Bucs to end regular season Thursday on the road at Campbell
Bucs to end regular season Thursday on the road at Campbell
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BUIES CREEK, N.C. (Feb. 24, 2011) -- Having already wrapped up the No. 2 seed in next week's Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, the ETSU men's basketball team enters Thursday night's regular season finale with Campbell looking to tune up for the postseason. Tip off at Gore Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.

While the Buccaneers (20-10 overall, 15-4 A-Sun) certainly desire to end the year on a winning note, fans may not see seniors Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) or Micah Williams (Manchester) play against the Camels. Both players are listed day-to-day after Smith suffered a left ankle injury in the Bucs' last game against Lipscomb, and Williams injured his right shoulder in practice earlier this week.

Both players are expected back before next week's tournament play begins on Wednesday, March 2.

For more on Thursday's game with Campbell, click 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.


Weekly notes from ETSU basketball

The ETSU men's basketball team went 1-1 in action last week, dropping a game at Belmont (58-68) and then winning a double-overtime thriller against Lipscomb (102-95) The Lipscomb win was the first double overtime game for the Buccaneers since falling to Coastal Carolina 97-89 back on Feb. 22, 1988 The Bucs had to overcome a great deal of adversity and Lipscomb momentum in that game, as senior leader Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) went down with a left ankle injury with over 11 minutes left in the first half and did not return to the game Despite Smith's absence and the fact ETSU was facing a Lipscomb team that was celebrating "Senior Night," the Bucs' bench came through and ETSU picked up the victory to lock up the No. 2 seed in next month's Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament With the win, ETSU improved to 20-10 overall, 15-4 in A-Sun play ETSU will play its final regular season game Thursday evening, traveling to Buies Creek, N.C., to take on Campbell Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. Smith continues to lead the Bucs in scoring at 16.9 points per game, while junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) leads the team with 7.2 rebounds a game Brown also moved up to No. 3 on the ETSU single season block list, as he has 60 blocks on the season He is six shy of No. 2 on the list and 10 shy of the top spot.


The series versus Campbell

The Bucs and Camels have met 15 times, with most of those games coming since ETSU joined the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2005-06 ... The Bucs hold an 13-2 edge in the series, but have lost their last two games in Buies Creek, N.C. ... ETSU won the last meeting 72-59 back in December.


Last time against Campbell

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 30, 2010) - Holding one of the nation's best shooting teams well under its average this season, the ETSU men's basketball team enjoyed a victorious homecoming inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center, dropping Atlantic Sun Conference foe Campbell 72-59. ... The Camels entered the game 12th in the nation in shooting percentage at 49 percent a game, but shot just 39 percent from the floor against the Buccaneers. Meanwhile, the Bucs placed four players in double figures and shot 46 percent from the floor. ... Sollazzo, a junior guard from Tampa, had a career high 17 points on the night, while Tubbs, a senior guard from Trussville, Ala., posted a game-high 21 in the winning effort. Meanwhile, ETSU's Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) and Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) added 13 and 10, respectively. ... It was a game of offensive runs in the early going, as the Camels raced out to an early 6-0 advantage only to have the Bucs respond with a 10-0 spurt of their own. Campbell then got a 5-0 run to retake the lead at 11-10, the back and forth play ultimately resulted with a 37-30 ETSU lead at the break. ... After the intermission, Sollazzo took over, scoring 12 points of ETSU's 15 points at one stretch and helping the Bucs build a 58-41 lead with just over eight minutes left. Campbell would get no closer than 12 the rest of the way.

