TROY, Ala. (Nov. 28, 2011) – The ETSU men’s basketball team will take to the road once again this week, playing three games over a six-day stretch, beginning Tuesday night with a visit to Troy. Game time is set for 8 p.m. (EST) inside Sartain Hall.
The Buccaneers, who stand at 3-1 on the year and are winners of three straight, will be playing a Troy team that ETSU just recently defeated 81-71 back on Nov. 19. The Trojans were without All-Sun Belt Conference performer Will Weathers in that game, but he is expected to play Tuesday evening.
ETSU has not been back on the court since its dramatic, last-second victory over Charlotte on Nov. 22. This will be the second of six-straight road games for the Bucs, who will not return to the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center until a Dec. 19 game against nearby Milligan College.
For more on Tuesday’s game, click on the game notebook link to the right, or read the game notes below. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2011-12 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.
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 Bucs will face more questions this season.
The series versus Troy
This will only be the second meeting all-time between the two schools, and that first meeting actually occurred just 10 days ago ... The Bucs won that contest 81-71 back on Nov. 19.
Last time out against Troy
JOHNSON CITY (Nov. 19, 2011) – Junior guard Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.) scored a career high and game high 27 points, and three other ETSU players reached double figures scoring as the Buccaneers dropped non-conference foe Troy 81-71 in men’s basketball action Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... A crowd of 3,005 looked on as the Buccaneers improved to 2-1 on the season, while the Trojans dropped to 1-2. Along with Dubose, senior guard Tommy Hubbard finished with a double-double thanks to his 13 points and 10 rebounds, while junior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) pitched in 14 points and senior post Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) added 11. Senior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) contributed to the effort with a season-high 11 assists. ... As they had done in their previous game against Appalachian State, the Bucs’ fullcourt pressure helped them bolt out to a 14-4 lead just four minutes into the contest. From there, Troy was able to get back to within four at 16-12, before ultimately trailing 48-36 at the break. ... In the second half, a 10-4 run made it 56-38 in favor of the Bucs with 17 minutes left in the game, and ETSU would build their advantage to as many as 25 at 75-50 with 8:03 remaining. However, Troy used a late 14-2 run to make it 77-64, only to see the rally run out of steam, as the Bucs capped the game at 81-71. ... Offensively, Troy held a 46-41 edge on the boards and grabbed an impressive 22 offensive rebounds. Meanwhile, the Bucs forced Troy into 17 turnovers on 12 steals, and ETSU finished the game shooting 48 percent from the floor and 40 percent from 3-point range (8-of-20). ... ETSU’s defense held Troy to just 36 percent shooting from the floor and 33 percent from 3-point range. The Bucs also dished out 16 assists and committed just 12 turnovers.
Last time out
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Nov. 22, 2011) – ETSU junior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) sank a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the corner, lifting the ETSU men’s basketball team to a dramatic 70-69 win over Atlantic 10 Conference foe Charlotte Tuesday evening inside Halton Arena. ... Having rallied from a 10-point second half deficit, the Buccaneers (3-1) found themselves down by two points with Charlotte’s DeMario Mayfield going to the line for two free throws with 12 seconds left. Mayfield missed both those attempts, allowing ETSU senior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa, Fla.) to grab the rebound and giving the Bucs one last chance. ... Sollazzo advanced the ball and found fellow senior Tommy Hubbard (Boston) on the right wing. Instead of driving to the basket for a potential tying score, Hubbard penetrated into the lane and decided to pass to Jones in the corner. The left-handed shooter took care of the rest, finding the bottom of the basket. ... Along with Jones’ heroics, the Bucs got a game-high 26 points from junior guard Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.), while senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) netted 16 points and Hubbard finished with 14 points. ... In the first half, ETSU’s defensive pressure was again impressive in the early going, forcing nine turnovers in the first nine minutes and helping give the Bucs the lead for the first seven minutes of action. Unfortunately for ETSU, the Bucs had their own turnover troubles and allowed Charlotte to stick around ... In the second half, ETSU opened things with a 6-0 run to take the lead at 32-31. However, Charlotte answered with its own 12-4 run to make it 43-36 with 13:30 left in the game. The Bucs would not go away, however, as they manufactured an 18-6 run to take the lead at 58-56 with 4:01 left in the game. ... From there, both teams hit multiple shots and either traded the lead or tied the game five times in the final minutes.
Early season scouting report for ETSU
After playing four games so far this season, the Buccaneers have seen some statistical regularities -- some positive and some negative. On the positive side, the Bucs are holding opponents to just 38 percent shooting from the floor and have forced an average of 21 turnovers a game ... in addition, the Bucs are collecting 10.8 steals a contest and averaging 11 assists per game ... However, on the negative side, ETSU is shooting just 28 percent from 3-point range so far this season, and is being out-rebounded by an average of 4.0 rebounds a game.
Florida connection proving valuable to Bucs
For much of the past 10 seasons, the Buccaneers have enjoyed a pipeline of quality players coming from the “Sunshine” state ... A glance at this year’s current roster shows that trend continuing ... Entering Tuesday’s game, these have been the contributions of ETSU’s current Floridians:
Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) 9.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists
Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) 8.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists
Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) 12.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists
Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) 4.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.0 assists
In all, ETSU’s Florida players are averaging a combined 34.2 points, 17.9 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 6.6 steals per game so far this season.
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 146, but is just 38 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 did 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.
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. After the season opener at Virginia Tech, here is where each stands:
Isiah Brown........................................................................ 835 points
Tommy Hubbard ........................................................... 602 points
Adam Sollazzo ................................................................ 589 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
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 145-45 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 44-4 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.