JACKSONVILLE, Fla, (Jan. 15, 2011) -- With hopes of maintaining its current seven-game win streak and keeping pace in the Atlantic Sun Conference race, the ETSU men's basketball team will face a tough challenge as the Buccaneers take on Jacksonville Saturday at 3:15 p.m. inside the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Both the Bucs (11-7, 6-1) and Dolphins(11-4, 5-1) enter the game with just one loss each in the A-Sun standings. ETSU has enjoyed three straight wins over JU, having swept the two-game series a year ago and also dropping the Dolphins in the 2009 A-Sun Tournament championship game. However, ETSU has lost two of its last three games inside the JVMC.
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.
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 Jacksonville
The Bucs are 8-4 all-time against the Dolphins, including a pair of wins over JU a year ago ... ETSU has won three straight in the series, including a victory over JU in the championship game of the 2009 A-Sun Tournament.
Last time against Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2010) - Building a 19-point lead with only seven minutes left in the game, the ETSU men's basketball team watched the Jacksonville Dolphins battle back to pull to within one point with less than a minute remaining. However, JU's Ben Smith missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer to give ETSU a 64-62 victory in Atlantic Sun Conference action Saturday afternoon at the Veterans Memorial Arena. ... Jacksonville fell on its home floor despite outscoring the Bucs 22-5 over the final seven minutes of the game. The Bucs (17-15 overall, 13-7 A-Sun) got a double-double from sophomore forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.), who scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) added 15 points and junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) netted 12. ... The Dolphins dropped to 18-11, 14-6 in A-Sun action. ... In the first half, the forward trio of Brown, Hubbard and sophomore J.C. Ward (Marietta, Ga.) powered the ETSU offense, scoring 25 of ETSU's 37 first-half points and out-rebounding the Dolphins 23-16. ... The ETSU advantage got to 19 at 59-40 with 7:45 remaining in the game, but JU responded with a 22-4 run over the next seven minutes to make it 61-60 with 45 seconds left. During that span, the Dolphins got 17 points from senior guard Ben Smith, which included an amazing four 3-pointers. ... At that point, however, a missed 3-pointer by Tubbs with 10 seconds left was rebounded by Williams, who was fouled by JU's Travis Cohn. With 8.2 seconds left, Williams hit one of two foul shots to make it 64-62, but Smith's 3-pointer then missed as time expired.
Last time out
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2011) - Relinquishing a 14-point halftime lead, the ETSU men's basketball team made clutch plays and hit critical free throws down the stretch to escape with a 66-61 win over North Florida in Atlantic Sun Conference action Thursday evening inside the UNF Arena. ... Trailing 57-53 with just over two minutes left in the game, ETSU senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) hit six-straight free throws in the final two minutes, while a critical steal and lay-up from junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) made the difference in the final seconds. ... Williams and fellow senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) finished with a game-high 19 points each, while junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) pitched in 10 points and 12 rebounds in a double-double effort. ... ETSU its lead to 34-20 at halftime, shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first half and forcing UNF into 10 turnovers on six steals. The Bucs' defense also held the Ospreys to just 29 percent shooting from the floor, including a 15 percent clip from beyond the 3-point arc. ... North Florida opened the second half with a renewed sense of urgency and produced in a big way, stifling the Bucs' offensive attack and outscoring ETSU 26-11 to take the lead at 46-45 with 5:58 left in the game. The two teams traded the advantage back-and-forth multiple times from there, but North Florida was left leading 57-53 with 2:15 on the clock. ... From there, Smith hit a foul shot, followed by a pair of offensive rebounds from Brown that led to lay-up from J.C. Ward (Marietta, Ga.) to make it 57-56. After a UNF miss, Williams grabbed an important defensive rebound and was fouled, hitting both free throws and giving the Bucs the edge at 58-57. A UNF turnover, a steal by Sollazzo and his resulting lay-up made it 60-57. Sollazzo was fouled on the play, but missed the free throw. ... The Ospreys answered with a free throw by Jimmy Williams, but another pair of makes from Micah Williams with 12.6 seconds left made it 62-58. UNF was not done though, as a 3-pointer by Jerron Granberry brought the score to 62-61 with four seconds left. Micah Williams hit two more free throws at that point to basically icing the game as the UNF inbounds pass did not find its mark.
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 919
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 1,451 points, and just recently overtook former Buccaneer great Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) for No. 8 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 eight games for ETSU
Junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) has really found his rhythm in the last eight games, leading the team with 4.5 assists per game, and ranking second on the team with 13.4 points per game ... in those eight games Sollazzo is shooting an impressive 38-of-58 from the field for a 66 percent clip ... he is also averaging 2.9 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.