Bucs hope to oust Owls in Saturday matchup with Kennesaw State
Bucs hope to oust Owls in Saturday matchup with Kennesaw State
Friday, January 28, 2011

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 29, 2011)
-- Finding that it now trails Belmont by only one game in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings, the ETSU men's basketball team will try to keep the pressure on the Bruins as the Buccaneers take on league foe Kennesaw State Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Tip is set for 4 p.m.

The Bucs, 14-8 overall, 9-2 in A-Sun play, got some help earlier this week as Lipscomb upended rival Belmont, keeping the Bucs hopes alive for a regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the A-Sun Tournament. Meanwhile, Kennesaw State stands at 5-15 overall, 3-7 in league play, but boasts an impressive early season win over Atlantic Coast Conference member Georgia Tech.

ETSU's senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) will enter Saturday's game just 14 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

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


ETSU basketball weekly update

The ETSU men's basketball team went 2-1 in action last week, picking up wins over Lipscomb (68-67) and USC Upstate (67-52), while dropping a hard fought game to Belmont (72-62) The Buccaneers stand at 14-8 overall, 9-2 in A-Sun action, and are just one game back of Belmont in the league standings Senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) will enter the Bucs next game just 14 points shy of 1,000 for his career, while fellow senior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) eclipsed the 1,500-point mark during his 22-point effort against USC Upstate on Jan. 25 Smith continues to lead the Bucs offensively with 16.2 points per game, and ranks second on the team with 7.2 rebounds a contest Senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) continues to nurse an ankle injury suffered during the Lipscomb game - he has missed the Bucs' last two games and is listed as day-to-day ETSU will wrap up its current five-game home stand this week with games against Kennesaw State (Jan. 29) and Mercer (Jan. 31) For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.


The series versus Kennesaw State

The Bucs are 10-1 all-time against the Owls, including an 80-69 win over Kennesaw State in their last meeting, which occurred back on Jan. 5 of this year.


Last time against Kennesaw State

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. ... 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.


Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 23, 2011) - Senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) scored a game-high 22 points and eclipsed 1,500 points for his career, leading the ETSU men's basketball team to a 67-52 win over Atlantic Sun Conference foe USC Upstate evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... Along with Smith's 22, the Buccaneers got 18 points from junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) and 16 points from senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester). With the win, ETSU improves to 14-8 overall, 9-2 in A-Sun action, having won 10 of its last 11 games. Meanwhile, Upstate drops to 2-18, 1-9. ... Smith, Williams and Sollazzo, along with sophomore guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) accounted for 62 of the Bucs' 67 points on the night. ETSU shot 46 percent from the floor and 38 percent from 3-point range, while also connecting on 79 percent of its shots from the foul line. ... Meanwhile, the ETSU defense was stifling, forcing 14 turnovers and holding the Spartans to just 31 percent shooting from the floor and 17 percent from 3-point range. However, the Bucs were outrebounded by nine (39-30). ... The Bucs overcame a sluggish start in the first half after falling behind by as many as five points at 15-10 with just over 12 minutes left before the intermission. Breaking out its "white" pressing defense, ETSU gave the Upstate offense fits, creating multiple turnovers and putting together a 7-0 run to close out the half and enjoy a 31-24 lead heading to the locker room. ... After the intermission, ETSU raced ahead by 12 at 48-36 but Upstate answered with a 10-5 run to cut the lead to six at 55-49 with four minutes left in the game. From there, though, the Bucs ramped up the defensive pressure and outscored the Spartans 12-3 the rest of the way.


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 986

With those point totals, Williams would need to average just 1.5 points a game for the Bucs' final 10 regular season games to reach 1,000. Smith stands at 1,513 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 1,513

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

12 games for ETSU

Junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) has really found his rhythm in the last 12 games, leading the team with 4.3 assists per game, and ranking third on the team with 12.7 points per game ... In those 12 games Sollazzo is shooting an impressive 53-of-85 from the field for a 65 percent clip ... he is also averaging 2.4 rpg in this stretch ... The Bucs are 10-2 during these past 12 games.


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.


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 146-46 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 7-1at home.


"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 .