Bucs hope to tame SEC's Bulldogs Friday in Athens
Redshirt freshman Lester Wilson leads the A-Sun in scoring with 19.3 points per contest.
Bucs hope to tame SEC's Bulldogs Friday in Athens
Thursday, November 22, 2012

ATHENS, Ga. (Nov. 23, 2012) -- Coming off an emotional and uplifting win over Charleston Southern on Tuesday evening, the ETSU men's basketball team will hit the the road again and be back on the hardwood Friday to take on Southeastern Conference opponent Georgia.

Tip inside the Stegeman Coliseum is set for 7 p.m.

The Bucs (1-2) lead the all-time series with the Bulldogs 2-1, having dropped UGA in the last meeting between the two teams back in 2007 during a first round game at the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii. Currently, Georgia stands at 1-4 on the season, having played a tough early season slate.

For more on Friday's game, read the game notes below or click the game notebook link above. For more on ETSU men's basketball throughout the 2012-13 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.

Buc bits
After several years of quality returning players and at least some level of certainty regarding what to expect heading into the winter months, the 2012-13 ETSU men’s basketball team will enter the new campaign with several questions and concerns. ... The loss of standout seniors such as Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) and Tommy Hubbard (Boston) will be hard to overcome, considering that group combined for a total of 3,091 points in their careers ... A year ago, the Bucs enjoyed quality wins such as a road victory over Atlantic 10 Conference foe Charlotte, and finished with a respectable 17 victories on the season. The team finished fourth in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings at 10-8, reaching the league tournament semifinals. ... This season, the Bucs top two returning starters are guards Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) and Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.), who both combined to score 19.7 points per game a year ago. ... However, at this time both Cooley and Dubose are indefinitely suspended from the team for violation of team rules and policies, and will not play against Georgia ... Along with those two, fellow guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) and forward Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) are the only other ETSU players to be returning after playing significant minutes last year, but Poderis is now lost for the season with a left foot injury and will be forced to redshirt, while Jones is academically ineligible for the first semester ... With so few returning, experienced players, ETSU will be looking to some unproven returning players, as well as a recruiting class that includes three incoming freshmen and a pair of junior college transfers, to come in and make an immediate impact. Sophomores Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) and John Walton (Memphis), along with redshirt freshman Lester Wilson (Knoxville) are expected to increase their production this year, while true freshmen guards Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.), Mario Stramaglia (Birmingham, Ala.), and Yunio Barrueta (Miami, Fla.) will look to blossom into early contributors. ... On the interior, Poderis and Walton will need help from junior college transfers Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) and Hunter Harris (Nashville). While they may have plenty of questions entering the season, the Bucs’ schedule will not provide much patience for development. The team will face teams such as North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss and Georgia in the opening weeks of the season, and will host 2011 Final Four participant VCU (Jan. 2) just days before the start of the Atlantic Sun Conference slate. The team will also enjoy a Christmas holiday trip to the Diamond Head Classic and face Arizona in the first round of that event on Dec. 22.

Last time out
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Nov. 20, 2012) – Starting three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior, a shorthanded ETSU men’s basketball team overcame adversity off the court and rallied from a 20-point first-half deficit to win 59-57 over Charleston Southern in non-conference basketball action Tuesday night inside the Buccaneer Fieldhouse. ... While redshirt freshman Lester Wilson (Knoxville) led the way with a career high 26 points and junior Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) posted a 12-point, five-rebound effort, it was sophomore post John Walton (Memphis) whose layup was the game-winner with 3.7 seconds left on the clock. ... CSU’s Saah Nimley raced to the rim as the final seconds expired, but his floater from the lane missed the mark and ETSU completed the remarkable victory. ... The Buccaneers (1-2), who played the game without the services of senior guards Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) and Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.) because both have been suspended indefinitely from the team for violations of team rules and policies, battled throughout the contest and got spectacular individual efforts from several players to pick up the win. ... In a battle of two teams with the same Buccaneers nickname, ETSU took a major punch to the gut from Charleston Southern (1-3) early on, and trailed by as many as 20 points at 35-15 with 5:49 left on the clock. However, at that point Wilson scored 11 of ETSU’s next 16 points and powered a 16-3 run to end the half, making the score 38-31. ...  To start the second half, ETSU continued to rally and ultimately took the lead at 49-46 on a Gadsden-Gilliard 3-pointer with 8:20 left in the game. CSU regained the advantage at that point and didn’t trail again until a 3-pointer by Wilson made it 57-54 with 2:46 remaining. ... From there, Charleston Southern tied it at 57-57, but on ETSU’s final possession of the game, Wilson took a shot that missed, KGG rebounded the ball and missed, and then Walton gathered up the loose ball and scored the game-winner.

