Bucs set to begin second trip through league, take on USC Upstate Tuesday
Bucs set to begin second trip through league, take on USC Upstate Tuesday
Monday, January 24, 2011

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 25, 2011)
-- After an emotionally draining game on Sunday against Belmont, the ETSU men's basketball team will be aiming to start another winning streak when the Buccaneers take the court against Atlantic Sun Conference foe USC Upstate Tuesday evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

The Bucs, who stand at 13-8 overall, 8-2 in A-Sun play, will not be taking the Spartans lightly. Earlier this season, Upstate upended the Bucs 60-59 to hand ETSU its first loss in the all-time series, which the Bucs had led 6-0.

For more on Tuesday's game, click on the game notes above or read the notes located 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 USC Upstate

ETSU leads the all-time series against USC Upstate 6-1 ... However, However, the Bucs dropped the last meeting between the two teams 60-59 on a last-second lay up back on Dec. 5, 2010.


Last time against USC Upstate

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Dec. 5, 2010) - USC Upstate forward Chalmers Rogers picked the perfect time to score his only two points of the game, laying in a basket with three seconds remaining to give the Spartans a 60-59 win over ETSU in the Atlantic Sun Conference opener for both teams at the G.B. Hodge Center. ... On a day when the Spartans were dedicating their $4 million renovation of the G.B. Hodge Center, the Buccaneers struggled offensively throughout the contest. Shooting just 33.8 percent for the game, the Bucs still took 19 more shots from the field than Upstate and outrebounded the Spartans 48-34. ... However, the only statistic that really matters did not go the Bucs' way - the score. ... Despite the offensive woes, the Bucs managed to tie the game at 58-58 on a pair of free throws by junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) with 1:17 left in the game. From there, Upstate (2-6 overall, 1-0 A-Sun) turned the ball over at the top of the key and junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) raced to the other end. ... Sollazzo was fouled on the play and hit one-of-two free throws to give the Bucs only their second lead of the game. But more importantly than the lead, sophomore forward J.C. Ward (Marietta) made an important hustle play, tapping the ball back out to Sollazzo and giving the Bucs another possession with 50 seconds left in the game. The Bucs missed on that scoring opportunity though, giving Upstate a shot at the win with 13.5 seconds left. ... Rogers' heroics came after Upstate guard Carter Cook went up for an apparent shot, but lost the ball. Even though it appeared to be heading out of bounds, freshman guard Torrey Craig managed to grab it and flip to Rogers for the game winner. ... Craig's hustle play was just an exclamation point on a great game, as he posted a career best 18 points and enjoyed a double-double thanks to 15 rebounds. He was joined in double figures with 12 points by Josh Chavis. ... ... The Bucs were led in the losing effort by junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami) with 16 points, while senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) had 15 points and fellow senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) had 11.


Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 23, 2011) - Overcoming a 12-point, first-half deficit to tie the game in the second half and trail by only two points with six minutes left, the ETSU men's basketball team looked on as the Belmont Bruins made critical baskets down the stretch and defensive stops when they needed them to pull away with a 72-62 win in Atlantic Sun Conference play inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... With the loss, the Buccaneers watched their nine-game winning streak come to an end and dropped to 13-8 overall, 8-2 in A-Sun action - two games back of Belmont in the league standings. Meanwhile, the Bruins continue an impressive run, improving to 18-3 overall, 10-0 in league play. ... The Bucs played without the services of its best on-ball, man-to-man defender, as senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) missed the game after suffering an ankle injury against Lipscomb two days earlier. In Tubbs' absence, Belmont took advantage by shooting 46 percent from the floor and an even more impressive 46 percent from 3-point range. ... In addition, the Bruins enjoyed a gaudy 29-2 edge in points off the bench. ... The Bucs got a game-high 22 points from senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester), while fellow senior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) and junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) scored 11 apiece. ETSU also got 10 points from sophomore guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa, Fla.). ... In the first half, the game stood tied at 11-11 before the Bruins built a 12-point edge at 32-20 with four minutes left before the break. ETSU battled back to cut that deficit to eight at the break, 37-29. ... After the intermission, the Bucs outscored the Bruins 23-15 over the first 11 minute of play to tie the game at 52-52. Belmont held a 60-58 lead with 6:33 left on the clock before going on a 12-4 run to close out the win.


Bartow gets wins No. 250 overall and 150 at ETSU;

ranks among best coaches in last five years

With his team's win over Florida Gulf Coast on Jan. 8, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow picked up his 250th career victory ... He then collected his 150th win at ETSU when the Bucs downed Jacksonville on Jan. 15 ... 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.


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 970

With those point totals, Williams would need to average just 3.0 points a game for the Bucs' final 10 regular season games to reach 1,000. Smith stands at 1,491 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 1,491

Zakee Wadood No. 9 1,382

Harley Swift No. 10 1,367

Smith's 20/20 vision

leads Bucs over FGCU

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. ... In addition, Smith is only the third player nationally to achieve that mark this season.


Sollazzo rolling in last

11 games for ETSU

Junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) has really found his rhythm in the last 11 games, leading the team with 4.4 assists per game, and ranking third on the team with 12.2 points per game ... In those 11 games Sollazzo is shooting an impressive 47-of-78 from the field for a 60 percent clip ... he is also averaging 2.5 rpg in this stretch ... The Bucs are 9-2 during these past 11 games.


"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 .


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 145-46 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 dropped off to a 9-5 clip at the Dome ... This season, the Bucs are 6-1at home.