DELAND, Fla. (Feb. 9, 2013) – The ETSU men’s basketball team will continue on its current Florida road swing Saturday, taking on Atlantic Sun Conference foe Stetson inside the Edmunds Center.
Tip is set for 3:15 p.m., and the game will be available both on the Buccaneer Sports Network and ASun.TV.
The Buccaneers (7-18 overall, 5-7 in A-Sun play) hope to continue their recent trend of winning Saturday games in conference play. So far this season, the team has lost the first game of its two-game weekend sets, only to rebound and win in the second game each time.
For more on the 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 entered this 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 has looked 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) have increased their production this year, while true freshmen guards Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.), Mario Stramaglia (Birmingham, Ala.), and Yunio Barrueta (Miami, Fla.) are blossoming into early contributors. ... On the interior, Walton has been getting help from junior college transfers Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) and Hunter Harris (Nashville).
Last time out
FORT MYERS, FLA. (Feb. 7, 2013) – Earlier this season, the ETSU men’s basketball team overcame a 19-point, second-half deficit to beat Florida Gulf Coast. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, that same scenario did not occur again Thursday night. ... Building a 12-point halftime lead, FGCU simply piled on the points this time around, leading by as many as 27 in the second half and ultimately avenging that early-season loss with a dominating 67-43 effort inside Alico Arena. ... With the win, the first-place Eagles improved to 17-8 overall, 9-3 in Atlantic Sun Conference action. Meanwhile, the Bucs dropped to 7-18 overall, 5-7 in league play. ... The Eagles, who are now 12-1 in their home arena and actually enjoyed a victory over No. 8 Miami (Fla.) on this floor earlier in the season, were impressive on both ends of the court.
Defensively, they held ETSU to just 23 percent shooting while also blocking a school-record 13 shots on the night. Offensively, the Eagles shot a blistering 56 percent from the field in the first half and grabbed 24 offensive rebounds to help them outscore the Bucs 40-20 in the paint.
For the first time in several outings, the Bucs struggled offensively in the first half, shooting just 26 percent from the floor and allowing FGCU to build a lead of as many as 15 points at 30-15. ... ETSU managed to cut that deficit to 12 at 33-21 by the break, which was surprising considering how well the Eagles shot in the first 20 minutes. The Bucs did force nine turnovers by FGCU and out-rebounded the Eagles 19-17 before the break to keep it close. ... After the break, the Bucs were not able to manage anything resembling a comeback, as ETSU connected on just one basket in the first eight minutes of the second half and looked on as FGCU put together a 14-2 offensive run from which the Bucs never recovered.
The series versus Stetson
ETSU has faced the Hatters 18 times and the Bucs hold a slim 10-8 advantage in the series ... The Bucs lost the last meeting .
Last time out against Stetson
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 10, 2013) – Despite placing three players in double figures and producing one of its best offensive games of the year, the ETSU men’s basketball team was unable to put out a red-hot Stetson squad as the Hatters upended the Buccaneers 72-70 in Atlantic Sun Conference action Thursday evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... With the loss, the Bucs dropped to 3-13 on the year, 1-2 in A-Sun action, while Stetson improved to 6-10, 3-2 on the season. ... Indeed, the Bucs were much better offensively than they have been much of the season, shooting 52 percent from the floor and 38 percent from 3-point range. However, Stetson was equally impressive with a 50 percent clip from both the floor and beyond the arc. But it was their 11 3-pointers and a 13-of-18 showing at the foul line that was the difference. ... ETSU got a game-high 21 points from freshman forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville), while senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) pitched in 19 points and junior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville) netted a career high 16. ... For Stetson, Adam Pegg and Chris Perez both scored a team-high 17 points, while teammate Aaron Graham dropped in 13 for the Hatters. ... Trailing 37-32 at the half, ETSU found itself trailing 67-54 with just over seven minutes left. The Bucs went to a full-court and man-to-man defense at that point, and it resulted in a 16-5 run to finish out the contest. However, the change was too little too late, as the Hatters hit just enough foul shots to keep the Bucs at bay.
Young 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 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.
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. … Recently, Jones almost single-handedly won the game for the Bucs against Lipscomb, scoring a career high 36 points and hitting three straight 3-pointers in overtime -- including the game winner ... Since returning to the team in the middle of December, Jones has average a taem-best 16.3 points per game.
Rembert heating up from outside
Sophomore guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) has made the most of his increased playing time this season, having made a 3-pointer in 20 straight games and currently ranks third in the A-Sun in 3-point field goal percentage at 41 percent on the season ... Against Jacksonville, he gave ETSU’s coaches even more reason to utilize him ... Hitting on 5-of-7 attempts from 3-point range against the Dolphins and counting the three games since that time, Rembert has made 37 3-pointers on the year.
Shuffling starters the “new normal” for Bucs
ETSU head coach Murry Bartow has used 16 different starting lineups in the team’s 25 games this season ... Injuries and dismissals have left the ETSU’s coaches searching for the right combination, as the team currently stands at 7-18.
McClain a “key” to success for ETSU’s offense
When freshman point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) missed several games early in the year with ankle injuries, ETSU’s coaching staff kept pointing out how much better the Bucs’ offense would be when he returned ... This has been the case ... As an example, McClain dished out eight assists and did not commit a turnover in the win over North Florida (1/26), and helped the Bucs to a season high 56 points in the second half against the Ospreys ... In that game, McClain also pitched in seven points.
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 15.3 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. ... Wilson has posted six 20-plus point games so far this season.
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 789 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 Bucs -- 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.