JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 23, 2014) -- The ETSU men's basketball team will begin a five-game home stand Thursday night when it hosts Atlantic Sun Conference foe North Florida inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Tip is set for 7 p.m. and the game will also be available via live video streaming at ASun.TV.
The Buccaneers, who are now 9-10 overall and 2-4 in A-Sun play, desperately need to reverse their recent fortunes and build some positive momentum. Having lost three of their last four games, the Bucs will have an opportunity to change their luck with five straight games inside the Dome.
Meanwhile, North Florida stands at 11-9 overall, 5-2 in league play, and has been one of the hottest teams in the league.
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. North Florida
ETSU and North Florida have met 17 times, with ETSU leading the all-time series 15-2 ... However, the Bucs lost the last meeting between the two teams 77-64 back on Feb. 21, 2013.
Last time out vs. North Florida
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 21, 2013) – Entering Thursday’s game against North Florida, the ETSU men’s basketball team had never lost a regular season meeting to the Ospreys in 14 previous games. That streak no longer exists. ... Shooting poorly for much of the game and struggling to find any offensive rhythm, the Buccaneers were unable to begin their weekend Jacksonville swing in a winning way, dropping a 77-64 decision to their Atlantic Sun Conference foe inside the UNF Arena. ... For the second game in a row, the Buccaneers struggled mightily on the offensive end. In fact, ETSU shot just 13 percent from the floor during the first 10 minutes of the game and fell behind by as many as 14 points at 18-4. ... It only got worse from there, as UNF’s lead increased to 29-12 with five minutes left before the break. The Bucs did manage to cut the halftime deficit to 12 at 33-21, but it wasn’t a pretty first half as the team shot just 27 percent from the field before intermission. ... After the break, ETSU managed to cut the lead to eight at 46-38 on a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) with just under 12 minutes left in the game. But that would be as close as ETSU could get the rest of the way. ... Following a dunk by forward Yunio Barrueta (Miami, Fla.), the freshman was tagged with a technical foul for taunting a UNF player which seemed to ignite the UNF offense, resulting in an 8-2 run that inflated the Ospreys’ lead back to 59-42. The Ospreys never looked back from there.
Last time out
FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 18, 2014) – Amid an Atlantic Sun Conference road swing through the state of Florida, the ETSU men’s basketball team picked a terrible time to struggle offensively. ... Still suffering a hangover after missing several close-range shots in their loss to Stetson on Thursday night, the Buccaneers shot just 29 percent from the field on Saturday night while Florida Gulf Coast looked like the same team that made a run to the Sweet 16 a year ago and dominated from start to finish in a 90-62 win over the Bucs at Alico Arena. ... In front of 4,605 fans – the second largest crowd in FGCU history – the Bucs dropped to 9-10 overall, 2-4 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, the Eagles improved to 12-8, 6-1. ... The Bucs also shot just 30 percent from 3-point range and 59 percent from the foul line in the loss, and only two players reached double figures with junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) and senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) scoring 18 and 11 points, respectively. ... Meanwhile, the Eagles shot 52 percent from the field, 40 percent from behind the arc, and 75 percent from the foul line en route to the win. Four Eagles reached double figures as Bernard Thompson led the way with a game-high 21 points. ... In the first half, two big runs by the Eagles – a 9-0 spurt early on and a 15-0 surge midway through the half – led to 32-9 lead with 7:41 left before the break. During that span, the Bucs went nearly seven minutes of game play without a field goal, and ended up hitting just two shots over the final 14 minutes of the half to trail 42-22 at the break. ... After the break, the Bucs got to within 18 points and 42-24 as a bucket by senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) opened the half. However, this would be as close as ETSU would get the rest of the way.
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 44.3 percent mark ... This year, he has shown a marked improvement in his style of offensive play, and currently leads the team with 15.3 points per contest ... He also leads the league in made 3-pointers with 2.8 per game ... In fact, his numbers are good enough to rank him nationally in both percentage and total makes from 3-point range (see list on Page 4 of these notes).
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 (9-0) Losses (0-10)
ETSU scoring 81.4 PPG 65.7 PPG
Opponent scoring 70.3 PPG 77.8 PPG
Rebounding margin -0.2 -6.8
Shooting % .488 .379
3-pt. shooting % .392 .306
Assists 13.2 APG 11.1 APG
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 two 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 .577 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 (6.5 rpg), second in scoring (11.1 ppg), first in steals (1.4 spg), and third in minutes played (27.5 mpg). ... He followed that effort with a career high 20 points in the loss at Mercer (1/6).
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.
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 813 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 12 of the last 14 games, with the team going 7-5 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.