Bucs set for two-game road trip beginning with North Florida
Bucs set for two-game road trip beginning with North Florida
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2011)
-- The ETSU men's basketball team will try to extend its current six-game winning streak and keep pace in the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season race when the Buccaneers begin a two-game road swing with a visit to North Florida Thursday evening. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside the UNF Arena.

The Bucs (10-7 overall, 5-1 A-Sun) will also face Jacksonville on Saturday at 3:15 p.m. ETSU currently trails Belmont by one game in the league standings.

For more on Thursday's game, 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.


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 UNF

The Bucs are 9-0 all-time against the Ospreys.


Last time against UNF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2010) - Forcing North Florida into 19 turnovers and outscoring the Ospreys 23-7 off those miscues, the ETSU men's basketball team's play on the defensive end proved critical as the Buccaneers enjoyed a 61-46 victory in Atlantic Sun Conference action Thursday night at the UNF Arena. ... While the Bucs held UNF to just 30 percent shooting for the game and swiped 10 steals, ETSU got a team-high 14 points from freshman guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) in the victory. In addition, ETSU got 10 points apiece from guards Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) and Micah Williams (Manchester), as the Bucs' bench outscored the Ospreys' subs, 28-12. ... The Bucs managed to win despite shooting just 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from the free throw line, but ETSU did hit on 42 percent from the field. UNF held a 46-36 edge on the boards, but the Ospreys were just 2-of-21 from beyond the 3-point arc. ... In the first half, the Bucs built a lead of as many as nine points at 22-13 when Sollazzo hit a layup at the 4:59 mark. UNF answered to pull back to within five at 24-19 with 3:04 left, but six straight points from the Bucs - capped by another Sollazzo score with three second left in the half - made it 30-19 at the break. ... The Bucs enjoyed their 11-point advantage despite hitting on just 3-of-9 shots from the free throw line. However, ETSU connected on 42 percent of its shots from the field in the first 20 minutes, while using their fullcourt defense to hold the Ospreys to just 29 percent shooting from the floor and an 0-for-8 clip from 3-point range. ... After the break, the Bucs kept the defensive pressure on the Ospreys early and used multiple UNF turnovers to build their lead to as many as 16 at 39-23 with 16:19 left in the game. UNF managed to cut that advantage to nine points midway through the second half, but that would be as close as the Ospreys would get as the Bucs pushed back out to a 19-point advantage late in the game.


Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 10, 2011) - By producing a 19-0 offensive run midway through the first half and holding Stetson to just 42 points for the game, the ETSU men's basketball team picked up its sixth straight victory with a 62-42 Atlantic Sun Conference win over the Hatters evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... The 42 points allowed matched the 2000-01 Buccaneers, who held Lynchburg to just 42 in a 65-42 victory 10 years ago. Against Division I opponents, it was the lowest point total for an ETSU opponent since 1997-98, when Coastal Carolina scored just 41 against the Bucs. ... On the offensive end, senior guards Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) and Micah Williams (Manchester) were the difference, posting 23 and 19 points, respectively. With the win, ETSU improved to 10-7 overall, 5-1 in league play, while Stetson dropped to 5-11, 3-3. ... The Bucs initially got off to a slow start, as the Hatters for the third straight year attempted to slow the game down and get ETSU out of its running and gunning style. It worked until the 8:19 mark, when Stetson went up by three at 14-11 thanks to a pair of free throws from Aaron Graham. ... At that point, the Bucs manufactured a 19-0 offensive run and built a lead of 30-14. During that stretch, ETSU held the Hatters scoreless until a 3-pointer from Aaron Graham with 30 seconds left in the half made it 30-17. The 17 points for Stetson in the first half matched the lowest point total of the season for an ETSU opponent, as Milligan only managed 17 as well. ... In the second half, Stetson pulled to within nine at 34-25, but from there the Bucs methodically built their lead to as many as 21 points at 54-33 with just under five minutes left in the game. ... For the contest, the Bucs shot 50 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Hatters 36-31. ETSU held Stetson to just 31 percent shooting and forced the Hatters into 18 turnovers. The Bucs also outscored Stetson 30-10 in the paint and held a 22-12 edge in points off turnovers.


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 900

With those point totals, Williams would need to average 8.0 points a game for the Bucs' final 13 regular season games to reach 1,000. Smith stands at 1,432 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 1,432

Zakee Wadood No. 9 1,382

Harley Swift No. 10 1,367


Smith wins another A-Sun POTW award

MACON, Ga. (Jan. 11, 2011) - For the second time in three weeks, ETSU senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) has been named the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday. ... Smith led the Buccaneers to a perfect 3-0 record last week, averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds and two assists per game during that stretch. Most impressively, Smith produced a 20-point, 20-rebound effort against Florida Gulf Coast, becoming the first ETSU player to post a 20/20 effort since 1959. He is only the third player nationally to accomplish that feat this season. ... For the week, Smith also shot 55 percent from the floor and 33 percent from 3-point range. ... With Smith's second selection, the Bucs have now won the last three A-Sun POTW honors, as junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) was the league winner last week.


Sollazzo rolling in last six games for ETSU

Junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) has really found his rhythm in the last seven games, leading the team with 4.7 assists per game, and ranking second on the team with 14.0 points per game ... in those seven games Sollazzo is shooting an impressive 35-of-54 from the field for a 65 percent clip ... he is also averaging 3.0 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.