NASHVILLE (Feb. 20, 2012) – Needing to salvage some momentum and regroup for the final week of the regular season, the ETSU men’s basketball team will take on Lipscomb in Atlantic Sun Conference action Monday evening at Allen Arena.
Tip is set for 7:30 p.m. (EST).
The Bucs are coming off their largest margin of defeat in over two years, falling by 22 points to first-place Belmont on Saturday evening. Meanwhile, Lipscomb lost in dramatic fashion to USC Upstate that same day, as the Spartans hit a last-second 3-pointer to steal the victory.
For more on Monday’s game, click on the game notes link to the right, or read the game notes located 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.
Last time out
NASHVILLE (Feb. 18, 2012) – Consistently victimizing ETSU’s zone defense and connecting on 11 3-pointers on the night, the Belmont Bruins handed the Buccaneers an 80-58 defeat in Atlantic Sun Conference men’s basketball action Saturday evening at the Curb Event Center. ... It marked ETSU’s sixth loss in its last nine A-Sun games, and dropped the Bucs to 13-13 overall, 7-8 in conference action. Meanwhile, Belmont improved to 21-7 overall, 13-2 in A-Sun play, and now owns sole possession of first place in the league standings. ... Losing for the sixth time in the last seven trips to the Curb, the Buccaneers suffered an offensive drought midway through the first half and looked on as the Bruins put together a decisive 22-6 run that helped result in a 16-point halftime lead. ... For the first 10 minutes, ETSU held its own with the first-place Bruins and the Buccaneers found themselves tied at 15-15. However, at that point Belmont manufactured its run powered by five 3-pointers – including three from senior guard Drew Hanlen – and ultimately led 37-21 at the break. ... Belmont shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and hit on 46.7 percent of its 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes. Meanwhile, ETSU was 0-of-5 from beyond the arc and shot just 32.3 percent from the field. ... The story did not get better after the break, as Belmont built a lead of as many as 26 points at 51-25 and cruised to the victory. It was the first 20-plus point loss for the Bucs since a 71-50 defeat to Ole Miss back on Dec. 18, 2010. ... For the game, Belmont got a game high 18 points from guard Ian Clark, while both Hanlen and Kerron Johnson pitched in 15. Meanwhile, Scott Saunders and Blake Jenkins added 12 each. ... For ETSU, junior guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) scored a team-high 13 points, while senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) netted 12. The Bucs shot just 37 percent from the floor and 20 percent from beyond the arc.
The series versus Lipscomb
The Bucs are 29-11 all-time against the Bisons, in a series that dates back to 1951 when both teams played at the NAIA level ... ETSU has won 10 of the last 15 meetings since joining the A-Sun, with four of those games going to overtime -- the Bucs are 3-1 in those overtime games ... ETSU lost the last meeting back on
Last time out against Lipscomb
JOHNSON CITY (Jan. 21, 2012) – While ETSU’s men’s basketball team struggled to make shots, Lipscomb’s Jordan Burgason hit nine 3-pointers and scored a career high 33 points to lift the Bisons to a 73-65 win over the Buccaneers in Atlantic Sun Conference basketball action Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... While Burgason and the entire Lipscomb team combined to hit 15-of-26 3-pointers (57.7 percent), ETSU shot just 37 percent from the floor for the game and only 20 percent (5-of-25) from 3-point range). ... Even so, ETSU had its chances to win after going on a 17-0 run early in the second half which gave the Bucs a 51-44 lead after having trailed by 10 at 44-34. ETSU junior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) was the key to the Bucs 17-0 run, scoring 11 points during that run and finishing with a career high 18 points in the contest. ... However, at that point Lipscomb hit four straight 3-pointers to regain the advantage at 59-56, and the Bisons never relinquished that edge the rest of the game. ... Lipscomb’s 3-point shooting was the story of the first half as well, as the Bisons connected on eight shots from beyond the arc and shot nearly 70 percent from outside. Burgeson led the attack for Lipscomb, hitting five 3-pointers – which included the first three baskets of the game for the Bisons – on way to a game-high 15 points before the intermission. ... The Bucs trailed throughout the first half and had gotten to within three at 33-30 before Lipscomb closed out the half with back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 39-30 at the break. ... For the contest, ETSU had an impressive 24 offensive rebounds, took 18 more shots than the Bisons, and actually hit one more field goal for the game. However, the fact the Bisons had 10 more made 3-pointers negated any of those positive stats for the Bucs. ... Along with Burgason, the Bisons got 17 points from Martin Smith, including two clutch 3-pointers in the final four minutes that helped lift Lipscomb to the victory. ... For ETSU, Jones led the way with his 18, while senior guard Tommy Hubbard (Boston) posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards. Junior guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) pitched in 10 points in the losing effort. ... Despite the loss, the Bucs still have a chance to move even with Belmont in the conference standings on Monday, as the Bruins invade the Dome at 7 p.m. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.
