JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 9, 2014) – The ETSU men’s basketball team will return home Thursday to take on Atlantic Sun Conference foe Lipscomb inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center at 7 p.m.
The Buccaneers, who are currently 8-7 overall, 1-1 in A-Sun play, will be looking to make a move in the league standings over the next nine games, as seven of those contests will be played inside the Dome.
Fans are encouraged to bring their children to games this year to take advantage of the special Sweet Frogs $5 kids’ ticket during men’s basketball games.
For more on the contest, read the game notes below or click on the game notebook link located on 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 University 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
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. …
The series vs. Lipscomb
The Bucs are 31-12 all-time against the Bisons, in a series that dates back to 1951 when both teams played at the NAIA level ... ETSU has won 12 of the last 18 meetings since joining the A-Sun, with five of those games going to overtime -- the Bucs are 4-1 in those overtime games ... In fact, ETSU won this last meeting -- in overtime -- 90-88 back on Feb. 2, 2013.
Last time out vs. Lipscomb
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 2, 2013) – After missing a game-tying layup on Thursday night against Northern Kentucky, a distraught Jarvis Jones (Memphis) said he was unable sleep after the game. Well, Jones should sleep like a baby after his performance Saturday afternoon. ... ETSU’s lone senior guard scored a career-high 36 points in a spectacular performance that included three straight made 3-pointers in overtime, lifting a short-handed ETSU men’s team past Atlantic Sun Conference rival Lipscomb 90-88 inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... The Buccaneers – who were without the services of junior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville) who is attending a family medical issue – trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half before going to their “white” full-court press with just over six minutes left in regulation. That defensive switch paid immediate dividends as ETSU produced a 14-4 run to tie the game at 74-74. ... From there, both teams traded the lead four times before a Jones 3-pointer gave the Bucs a 79-77 edge with 17 seconds left. Alexander then tied it at 79 on a pair of free throws with eight seconds remaining, and later stole the ball from Jones with three seconds left on the clock only to miss a game-winning layup attempt at the buzzer. ... Along with Jones, the Bucs got 11 points each from Wilson, Rembert, Stramaglia and Walton. Meanwhile, Lipscomb had a team-high 21 points from Martin Smith, while his brother Malcolm Smith netted 18, Alexander finished with 16, and Stephen Hurt added 11.
Last time out
MACON, Ga. (Jan. 6, 2014) – In a game highlighted by wild momentum swings and offensive runs, the ETSU men’s basketball team got to within two points late but was unable to complete a second half rally, dropping its first Atlantic Sun Conference game of the season to Mercer, 73-63, Monday evening inside Hawkins Arena. ... ETSU freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) finished the game with a career and game-high 20 points, while senior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville) added 14 in the losing effort. With the loss, ETSU drops to 8-7 overall, 1-1 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, the Bears improve to 12-5 overall, 3-1 in league action. ... The Bucs were doomed by poor shooting in the first half, and a 24 percent clip from 3-point range for the game. Meanwhile, Mercer went 25-of-31 from the foul line compared to a 13-of-21 clip for the Bucs. ... ETSU enjoyed a great start in the first half, holding Mercer scoreless over the first five minutes of game play and ultimately building a lead of 15-1 with 14:02 left before the intermission. However, the good times didn’t last. ... Mercer answered the Bucs’ quick start by outscoring ETSU 34-10 over the next 12 minutes to roar back and lead 35-25 with 2:05 left in the half. The Bucs got to within 53-51 with eight minutes left in the game, but Mercer never relinquished the lead.
Bartow gets win No. 300; aiming for No. 200 at ETSU
ETSU head coach Murry Bartow won his 300th career game on Saturday against Kennesaw State, and is now just three wins away from No. 200 as head coach of the Buccaneers ... Bartow is the second winningest coach in program history, behind only legend Madison Brooks’ 370 victories for the Blue and Gold ... Bartow’s .582 winning percentage also ranks second in the modern era for the Bucs, behind only Alan LeForce’s .607 percentage.
Rembert hoping to stay hot as A-Sun schedule begins
Junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) has made the most of his increased playing time over the last two seasons ... Last season, Rembert ranked fourth in the A-Sun in 3-point field goal percentage at 39.7 percent for the year. ... This year, he has shown a marked improvement in his style of offensive play, and currently leads the team with 14.6 points per contest, and he currently ranks third in the A-Sun in 3-point field goal percentage and first in three-pointers made.
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 with his third career double-double in the win over Kennesaw State (1/4) ... In that game, Merriweather also netted a career high with 19 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds ... His current team ranks are first in rebounding (6.8 rpg), fourth in scoring (11.5 ppg), first in steals (1.7 spg), and third in minutes played (28.2 mpg). ... He followed that effort with a career high 20 points in the loss at Mercer (1/6).
Difference between winning and losing for ETSU
Rebounding has been a particular indicator for the Bucs this season when it comes to wins and losses ... The statistics below show the differences for the Bucs is several important categories so far this season.
Statistical category Wins (8-0) Losses (0-6)
ETSU scoring 82.4 PPG....................... 65.3 PPG
Opponent scoring 72.1 PPG........................ 77.4 PPG
Rebounding margin +0.3....................................... -9.9
Shooting % .492.................................... .391
3-pt. shooting % .381................................... .288
Assists 12.8 APG..................... 11.1 APG
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 ... KGG responded to that expectation by putting together a 19-point, seven-rebound and seven-assist outing against Marshall in an 88-78 victory on Nov. 30.
Giplaye makes return following open heart surgery
Earlier this year, the Buccaneers got a serious scare when junior forward Ron Giplaye (Lowell, Mass.) had to undergo open heart surgery for a condition that was described as “life threatening.” ... Following the successful procedure, Giplaye has slowly regained his strength and was able to play two minutes against Tennessee Tech (11/27), marking his first competitive compeition since the 2011-12 season when he played at Providence. ... He then played five minutes in the loss to Georgia Tech (12/7), scoring his first two points in an ETSU uniform and grabbbing three rebounds.
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 809 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game. ... The Bucs currently rank as the 7th longest streak in the NCAA, just behind Arkansas and ahead of Oakland.
Shuffling starters was 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 ETSU’s coaches searching for the right combination all season. ... Bartow hoped to find more stability with his rotation in 2013-14, but he had used five different starting lineups in the first five games of the year. ... Since that time, he has played with the same starting lineup in nine of the last 10 games, with the team going 7-3 in those contests.
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.