Last time out

NASHVILLE (Feb. 19, 2011) - In a double overtime game that ultimately saw Lipscomb's talented All-Atlantic Sun Conference seniors Adnan Hodzic and Josh Slater on the bench with five fouls, the ETSU men's basketball overcame the loss of senior leader Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) to an early ankle injury and got great contributions throughout its lineup to pick up a classic 102-95 victory over Lipscomb, ruining Senior Night for Lipscomb inside the Allen Arena. ... Twice Lipscomb hit shots in the final seconds to force additional time, but at the end of the night the Bucs outlasted the Bisons thanks primarily to a game-high 27 points from senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester), a double-double effort with 22 points and 11 rebounds from junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.), and 20 points from senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.). Junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) also added 14 points in the winning effort. ... The first half started with Tubbs going to the bench early with a pair of fouls in the first three minutes, and then Smith left with his left ankle injury with 11:11 remaining on the clock. Lipscomb took advantage of the Bucs' personnel issues, going on a 15-2 run to build a 27-16 edge with nine minutes left in the half. ... However, with help from its bench, the BUcs would outscore Lipscomb 21-14 the rest of the half and make it 41-37 at the break. ... In the second half, the Bucs would battle back to eventually lead by six at 72-66, but Lipscomb came back to tie it with a 6-0 run that made it 72-72. ETSU regained the lead at 76-74 on a Sollazzo jumper with 3.7 seconds left, but Arnett tied it with a buzzer-beating jumper as time expired, forcing the first overtime. ... In the first overtime period, Hodzic completed a 3-point play to make it 88-87 in favor of ETSU. But sophomore forward Lukas Poderis (Tampa) later followed with an offensive rebound on a Williams miss, getting fouled on the play and making the second of two foul shots to make the score 88-86 with 10 seconds left. ... However, Slater would be fouled on the ensuing possession with 2.7 seconds on the clock, and hit both free throws to force a second overtime period. ... In the second overtime, the Bucs went up 96-93 when Lipscomb's Slater left the game after committing an offensive foul on a drive to the basket. This left the Bisons without both Arnett and Slater and 3:11 left on the clock. ... Lipscomb later lost Brandon Barnes with five fouls after technicals were assessed to both Barnes and ETSU's Brown. After making it 96-95, Lipscomb then said goodbye to Hodzic when he fouled Sollazzo on a drive to the basket with 57.3 seconds left. ... Sollazzo hit both foul shots to make it 98-95, and Lipscomb then missed a 3-pointer by junior Barndon Burgason. Poderis got the rebound and Williams was later fouled. The senior guard hit both shots, making it 100-95 with 26.4 seconds left and from there the Bucs put the game away.


Smith, Williams both day-to-day with injuries

Senior guards Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) and Micah Williams (Manchester) have both been beat up this week ... Smith missed most of the Lipscomb game with a left ankle injury, while Williams injured his right shoulder during practice earlier this week ... At present, both injuries are not expected to be severe and the two are listed as day-to-day.


Brown making a name as a "blocking machine"

With his six-block performance against Belmont, ETSU junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) matched the program's single-game record ... He then picked up another three blocks in the win over Lipscomb, giving him 60 for the season and ranking him third on the ETSU all-time single season block list ... Brown joins six other ETSU players who have had six-block games, including former standouts Brad Nuckles, Eryk Thomas, Jerald Fields, Zakee Wadood, Greg Dennis and Greg Hamlin. ... He is currently six back of Zakee Wadood for second on the single season list ... Wadood also holds first place on that page, with 70 during the 2003-04 season.

Buccaneers place two plays on Sportscenter

The ETSU men's basketball team is making a habit of garnering airtime on ESPN Sportscenter's Top Plays. ... Just three weeks ago, senior Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) was selected as the No. 1 play of the day with his 360 degree slam dunk against Lipscomb on Jan. 21 in the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Well, the Buccaneers took it a step further against Jacksonville, placing two plays in the Top 10 and once again taking No. 1 ... Senior Micah Williams (Manchester) threw down a one-handed, alley-oop. That play was picked fourth in the countdown. ... Meanwhile, Tubbs again took the show after receiving a pass from junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa). ... Tubbs again executed the same 360-degree slam with even more flair. The Sportscenter hosts described it as a Winter X Games style dunk.


Williams eclipses 1,000; mith moving up list

While senior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) was already a member of the 1,000-point club, fellow senior Micah Williams (Manchester) joined his roommate on the list against Kennesaw State (1/29) ... With a 3-pointer from the left wing at the 17:55 mark of the second half, Williams went over 1,000 for his career, becoming the 33rd ETSU player all-time to reach that number ... Meanwhile, Smith joined another select group by eclipsing 1,500 points for his career in the win over USC Upstate (1/25). Here is where they stand:

Name Place Points

Mike Smith No. 8 1,665

Micah Williams No. 33 1,132


Sollazzo rolling in last 20 games for ETSU

Junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) has really found his rhythm in the last 20 games, leading the team with 4.5 assists per game, and ranking third on the team with 11.7 points per game ... He has netted double figures in 12 of those 20 games ... In those contests, Sollazzo is shooting an impressive 78-of-146 from the field for a 53 percent clip ... he is also averaging 3.5 rpg in this stretch ... The Bucs are 16-4 in this span.


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.


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 148-46 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 10-1at home.