The series versus Georgia
This will be the third meeting all-time between the Bucs and Bulldogs ... ETSU owns a 2-1 advantage in the series, having defeated UGA in the last meeting between the two teams, 76-58, back in 2007 at the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii ... The Bucs and Dogs met for the first time back in 1961, and again in 1984.

Last time out against Georgia
HONOLULU, Hawaii (Dec. 20, 2007) - The ETSU men’s basketball team had something to prove after coming off one of its worst losses in school history last weekend at Syracuse. The Buccaneers quickly answered the challenge with a 76-58 win over SEC challenger Georgia in the first round of the 44th annual Rainbow Classic inside the Stan Sheriff Center. ... The Buccaneers saw three score in double figures with junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) leading the way with a game-high 18 points in 34 minutes of work. Joining Pigram were seniors Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) and Kenyona Swader (Smyrna, Tenn.) as they each pitched in with 14-point efforts. Reed was also two rebounds shy of collecting his fourth career double-double. Georgia’s Jeremy Price paced the Bulldogs with a team-high 10 points. ... Joining the trio above was the stellar play of sophomore Blake Mishler (Metamora, Ill.) and junior Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.). Mishler came off the bench and ignited the Bucs with eight points and three rebounds in 18 minutes of action. Davis, who started his first game at ETSU, netted seven points and tied his season-high with six assists.

Bartow atop list of second generation coaches
Murry Bartow’s coaching lineage is undeniable ... As the son of the late Gene Bartow, he had the fortunate opportunity to grow up learning from one of the most successful basketball coaches in college history ... Setting off on his own career, Murry has carried on the family tradition of success ... His 61 percent winning percentage at ETSU makes him the winningest Buccaneers’ head coach by percentage, and his 179 career wins ranks second on the ETSU all-time list ... In addition, Murry’s 282 career victories ranks No. 1 among second generation college coaches, besting the 252 wins by John Thompson III ... Along with his father’s 647 career wins, the Bartow men have combined for 930 victories, ranking fourth on the all-time win list for Father/Son coaches.

“Mr. Wilson” gives Bucs offensive spark early on
After red-shirting the 2011-12 season, Lester Wilson has been quite an addition for the Blue and Gold in 2012-13 ... In his first three collegiate games, Wilson is averaging 19.3 points and six rebounds ... The Knoxville, Tenn. native scored 20 points in his debut at Virginia Tech and followed that effort up with a 12-point  showing against Tennessee Tech ... But in his last game, Wilson looked at his best, posting a career high 26 points and hitting on 5-of-10 shots from 3-point range in ETSU’s win over Charleston Southern ... Wilson currently leads the Atlantic Sun Conference in scoring.

Talented Bucs still face obstacle with experience
At no time in the tenure of ETSU head coach Murry Bartow have the Buccaneers had less experience ... This season, the team has 13 active players on the roster and only 13 total years of Division I experience combined among all those student-athletes ... On average, that’s just one year of experience per player on average ... With four freshmen and two sophomores that means that nearly half the team are “underclassmen.”

Bucs get defensive in win at Charleston Southern
In their win against Charleston Southern, ETSU held its opponent to just 28.8 percent shooting from the floor ... It was the first time since Feb. 26, 2009 that the Bucs had held a team under 30 percent shooting in a game ... In that 2009 contest, ETSU held Kennesaw State to just 26.3 percent shooting from the floor.

Three-Point streak for Bucs dates back nearly 20 years
Since the 1993-94 season, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 578 consecutive games.

McClain makes start at point, Barrueta provides valuable play
True freshmen Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) and Yunio Barrueta (Miami, Fla.) showed signs of a bright future in the Bucs’ loss at Virginia Tech ... McClain started at point guard and played 29 minutes, scoring six points and dishing out three assists ... Meanwhile, Barrueta came off the bench to net four points on 2-of-2 shooting ... Both players were once again in the starting lineup against Charleston Southern, with McClain playing all 40 minutes and dishing out seven assists.

Walton on his way up the depth chart
After playing limited minutes a year ago, forward John Walton (Memphis) has been impressing the ETSU coaching staff during the preseason and through the first three games of the 2012-13 campaign ... After hinting that Walton would demand more playing time this year, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow has started the 6-foot-7 sophomore in the Bucs’ first two games this season ... at Virginia Tech, Walton responded with career highs for points (8), rebounds (5) and minutes played (30), and then bested or matched those marks with another eight points and eight rebounds in the win over Charleston Southern.

Junior college transfers set to power Bucs’ inside game
With the signing of junior college transfers Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) and Hunter Harris (Nashville), the Bucs are hoping to have added some strength -- and beef -- to their inside game this season ... At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Gadsden-Gilliard is a rare combination of size and agility, while Harris is a high energy player who can rebound and block shots at a high level ... With the loss of senior post Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) for the season due to a foot injury, the expectations for Harris and KGG have only risen. ... In the win over Charleston Southern, KGG and Harris combined for 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Bucs have tradition of postseason appearances, success
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.