JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 11, 2014) – After suffering a disappointing last-second loss to Lipscomb on Thursday night, the ETSU men’s basketball team will return to the floor on Saturday in an effort to get back on the winning track against Atlantic Sun Conference foe Northern Kentucky.
Tip is set for 4 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
The Buccaneers (8-8 overall, 1-2 A-Sun) will be facing a NKU team that is currently 7-10, 3-2 in league play. The Norse are also coming off a loss Thursday night at USC Upstate.
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 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. …
The series vs. Northern Kentucky
This is just the third all-time meeting ever between the Bucs and the Norse ... ETSU is 1-1 in those games, having lost the last meeting 70-68 back on Jan. 31, 2013.
Last time out vs. Northern Kentucky
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 31, 2013) – ETSU senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) had a chance to force overtime, but his layup attempt at the buzzer rimmed out as Northern Kentucky escaped the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center with a 70-68 victory over the Buccaneers in Atlantic Sun Conference play. ... Jones’ miss came on a night when he was otherwise brilliant on the offensive end, scoring a career high 23 points while finding himself in a showdown with NKU’s own Jones – senior forward Eshaunte Jones – who posted a game-high with 25 points. ... It was Eshaunte Jones who banked in a 3-pointer and was subsequently fouled to complete a rare 4-point play with 26.7 seconds left, giving the Norse a 70-65 lead. The Bucs answered with a 3-pointer of their own from sophomore guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa), and Eshaunte Jones was later called for an offensive foul with 10 seconds left to set up Jarvis Jones’ game-tying attempt. ... The Bucs rallied from a 10-point deficit (55-45) with 10 minutes left in the contest, and actually took the lead when a 3-pointer from Rembert capped an 18-6 run with three minutes left in the game. However, at that point NKU’s Chad Jackson scored five straight points to make it 66-63 with 1:49 left and set up the late game heroics for both teams. ... After playing an offensively sluggish game earlier in the year at NKU, both teams showed more signs of a cohesive scoring attack early on in this contest. ... In fact, NKU built a lead of as many as six points at 17-11, before ETSU went on a 15-2 run to regain a 26-19 advantage with five minutes left before the break.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 9, 2014) – Rallying from nine points down with just over two minutes left to tie the game at 80, the ETSU men’s basketball team could not get one more critical defensive stop when it was needed the most. ... Lipscomb’s J.C. Hampton hit a game-winning basket with four seconds left on the clock and ETSU’s Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) missed a desperation jumper as time expired, giving the Bisons an 82-80 win over the Buccaneers in Atlantic Sun Conference play at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... Lipscomb’s offensive play was the key to the game. Shooting 63 percent from the field in the second half and 58 percent from the floor for the game, the Bisons also went 11-of-22 from 3-point range on the night. Individually, the Bisons got a game-high 34 points from freshman guard Josh Williamson, while junior forward Martin Smith collected 21 points. ... While Williamson was the story of the game, Smith was the story of the first half. He went 6-of-8 from 3-point range and netted 18 of his 21 points before the break, helping the Bisons go 9-of-16 (56.3 percent) from beyond the arc as a team before the intermission. The Lipscomb lead ballooned to as many as 13 points in the first half, and the Bisons ultimately held a 42-32 advantage at halftime. ... In the second half, ETSU pulled to within two points at 47-45 and got to within three at 66-63, but eventually found itself in a nine-point hole at 79-70 with 2:26 left. At that point, the Bucs went on a 10-1 run to tie it at 80-80. ... For the Bucs, junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) netted a team-high 24 points, while Riley finished with 17, senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) had 15, and senior Hunter Harris (Nashville) added 12.
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, and currently ranks second this year with a 43.7 percent mark ... This year, he has shown a marked improvement in his style of offensive play, and currently leads the team with 15.2 points per contest ... He also leads the league in made 3-pointers with 2.8 per game.
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.
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), third in scoring (11.7 ppg), first in steals (1.6 spg), and third in minutes played (28.4 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 (0-8)
ETSU scoring 82.4 PPG....................... 67.1 PPG
Opponent scoring 72.1 PPG........................ 78.0 PPG
Rebounding margin +0.3....................................... -7.6
Shooting % .492.................................... .391
3-pt. shooting % .381................................... .295
Assists 12.8 APG..................... 11.4 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 810 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 10 of the last 11 games, with the team going 7-4 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.