Bucs to open preseason Saturday against Tusculum
The 2011-12 ETSU men's basketball team
Bucs to open preseason Saturday against Tusculum
Friday, October 28, 2011

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 28, 2011) – The ETSU men’s basketball team will open its 2011-12 preseason schedule Saturday afternoon, taking on Tusculum College at 4 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.

The game will be part of Saturday’s ETSU Homecoming activities, and fans are encouraged to attend for multiple promotions and special events throughout campus. Click here to learn more.

For more on Saturday’s game, click on the game notes link to the right, or read the game notes below.


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.


Bucs bits

While posting its highest RPI since the 2003-04 season, head coach Murry Bartow led the  ETSU men’s basketball team to another successful season in 2010-11, a campaign that included 24 wins and ultimately ended with a run to the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament … Led by seniors such as Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) and all-conference performer Micah Williams (Manchester), the Bucs enjoyed impressive road wins at Atlantic 10 Conference member Dayton and Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State, while also finishing second in the A-Sun Conference standings … Along with Smith and Williams, fellow senior Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) continued to impress fans with his high-flying dunks, which twice landed him as the No. 1 play of the day on ESPN’s SportsCenter and earned him a spot in the national slam dunk championships … Unfortunately for the Bucs, Smith, Williams and Tubbs have departed, leaving the team with the unenviable task of having to replace over 42 points of offensive production from a year ago – equal to 60 percent of the team’s scoring in 2010-11 … The Bucs will begin looking for those offensive numbers from returning starters such as senior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) and senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.), while senior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) – a 2010 A-Sun all-conference and all-tournament performer – will return to the floor after taking a medical redshirt season a year ago … Other returning players looking to improve their production will include junior guards Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) and Jarvis Jones (Memphis), junior forwards J.C. Ward (Marietta) and Lukas Poderis (Tampa), and redshirt freshman point guard Ryan Woumn (Lynn, Mass.) … The Bucs have also added a talented recruiting class that includes three true freshman and one junior college transfer … As opposed to last season – when the team returned a bevy of talented and experienced players – the younger and more inexperienced Buccaneers will face more questions than usual this season when they take the floor to open the 2011-12 campaign at Virginia Tech on Nov. 12.


The series versus Tusculum

The Bucs and Pioneers have met many times over the years in preseason exhibition games ... However, at one time the two met in regular season action ... The last meeting in the regular season between the two teams came in 1958, and the Bucs lead that all-time series 40-19, which dates back to 1922 ... ETSU has won 13 straight in the regular season series.


Last time out against Tusculum

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 8, 2010) - Using an offensive surge in the opening minutes of the second half and posting another strong defensive effort, the ETSU men’s basketball team rolled to another exhibition victory by dropping Tusculum 78-41 Monday inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center ...  The Bucs, who will open their 2010-11 regular season slate Friday evening at 7 p.m. against SEC foe Kentucky, got a game-high 16 points and double-double effort thanks to 13 rebounds from junior Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.). Meanwhile, senior Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) added 15 points and fellow senior Micah Williams (Manchester) pitched in 10 points in the winning effort. ... ETSU did not get off to a good start in this one, trailing by a score of 7-2 five minutes into the game. However, the Buccaneers would outscore the Pioneers 30-9 over the next 15 minutes and ultimately led 36-21 at the break. ... After the intermission, the Bucs did not repeat their mistakes of the first half and for the second straight game used their aggressive full court press to ultimately outscore Tusculum, 42-20 the rest of the way. ETSU held the Pioneers to just 29 percent shooting for the game, while hitting on an impressive 59.3 percent clip. ... The Bucs also forced 22 turnovers in the contest and picked up 11 steals.


Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 26, 2011) - In a game with multiple offensive swings and plenty of exciting play, the ETSU men’s basketball team had no answers for the high-powered Iona offense in the second half and came up short in a thrilling 83-80 loss to the Gaels in the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament Saturday afternoon at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... With the loss, ETSU ends a successful season at 24-12, while Iona improves to 25-11 and will host Santa Clara in the championship game of the CIT Wednesday evening. ... The Gaels were led by the powerful inside presence of forward Mike Glover, who finished with a double-double on a game-high, 33-point, 10-rebound effort. Iona also got 20 points from Sean Armand, and point guard Scott Machado had a game-high 11 assists. ... Meanwhile, ETSU seniors Micah Williams (Manchester) and Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) once again led the way with 23 and 18 points, respectively, while junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) had 21 points and senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) added 13. ... It was the first time this season that ETSU had scored 70 points or more and still lost, giving even more validity to the quality of the Iona offense. The Gaels shot 53 percent from the floor, 43 percent from 3-point range, and 75 percent from the foul line, while also out-rebounding ETSU 38-29. ... Iona also dished out 19 assists, compared to 13 for the Bucs, and the Gaels’ 48 second-half points was the most for an ETSU opponent this season. ... With the Bucs leading 41-35 at the break, Iona slowly crept back into the game and ultimately took the lead at 61-59, going on to take a 69-59 advantage with 8:09 left in the contest. ... ETSU did not go away, however, slowly rallying back to make it 81-80 on a Williams’ layup with 11 seconds left. From there, the Bucs fouled Iona guard Trinity Fields, who hit both freebies to make it 83-80 with 4.1 seconds left. The Bucs inbounded the ball and Sollazzo took a running 3-point shot that missed the mark as time expired.


On their way to 1,000 points

As they begin their seniors seasons, ETSU’s trio of Isiah Brown, Adam Sollazzo and Tommy Hubbard are all eying the 1,000 point mark for their careers. When the season begins on Nov. 12 against Virginia Tech, this is where each stands:


Isiah Brown........................................................................ 798 points

Tommy Hubbard ........................................................... 573 points

Adam Sollazzo ................................................................ 568 points


To reach 1,000, the three would have to average the following during the regular season:


Isiah Brown..................................................... 7.0 points per game

Tommy Hubbard....................................... 14.7 points per game

Adam Sollazzo............................................ 14.8 points per game


Block party for Brown

With a block in last season’s finale against Iona, senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) set a new school record for blocks in a single season, swatting away a total of 71 shots on the year ... For his career, he now stands fifth on the all-time list at 141, but just 43 blocks behind the program’s all-time leader Zakee Wadood ... In addition to those marks, Brown’s six-block performance against Belmont last year also matched the program’s single-game record ... At the time, Brown joined 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.


Getting to the free throw line a key for the Bucs

In recent years, the Bucs have focused on playing stingy defense, but also driving to the basket on offense and trying to get “tough” points thanks to fouls ... One way for the ETSU coaching staff to determine how successful the Bucs have been is charting free throw attempts and makes ... Well if this statistic is a true indicator, then the Bucs are doing just as the coaches would like ... Last season, ETSU set a school record for free throw attempts, putting up a total of 856 free tosses ... The Bucs also made their share of those attempts, ranking second on the all-time list with 580 makes ... The 2010-11 edition of the Bucs came up just nine makes short of the all-time record, held by the 1991-92 Bucs at 589.


Bucs add to postseason resume

The ETSU men’s basketball team has enjoyed its share of postseason success and ranks as one of the nation’s most prestigious basketball programs ... The Buccaneers have earned berths to the NCAA Tournament nine times (1969, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010) and NIT twice (1983, 2007) ... In 2011, the Bucs made their first ever appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, winning twice and advancing to the semifinals of that event ... it was the program’s 12th postseason tournament appearance all-time.


Home Sweet Dome ... against non-conference teams

Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 143-45 overall inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 77 percent ... But when looking at the past 10 years, the Bucs are an even more impressive 42-4 against non-conference opponents ... Last year, the Bucs went 13-2 at the Dome.


ETSU “only” A-Sun team picked among

nation’s best “Prestige” programs

Since the beginning of the modern era for NCAA Division I-A basketball – marked by the expansion of the NCAA Tournament field to 64 teams in 1984-85 – the ETSU men’s basketball program ranks in the Top 30 percent of the 300 programs that were eligible for the postseason at that time, this according to ESPN.com’s “Prestige” ranking released back in 2008 ... Since that time, the Bucs have only added to their list of prestigious honors … The Buccaneers, who have enjoyed nine NCAA Tournament trips, one NIT berth, 11 20-win seasons, and a slew of conference regular season and tournament championships since 1984-85, ranked tied for 82nd out of 300 teams, meaning they were in the Top 27 percent of schools making the list. ETSU was ranked ahead of every current Atlantic Sun Conference team, as well as former Southern Conference rivals Appalachian State, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro. In addition, the Bucs ranked ahead of SEC schools such as Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Georgia, Mississippi and Auburn, as well as other major programs such as Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, DePaul, Bradley, Clemson, California and Florida State.


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.