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 is now second on the all-time list with 180 blocks, but is just two 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.
Bucs lead nation in steals, Cooley ranked 11th on list
Key to the Bucs’ wins this year has been the ability to swipe the ball from opponents ... Through games of Feb. 12, ETSU ranks No. 1 in the country in steals per game, averaging 10.5 steals a contest ... In fact, in the Bucs’ last game, the team swiped 18 steals against James Madison (1/30) ... Meanwhile, junior Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) has been on a torrid pace this season and a big reason for the Bucs’ success in the steals category, averaging a conference best 2.5 steals per game ... He currently ranks 11th nationally in steals per game. ... The Bucs have three players ranked in the Top 10 among A-Sun Conference players in steals: Cooley (1st, 2.5), Tommy Hubbard (2nd, 2.0) and Adam Sollazzo (4th, 1.7).
Rembert breaks out
Freshman guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa), who was recruited for his ability to score the basketball, came off the bench to provide valuable minutes in the Bucs’ win over Kennesaw State (2/4) ... Going a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 3-for-3 from 3-point range, Rembert netted 11 points for ETSU during a critical stretch midway through the game ... Afterwards, head coach Murry Bartow commented how Rembert was probably the player of the game.
Brown sets new career mark
With his 27-point effort in the win over North Florida, senior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) set a new career high for single-game scoring ... Brown, who was honored prior to the UNF game for recently eclipsing 1,000 points for his career, put on an offensive show against the Ospreys ... For the 6-foot-8 senior, it was his best game since netting 25 points against Kentucky in the 2010-11 season opener.
Sollazzo stepping up his offensive game
Senior point guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) has found a strong offensive rhythm in recent games ... In his last 22 games, Sollazzo has scored in double figures 18 times, eclipsing 20 points in five of those games ... Over that time frame, he has averaged 16.0 points, 4.1 assists, and 5.3 rebounds, and is shooting 45 percent from the floor. ... Sollazzo currently ranks first on the team in points (14.9 ppg) and assists (4.4 apg), and third in rebounds. (5.4 rpg).
Poderis reaches career mark for rebounds
In recent weeks, junior forward Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) has become a truly valuable part of the Buccaneers attack ... In the win over Mercer, Poderis picked up a career high 10 rebounds, and that effort came two days after he matched his career high for points with 14 against USC Upstate ... In the win over Kennesaw State, he posted another nine-rebound effort ... For the year, Poderis is averaging 4.4 points and 4.5 rebounds in 20.8 minutes a game.
On their way to 1,000 points
As they began their seniors seasons, ETSU’s trio of Isiah Brown, Adam Sollazzo and Tommy Hubbard were all eying the 1,000 point mark for their careers. While Brown has now reached the mark, Hubbard and Sollazzo are still in the hunt. After the Bucs’ last game, here is where each stands:
Adam Sollazzo ................................................................ 956 points
Tommy Hubbard ........................................................... 836 points
To reach 1,000, the three would have to average for the season:
Adam Sollazzo............................................ 14.8 points per game
Tommy Hubbard....................................... 14.7 points per game
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. ... This season, after starting out the year shooting poorly from the foul line, the Bucs are have improved those numbers and are now shooting 64 percent for the year as a team.
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.
ETSU 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 and one CIT berth, 14 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 programs such as Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, DePaul, Bradley, Clemson, California and Florida State.