Bucs aim for sixth straight win, host Stetson Monday evening
Bucs aim for sixth straight win, host Stetson Monday evening
Sunday, January 9, 2011

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 10, 2011)
-- With hopes of continuing its longest winning streak of the season, the ETSU men's basketball team welcomes in Atlantic Sun Conference foe Stetson Monday at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

The Hatters have been a nemisis in recent years, having dropped the Bucs on their home floor in each of the last two seasons. However, ETSU leads the all-time series, 9-5.
ETSU has won five straight games this season and stands at 9-7 overall, 4-1 in league play.

For more on Monday's game, click on the game notebook 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 Stetson

The Bucs are 9-5 all-time against the Hatters ... However, ETSU and Stetson split two games a year ago, with each team winning on the road ...


Last time against Stetson

DELAND, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2010) - Junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) matched his career high with 22 points and junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) posted his 12th double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds, as the ETSU men's basketball completed a perfect road trip with its second straight win, defeating Stetson 75-60 in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the Edmunds Center. ... The Bucs shot a strong 56.3 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the arc, holding Stetson to just 35 percent from the field. ETSU also outrebounded the Hatters 38-24 and outscored Stetson 30-22 in the paint. Along with Williams' and Hubbard's efforts, the Bucs also got 14 points and seven boards from sophomore forward Isiah Brown (Miami), while sophomore guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) added a 10-point, five-assist effort to the cause. ... In the first half, Stetson went on a 12-3 run of its own to make it 34-32 with 2:39 left. Bartow called a 30-second timeout at that point to stop the momentum, and it worked as the Bucs scored the final seven points of the half to make it 41-32 at the break. ... The Bucs shot a sizzling 64 percent from the floor and 60 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, while holding Stetson to just 37 percent from the field. However, Stetson shot 90 percent from the charity stripe and hit seven more free throws than the Bucs to stay close at the break. ... In the second half, the Bucs got the lead back to 11 early on, but Stetson responded with a quick 5-0 spurt to make it 43-37 with 16:24 left in the game. The Hatters later got the deficit to just three at 48-45, but the Bucs pulled away late with a 15-7 run to make it 63-52 on a layup by Brown with 3:31 left in the game. From there, the Bucs only extended the lead at the foul line


Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 8, 2011) - Senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) produced an historic 20-point, 20-rebound effort and junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) set a new career high with 20 points as the ETSU men's basketball team dropped Atlantic Sun Conference foe Florida Gulf Coast 84-65 Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... According to the records available to the ETSU media relations office, Smith's effort was the first time an ETSU player has eclipsed 20 points and 20 rebounds since Feb. 14, 1959, when former Buccaneer great Tom Chilton posted 35 points and 25 rebounds against Wofford. Along with Sollazzo, the Bucs got 16 points from both senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) and junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) to pick up the win.

Smith's 20 rebounds was a career high for the senior. ... With the loss, FGCU dropped to 3-11, 0-5 in league play. ... The first half was highlighted by Smith's performance and a 13-0 run that put the Bucs up 15 points at 30-15 with five minutes left before the half. Smith finished the first 20 minutes with a double-double already in his pocket, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, Tubbs finished with a game-high 11 points in the first half thanks to a 3-of-7 effort from 3-point range. ... ... In the second half, FGCU got no closer than 13 points at 67-54 with just under six minutes left. From there, the Bucs pulled back ahead to enjoy their largest lead of the game at 82-60 with 2:29 remaining in the contest. ... The Bucs shot 52 percent from the floor for the game and out-rebounded the Eagles by an impressive 44-29 margin. ETSU also held FGCU to just 35 percent shooting from the floor and a 28 percent clip from the 3-point arc.


Smith's 20/20 vision leads Bucs

With his 20-point and 20-rebound effort against Florida Gulf Coast on Jan. 8, 2011, senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) made history ... According to the statistics available to the ETSU media relations office, Smith was the first Buccaneer since Feb. 14, 1959 to post a 20/20 effort ... The last was Buc great Tom Chilton, who scored 35 points and grabbed 25 rebounds in a win over Wofford during the 1959 season.


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 882

With those point totals, Williams would need to average 8.2 points a game for the Bucs' final 16 regular season games to reach 1,000. Smith stands at 1,409 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 1,409

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. He has scored in double figures for four straight games.

Sollazzo rolling in last six games for ETSU

Junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) has really found his rhythm in the last five games, leading the team with 5.0 assists per game, and ranking second on the team with 15.7 points per game ... in those six games Sollazzo is shooting an impressive 34-of-50 from the field for a 68 percent clip ... he is also averaging 3.2 rpg in this stretch.


"Big 3" hitting 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 ... 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 143-45 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 ... 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 ... This season, the Bucs are 4-0 at home.