JOHNSON CITY (Nov. 29, 2012) -- The ETSU men's basketball team will return to action Thursday night, hosting nearby Milligan College in non-conference action at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Tip is set for 7 p.m.
The Buccaneers (1-3) will be looking to get back to work on the offensive end of the floor, where they struggled to score just 38 points in a loss to Georgia last week.
For more on the game, read the game notes below or click on the game notes 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.
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, both Cooley and Dubose have been dismissed from the team for violation of team rules and policies ... Along with those two, fellow guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) and forward Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) are the only other ETSU seniors 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, 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
ATHENS, Ga. (Nov. 23, 2012) – Suffering through a 12-minute scoring drought in the first half, the ETSU men’s basketball team looked on as Georgia went on a 15-0 run to build an 18-point halftime lead and ultimately drop the Buccaneers 54-38 in non-conference basketball action at the Stegeman Coliseum. ... Despite the offensive struggles, the young Bucs managed to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 11 points on a pair of occasions in the second half, but the Southeastern Conference opponent ultimately had too much firepower for ETSU. ... The Bucs, who were unable to manage much offensively and shot just 28 percent from the floor during the game, got a team-high 12 points from redshirt freshman Lester Wilson (Knoxville). Meanwhile, Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope netted a game-high 13 points, and Donte Williams pitched in 12 in the winning effort. ... In the first half, ETSU actually led the game at 11-10 thanks to made 3-pointer from Wilson with 12:13 left before the intermission. However, at that point, the Bucs went the rest of the first half without a field goal and Georgia outscored ETSU 21-2 during that timeframe. ... After the intermission, the Bucs’ offense was better and got to within 11 at 43-32 and 46-35, but UGA answered the runs to keep ETSU at bay. Georgia led by as many as 19 in the second half before wrapping up the 54-38 victory. ... Georgia shot a blistering and efficient 63.2 percent from the floor for the game and 43 percent from beyond the arc. Good numbers for ETSU included 10 steals on the night and the Bucs committed just 13 turnovers in the contest.
The series versus Milligan
In a series that dates back to 1921, ETSU leads Milligan 36-24 all-time ... The Bucs have won the last four against the Buffaloes, including an 83-43 victory back in 2011.
Last time out against Milligan
JOHNSON CITY (Dec. 19, 2011) – Junior guard Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.) scored a game-high 20 points and senior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) pitched in 18 as the ETSU men’s basketball team cruised to an 83-43 win over Milligan College in non-conference hoops action inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... Along with Dubose and Sollazzo, junior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) added 14 points in the winning effort, as the Buccaneers improved to 5-5 on the season. ... After Milligan managed to tie the game at 2-2, ETSU dominated the rest of the first half. In all, the Bucs would outscore the Buffs 49-17 before the intermission, shooting 47 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the 3-point line. ... It was the ETSU defense that made the lop-sided half possible, as the Bucs forced 14 turnovers on six steals and held Milligan to just 26 percent shooting from the floor. ... In the second half, the two teams basically traded baskets with ETSU ultimately outscoring the Buffs 34-26 and finishing with the 40-point victory. The Bucs enjoyed a 32-18 edge on points in the paint and outscored the Buffs 21-8 off turnovers. ... For the game, senior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) led the Bucs attack on the glass, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds and helping ETSU to a 54-32 advantage in that statistical category.
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, Bartow 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 wins at ETSU ranks second on the Bucs’ all-time list ... In addition, Bartow’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.
Wilson named A-Sun newcomer of the week for second time
For the second time in his young career, ETSU redshirt freshman forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) has been named the Atlantic Sun Conference Newcomer of the Week, the league office announced on Tuesday. ... The 6-foot-4 engineering major averaged 19 points and 5.5 rebounds last week as the Buccaneers picked up their first win of the season at Charleston Southern, and later dropped a contest at Southeastern Conference opponent Georgia. ... Wilson scored a career high 26 points and carried the Bucs’ offense in the hard-fought 59-57 win over Charleston Southern. He followed that performance with a team-high 12 points in the loss to Georgia. ... For the week, Wilson shot 47 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range.
“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 four collegiate games, Wilson is averaging 17.5 points and 5.3 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 ... However, 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 is currently third in the A-Sun 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 ... Currently, the team has nine players who are eligible and healthy enough to play, of that group there is only four total years of Division I experience ... On average, that’s less than a half year of experience per player ... With four freshmen and two junior college transfers that means 66 percent of the team is competing in their first season of Division I basketball.
Three-point streak for Bucs dates back nearly 20 years
Since Feb. 16, 1987, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 769 consecutive games. ... In that game back on Feb. 16, 1987, the Bucs were 0-for-8 in a loss to Davidson.
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.
Home Sweet Dome ... against non-conference teams
Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 153-50 overall inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 76 percent ... But when looking at the past 11 years, the Bucs are an even more impressive 46-6 against non-conference opponents ... Last year, the Bucs went 10-3 overall at the Dome and a perfect 4-0 against non-conference opponents.
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.