HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (Jan. 7, 2013) – In search of a break through win in Atlantic Sun Conference play, the ETSU men’s basketball team will travel for the first time to Northern Kentucky and take on the league newcomer Monday evening.
Tip inside the Bank of Kentucky Center is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Bucs – who dropped to 2-12 overall, 0-1 in A-Sun action with a loss Saturday against Lipscomb – are trying to stop a nine-game losing streak and are looking to avoid the worst start in program history since the 1975-76 team began that season at 2-13.
For more on Monday’s game, read the game notes below or click on 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.
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 were 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 missed the first seven games of the year for academic reasons ... Jones returned against Ole Miss on Dec. 14 ... 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).
Last time out
NASHVILLE (Jan. 5, 2013) – Despite showing signs of offensive life in the second half and actually leading at one point, the ETSU men’s basketball team was unable to hold off home-standing Lipscomb, falling 60-56 to the Bison Saturday evening inside Allen Arena. ... The Buccaneers dropped their first Atlantic Sun Conference game of the season, falling to 2-12 overall, 0-1 in league play. Meanwhile, Lipscomb improved to 6-8 overall, 1-2 in A-Sun action. ... Indeed, the Bucs shot just 6-of-15 from the charity stripe and were out-rebounded 39-28 in the game. Lipscomb’s center Stephen Hurt led the way for the Bison with a 17-point, 13-rebound effort, while teammate Deonte Alexander posted a game-high 19 points.
For ETSU, freshman forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) had a team-high 16 points, while junior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) and senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) scored 13 and 11 points, respectively. ... In the first half, both teams struggled offensively and neither was able to shoot above 40 percent from the field. The difference for the Bison was a 10-2 run midway through the half that took a 12-11 lead for the Bucs and made it 22-14 in favor of Lipscomb with five minutes left before the break. Lipscomb ultimately led 28-19 at halftime. ... After the break ETSU was trailing 32-21 before going on an 18-5 offensive run to take the advantage at 39-37. During that burst, Wilson hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 of the Bucs 18 points. However, at that point Lipscomb answered with its own 13-2 spurt to build an advantage of 50-41 with 3:52 remaining. ... ETSU didn’t go away, getting to within one possession on a couple of occasions and actually making it 57-56 with 26 seconds left on another 3-pointer by Wilson. Later on, Lipscomb’s Martin Smith hit a pair of free throws to make it 59-56, and a game-tying 3-point attempt by Wilson missed the mark with five seconds left. ... The Bucs will return to action on Monday evening, traveling to Northern Kentucky for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff against the Norse. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2012-13 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.
The series versus Northern Kentucky
This is the first ever meeting between the Bucs and Northern Kentucky
Bucs off to toughest start since 1975-76
ETSU has enjoyed its share of success over the last three-plus decades, but the 2012-13 season has been a tough one so far for the Bucs ... With a loss at Lipscomb on Saturday, the Bucs dropped to 2-12 on the year, which is the worst start for the program since the 1975-76 team began the year at 2-13 ... That 1975-76 team and the 1964-65 squad both hold the record for fewest wins by an ETSU team in the modern era, as both finished thier seasons with just six wins.
New lighting system for the Mini-Dome
The game with VCU marked a new look for the Buccaneers home court inside the ETSU/MSHA Atheltic Center ... Over the holiday break, a new lighting system and championship banners were installed inside the Dome, creating a more “basketball friendly” environment ... Along with the new LED digital boards along the floor, a renovated “Courtside Club” for donors, and the team’s new practice facility which was completed earlier this year, there have been over $1 million in basketball improvements made to the Dome this year alone.
Shuffling starters the “new normal” for Bucs
ETSU head coach Murry Bartow has used 12 different starting lineups in the team’s 14 games this season ... Injuries and dismissals have left the ETSU coaching staff searching for the right combination to start games, as the team currently stands 2-12 on the year.
Gadsden-Gilliard shows signs of production
Early in the season, ETSU coaches spoke openly about the potential junior transfer Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) to produce quality numbers ... Thirteen games into the season KGG had struggled to meet those predictions, but that changed against Lipscomb (1/5) ... Setting or matching personal bests for points (13), rebounds (7), assists (3) and free throws (3) in 30 minutes of action, KGG played arguably his best game of the season so far.
Jones meeting expectations for Bucs
ETSU head coach Murry Bartow expected the return of senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) would improve his team’s efforts on the offensive end of the floor … He was right. … After posting a career-high 21 points against No. 4 Arizona, followed by a team-high 14 against Hawaii and another team-best 17 against San Francisco, Jones is now averaging 13.8 points per game in his six outings since returning from academic probation against Ole Miss back on Dec. 14 … Jones was 6-of-6 from the foul line, dished out three assists, grabbed three steals and played just under 40 minutes in the loss to the Wildcats, while collecting five steals and five rebounds to go with his 14 points against the Rainbow Warriors ... Against San Francisco, he posted 17 points with 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, while dishing four assists and grabbing two steals.
ESPN names Wilson to nation’s Top 25 freshmen list
While circumstances have forced the ETSU men’s basketball team to struggle in the early going this season, talented redshirt freshman forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) has still given the Buccaneers reason for hope. ... Wilson, who is averaging 15.4 points per game, was listed as one of the Top 25 freshmen in college basketball Thursday by ESPN hoops writer John Gasaway. The list – which included players such as UNLV’s Anthony Bennett, UCLA’s Jordan Adams, Michigan’s Nik Stauskas and Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon – had Wilson ranked at No. 25. ... Currently the Atlantic Sun Conference’s fourth best scorer, Wilson has posted four 20-plus point games so far this season ... Of those contests, he scored a career high 27 points in the win over Milligan back on Nov. 29, after scoring 26 in the Bucs’ previous win over Charleston Southern on Nov. 20.
Buccaneers 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 10 players who are eligible and healthy enough to play, and of that group there are only six 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 in a game against Davidson, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 778 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game.
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.
ETSU picked among nation’s best “Prestige” programs
In 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 Bus -- who have enjoyed nine NCAA 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 team, as well as former SoCon rivals Appalachian State, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro. In addition, at that time 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 Notre Dame, DePaul, Bradley, Clemson and Fla. State.
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 tradition. ... His 181 wins at ETSU ranks second on the Bucs’ all-time list ... In addition, Bartow’s 284 career victories ranks No. 1 among second generation coaches ... Along with his father’s 647 career wins, the Bartow men have combined for 931 victories, ranking fourth on the all-time win list for Father/Son coaches.