduled to be played despite the severe weather throughout the region. 

Winners of four straight -- including three in a row in A-Sun play -- the Buccaneers will play seven of their next nine games inside the Dome, beginning with Eagles. ETSU is currently 8-7 overall, 3-1 in league play.

For more on Saturday's game, click on the game notes link above or read the game notes 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.


Buc bits

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 ... 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 FGCU

The Bucs are 5-1 all-time against Florida Gulf Coast, having just started playing the Eagles since the 2007-08 season ... ETSU has won the last three meetings between the two teams ... The Bucs are 3-0 all-time against the Eagles in the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.


Last time against FGCU

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 4, 2010) - Overcoming a 10-minute offensive drought to start the game, the ETSU men's basketball team employed its pressure defense to wake up from the lull and snap a two-game losing streak with a 56-47 win over Florida Gulf Coast in Atlantic Sun Conference play at Alico Arena. ... The Bucs (12-12 overall, 8-5 A-Sun) fell behind 10-1 and did not score its first field goal until the 10:16 mark of the first half. However, the team turned it around in time, getting strong offensive nights from a pair of Florida natives, as sophomore forward Isiah Brown (Miami) posted a game high 17 points and seven rebounds, and sophomore guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) added seven points, three assists and four steals in 26 minutes of play.... The first half began with the ETSU offense in a deep freeze despite the 80 degree temperatures of South Florida. In fact, the Buccaneers fell behind 10-1 and did not score a field goal until Sollazzo picked off a pass and dunked it home with 10:16 left in the first half. ... ETSU finally got its offense going thanks to its defense, as the Bucs utilized their aggressive, trapping halfcourt defense to force FGCU (7-16, 4-10) into 15 turnovers in the first half. Slowly, ETSU chipped away at the deficit and ultimately took the halftime lead at 26-24 on a pair from free throws from junior guard De'Shaud Johnson (Riverdale, Ga.) with 4.8 seconds left in the half. ... In the second half the Bucs built their largest lead of the game so far at 31-28, but the Eagles came right back to retake the advantage 32-31 on a pair from free throws from Eddie Murray with 15:01 left in the game. From there, however, the Bucs once again went to the pressure defense and took a four-point lead at 36-32 on a dunk by Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) with 13:53 left.... FGCU responded to tie it at 36-36 on a pair of baskets by Hunter Miller, but from there Brown scored nine of the Bucs next 20 points as ETSU outscored the Eagles 20-11 the rest of the way for the win.


Last time out

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 5, 2011) - Senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) scored a game-high 21 points and junior point guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) continued his strong play, as the ETSU men's basketball team completed a two-game sweep on the road by dropping Atlantic Sun Conference foe Kennesaw State 80-69 inside the KSU Convocation Center. ... The win marked the Buccaneers fourth consecutive victory and improved their record to 8-7 overall, 3-1 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, the Owls dropped to 3-11, 1-3. ... Along with Tubbs' effort, Sollazzo scored 13 points and dished out nine assists, while senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo) and Micah Williams (Manchester) netted 17 and 16 points, respectively. ... The Bucs shot 52.4 percent from the floor, 42.9 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, and out-rebounded the Owls 34-28 for the game. ETSU also committed just seven turnovers. ... In the first half both teams raced out of the gates offensively and combined to score 24 points in the first five minutes of play. ETSU led 14-10 with 14:26 left on the clock at that point, and increased its advantage to 28-13 thanks to a 12-0 offensive run midway through the half. ... Kennesaw State managed to cut the lead to 10 at 35-25, but the Bucs closed out the half on a 5-0 run to hold a 40-25 edge at the break. ... Tubbs led the way early with 16 first-half points, while Sollazzo continued his solid play with eight points and six assists before in the break. ... In the second half, an emphatic dunk from Sollazzo followed by another 3-pointer from Tubbs put ETSU up 55-39 with 15 minutes left in the game. KSU rallied again to cut the lead to nine at 62-53 with just nine minutes remaining. ... ETSU responded at that point with an 8-0 run to push the lead back to 70-53 with just over five minutes left on the clock.


Williams chasing 1,000; Smith moving up scoring list

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., Meanwhile, Smith continues to climb the all-time scoring chart. Below are numbers for both players:

Name Current Points

Micah Williams 878

With those point totals, Williams would need to average 8.0 points a game for the Bucs' final 16 regular season games to reach 1,000. Smith stands at 1,372 points, and just recently overtook former Buccaneer great Jerald Fields (Gainesville, Fla.) for No. 10 on the ETSU all-time scoring list. Here are is the breakdown:

Name Place Points

Troy Lee Mikell No. 7 1,684

Mike Smith No. 8 1,389

Zakee Wadood No. 9 1,382

Harley Swift No. 10 1,367


Sollazzo wins his first A-Sun POTW honor

MACON, Ga. (Jan. 4, 2011) - With his late-game heroics against Mercer and solid offensive efforts in ETSU's last two games, Buccaneers' junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week on Tuesday. ... It is the first ever POTW honor for Sollazzo, whose baseline layup with 3.7 seconds on the clock lifted the Bucs to a 62-61 win over Mercer Monday evening. In addition, the 6-foot-6 point guard has averaged 16 points and 4.5 assists over his last two games, while shooting an impressive 75 percent from the floor (12-of-16). ... Last week against Campbell, Sollazzo posted a career high 17 points as ETSU dropped the Camels 72-59 inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Sollazzo has scored in double figures for four straight games, as the Bucs have posted a 3-1 overall record and 2-0 league mark in those contests. ... The Bucs have now picked up the last two A-Sun POTW awards, as senior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) won the honor last week.


Sollazzo rolling in last five games for ETSU

Junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) has really found his rhythm in the last five games, leading the team with 5.6 assists per game, and ranking second on the team with 14.8 points per game ... he while shooting an impressive 30-of-44 from the field for a 68 percent clip ... He is also averaging four rebounds a game during this stretch.


"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 .


Bartow among best in the country over last five years

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 2007-08.


Home Sweet Dome

Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 142-45 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 ... 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.