JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 12, 2013) – Coming off an encouraging debut at Charlotte on Friday night, the ETSU men’s basketball team will open the home portion of its 2013-14 schedule Tuesday night as the Buccaneers host Morehead State inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside the Dome.
The Bucs (0-1) hope to build on the energy, effort and production by players such as senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) and freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.), which helped ETSU give Conference USA foe Charlotte a scare in an 80-75 loss on Friday night. In that game, KGG finished with a career-high 31 points, while Merriweather scored 10 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds and three steals.
Fans are also encouraged to bring their children to games this year to take advantage of the special Sweet Frogs $5 kids’ ticket to all men's basketball games.
For more on Tuesday’s matchup, read the game notes below or click on the game notes link to the right. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2013-14 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.
The ETSU men’s basketball program was glad to see the 2012-13 campaign come to an end, following a season which saw the team face multiple obstacles and challenges -- such as a brutal schedule that featured the likes of North Carolina, Arizona, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Georgia and Hawaii ... Other issues for the team included senior post Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) missing the season with ankle injury that he suffered in the preseason, senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) being academically ineligible for the first two months of the year, and two other senior guards who were expected to be major contributors were dismissed from the team in early November for violations of team rules … This left head coach Murry Bartow and his coaching staff with a young, inexperienced group of underclassmen, several true freshmen, one redshirt freshman and a pair of junior college transfers … Those obstacles proved to be tough to overcome, as the Buccaneers posted a 10-22 record and finished 8-10 in Atlantic Sun Conference play … It was the toughest campaign in Bartow’s 10 seasons at ETSU, a tenure that has produced many championships, postseason tournament appearances and 20-win campaigns … In all, Bartow’s teams have earned three NCAA Tournament invitations (2004, 2009 and 2010), one NIT appearance (2007), and one CIT berth (2011), and the Bucs have eclipsed 20 wins five times. … This year, the Bucs will once again take to the floor with a young squad made up of several new faces … In fact, despite the return of the 6-fooot-9 Poderis, the Bucs have just five players back this season who played significant minutes a year ago.
The series versus Morehead State
The Bucs and Eagles have met 51 times, with most of those games being played during ETSU’s time in the OVC ... Morehead leads the series 27-24 and has won the last three meetings, including a 60-58 victory in the last meeting between the two teams back on Dec. 18, 2009 in Morehead, Ky.
Last time out against Morehead State
MOREHEAD, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2009) - Despite trailing by just two points to Morehead State with 34.8 seconds left, back-to-back turnovers by the ETSU men’s basketball team in the final 30 seconds ultimately cost the Buccaneers a chance at a road victory, as they fell to the Eagles 60-58 in non-conference action Friday evening at Johnson Arena. ... After tying the game on a Jarvis Jones (Memphis) 3-pointer with 57 seconds left, Morehead State’s Maze Stallworth was fouled and hit both free throws. At that point, the Bucs first turned the ball over with just over five seconds left when junior Micah Williams (Manchester) dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds. ... Then, after a pair of free throw misses by Morehead’s Kenneth Faried, senior guard Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) walked with the basketball as he raced to the other end for a desperation attempt to tie it. ... The Bucs shot just 38 percent from the floor on the evening, and were outrebounded 44-30. ETSU was led offensively by Jones’ 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range, while junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) also added 14. In addition, true freshman guard Bruce Grimm (Rochester, Ind.) pitched in 12 and three steals.
