COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 26, 2013) -- Tonight's game between Tennessee Tech and ETSU has been postponed until Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m.
With back-to-back wins for the first time this season, the ETSU men's basketball team will be aiming for a third straight victory when the Buccaneers travel to take on former Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee Tech Tuesday night at the Eblen Center.
Tip is set for 8 p.m. (EST) and the game can be heard on any of the Buccaneer Sports Network's radio and web streaming outlets.
This matchup begins a stretch of three out of four games on the road for the Bucs (2-4), who be trying to get a victory over the Golden Eagles so they can return home on Saturday with a chance to even their overall record at 4-4.
For more on Tuesday night's game, read the game notes below or click on the game notebook 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 vs. Tennessee Tech
The Bucs and Golden Eagles have met 71 times since beginning their basketball series back in 1923 ... ETSU holds a 36-35 edge in the all-time series, but despite having won six in a row, the Bucs have lost the last two meetings, including a 65-62 setback on Nov. 17, 2012 in the Bucs’ season opener.
Last time out against Tennessee Tech
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 17, 2012) – Trailing Tennessee Tech by 13 points late in the second half, the ETSU men’s basketball team rallied to get within two with 14 seconds remaining, but a game-tying 3-point attempt by Buccaneers’ senior guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa) missed the mark as time expired and the Golden Eagles escaped the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center with a 65-62 victory in non-conference basketball action. ... ETSU got a team-high 19 points from senior guard Marcus Dubose (Hartsville, S.C.), while Cooley netted 17 in the loss. Meanwhile, junior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville) pitched in 14 points and seven rebounds, and redshirt freshman Lester Wilson (Knoxville) had 12. ... For Tennessee Tech, guard Jud Dillard led the way with a game-high 25 points and grabbed a double-double with 10 rebounds. ... The Bucs once again showed flashes of the talent and potential they have, putting together a 14-0 offensive run in the first half to take a 24-17 lead with just under eight minutes left in the half. Tech rebounded at that point and managed to cut their deficit to three at 29-26 at the break. ... In the second half, ETSU struggled for the first 15 minutes of play and looked on as Tech held a lead of more than 10 points for much of the second half. The Golden Eagles shot a strong 65 percent from the floor in the second half and we’re an equally impressive 53 percent from the floor for the game, however ETSU did manage to outscore the Golden Eagles 18-8 to end the game and make for an exciting finish.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 23, 2013) – Putting together its best all-around effort so far this season, the ETSU men’s basketball team remained perfect inside Freedom Hall Civic Center with a 66-58 victory over Stephen F. Austin. ... With the win, the Buccaneers are now a perfect 2-0 in the three-game First Bank and Trust Company Roundball Showcase at Freedom Hall, and improved to 2-4 overall on the year. Meanwhile, the Lumberjacks – a team that went 27-5 last year and won a regular season championship in the Southland Conference– dropped to 3-2 on the season. ... Those impressive individual performances included junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.), who finished with a team-high 18 points and collected two steals in 40 minutes of action. In addition, freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) scored 12 points and pulled down nine rebounds in 34 minutes of play, senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) finished with 10 points and five boards, and sophomore point Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) provided stability down the stretch with eight points and two assists on the night. ... Despite falling behind by 10 early in the first half, the Bucs used a 19-4 run of their own to answer the challenge and build a 27-22 edge with 4:03 left in the first half. Ultimately, the Bucs would lead by six at the break, 32-26. ... In the second half, ETSU basically held a double-digit advantage most of the way and led by as many as 13 at 46-33 with 12:59 left. The Lumberjacks managed to rally however, pulling to within four following back-to-back 3-pointers from Deshaunt Walker and Jacob Parker to make it 58-54 with 1:36 left in the game.
Bucs improve defensively, but inside game struggling
A year ago, ETSU allowed teams to shoot a high percentrage from the field and from the 3-point line ... This year, ETSU’s defensive efforts have paid off as the Bucs have held teams to just 41 percent shooting from the field and 28 percent from 3-point range ... However, as the Bucs have improved on the perimeter, the team has struggled in the paint ... Currently, ETSU’s rebound margin is -4.2, and the Bucs have been out-rebounded by a total of 229-204 ... Those numbers have led to more second chance points for opponents and the reason for two close losses for the team.
Merriweather continues to shine, posts double-double
Freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.) has certainly made an impression in the early going this season, and he continued to make more news against Morehead State (11/12) ... The 6-2 guard collected his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, to go along with a pair of assists, a block and a steal in 35 minutes of play ... His current team ranks are first in rebounding (7.5 rpg), third in steals (1. spg), third in scoring (9.8 ppg), and third in minutes played (28.8).
All-around effort by Gadsden-Gilliard impressive
Setting new personal bests with 12 rebounds and six assists in the win over Samford (11/21), senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) had people thinking “triple-double” when he added an 18-point effort to his statistical line ... The Bucs hope that KGG can make these types of efforts more consistent ... So far this year, KGG has games of 31, 18, 16 and 10 points, to go along with outings of just two and four points of output.
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.
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 hoped to find more stability with his rotation in 2013-14, however he has now used five different starting lineups in six games so far this season.
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 35 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.
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 800 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game.
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.