Last time out
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Nov. 8, 2013) – Senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) scored a career-high 31 points, but senior post Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) missed a potential game-tying free throw with seven seconds left in regulation, as Charlotte held off ETSU 80-75 in the regular season opener for both teams inside Halton Arena. ... Despite the loss, the Buccaneers showed a renewed sense of purpose on both ends of the floor during the game and gave their Conference USA opponent a challenging home opener. ... Along with KGG’s career night, the Bucs also got double-figure scoring from junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) with 11 points, while sophomore forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) and freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.) added 10 points each. ... The first half was a back-and-forth affair for the most part with a total of 10 lead changes over the first 14 minutes of play. However, after tying the contest at 23-23 on a 3-pointer by Rembert, Charlotte proceeded to put together a 9-0 offensive run and built a 32-23 advantage with just over two minutes left in the half. ... ETSU managed to weather that storm and battled back with an 8-2 run of its own, ending the half on a positive note when the Bucs forced the 49ers into a shot-clock violation with six seconds left before the intermission. From there, ETSU raced up the floor and Gadsden-Gilliard drained a long 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to make it 34-31 at the break. ... In the second half, the Bucs got to within two points at 49-47 with 13:21 left in the game, but from there Charlotte went on a 10-3 run to match its largest lead of the game at nine, 59-50. ETSU did not buckle, though, methodically getting back into the game and ultimately making it a two-point game on a basket by Wilson that made it 76-74 with 44 seconds left in the game. ... At that point, Charlotte missed a shot on their end and Poderis was fouled on the play, setting up his final opportunity to tie the contest. While 49ers’ guard Pierria Henry made it a three-point game with a pair of free throws, the Bucs lost a final shot to tie when guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) was called for traveling with 4.5 seconds left.
KGG, Merriweather enjoy strong debuts at Charlotte
With his career-high, 31-point effort in the loss at Charlotte (11/8), senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) certainly made an impression on those inside Halton Arena. ... Along with KGG’s showing, freshman A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.) did not shy away from the challenge of his first college game and the assignment of defending Charlotte guard Pierria Henry ... While KGG finished with career bests for points (31), field goals made (10) and 3-pointers made (4), Merriweather finished with 10 points to go along with team highs for rebounds (7) and steals (3) in 29 minutes of play.
Young Bucs still face obstacles with experience
The last two seasons, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow has faced the challenge of developing a roster with minimal experience ... As the 2013-14 Buccaneers begin play, Bartow is once again looking at a team with several new faces and limited playing time ... In all, the Bucs return just six players who saw time on the floor last sesaon, while there are a total of seven newcomers to the program ... When counting the entire 15-man roster, the Bucs have a total of just 11 varsity seasons between the team for an average of less than a season per player ... The most experienced player on the team is fifth-year senior Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.), but he is returning from an injury which made him miss the entire 2012-13 campaign.
Merriweather, Riley and Harris standout in exhibition games
Freshmen A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.) and Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.), along with JuCo transfer Jalen Riley (Racine, Wisc.) made significant impressions during the Bucs’ two exhibition games ... Merriweather’s numbers were the most guady, as he averaged 22 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 steals in just 21 minutes per game ... Meanwhile, Harris averaged 7.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the games against Milligan (10/29) and Mars Hill (11/2), while Riley finished with 12.5 points and 2.0 rebounds per contest.
Rembert hoping to stay hot as 2013-14 season begins
Junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) has made the most of his increased playing time over the last two seasons, having made a 3-pointer in 29 straight games dating back to last season ... Last season, Rembert ranked fourth in the A-Sun in 3-point field goal percentage at 39.7 percent for the year. ... This year, Rembert has shown signs of expanding his offensive productivity, as he averaged 21.0 points per game in the Bucs’ exhibitions against Milligan (10/29) and Mars Hill (11/2) ... In fact, he put up a stunning 33 points on nine made 3-pointers in the win over Milligan.
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.
Shuffling starters the “new normal” for Bucs
Last season, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow used 17 different starting lineups in the team’s 32 games ... Injuries and dismissals left the ETSU’s coaches searching for the right combination all season. ... Bartow hopes to find more stability with his rotation in 2013-14.
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 795 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game.
ESPN names Wilson to nation’s Top 25 freshmen list
While circumstances forced the ETSU men’s basketball team to struggle last season, talented redshirt freshman forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) gave the Buccaneers reason for hope. ... Wilson, who is averaged 13.0 points per game, was listed as one of the Top 25 freshmen in college basketball 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.
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.