Bucs back at home Saturday against Jacksonville
ETSU point guard Petey McClain had a career high nine assists in the win Thursday against North Florida.
Bucs back at home Saturday against Jacksonville
Friday, January 24, 2014

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 25, 2014) – Having found its scoring punch against North Florida on Thursday night, the ETSU men’s basketball team will aim to keep that momentum Saturday afternoon as the Buccaneers host Atlantic Sun Conference foe Jacksonville.

Tip is set for 4 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.

The Bucs (10-10 overall, 3-4 A-Sun) netted 99 points in the win over the Ospreys, hitting a remarkable 32-of-33 foul shots in the game. ETSU will need that same type of offensive production when facing an athletic Jacksonville Dolphins team, which enters the game at 8-11 overall, 4-4 in league play.

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.


Buc bits

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. Jacksonville

The Bucs are 12-6 all-time against the Dolphins, having split the two meetings a year ago ... ETSU won the last game between the two teams 61-58 back on Feb. 23, 2013.


Last time out vs. Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2013) – Junior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville) scored a game-high 22 points and made the defensive play of the contest in the closing seconds, lifting the ETSU men’s basketball team to a 61-58 win over Atlantic Sun Conference foe Jacksonville Saturday afternoon inside the Veterans Memorial Arena. ... Following a pair of free throws from both Harris and sophomore forward John Walton (Memphis), the Buccaneers were left protecting a 59-56 lead with 39 seconds left. ... On JU’s next possession, Harris blocked a 3-point attempt by Jacksonville’s All A-Sun guard Keith McDougald, grabbed the loose ball and was fouled. He hit one of two free throws at that point to ice the game for the Bucs. ... Harris was joined in double figures by guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) and Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) as the two combined for 11 and 10 points, respectively. For Jacksonville, Kordario Fleming led the way with 18 points, while both McDougald and Haywood netted 11 points each.... ETSU led 28-25 at the break, but after the intermission the Buccaneers’ season struggles on the offensive end resurfaced as ETSU scored just four points over the first seven minutes of the second half. JU took advantage during that span, and put together a 15-4 run to build a 40-32 edge at the 12:58 mark. ... At that point, ETSU rallied with a 12-3 run of its own to regain the lead at 44-43 with less than 10 minutes left, and both teams traded the lead multiple times from there before finding the game tied at 53-53 with 3:58 left on the clock.   ... The lead went back and forth but ETSU grabbed the lead at 57-55 on a pair for free throw makes from Harris with 1:04 left in the game. The Bucs finished the game by hitting 6-of-8 at the line in the final minute to seal the win.


Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 23, 2014) – Hitting 32 of 33 free throws and manufacturing a 16-2 run midway through the second half, the ETSU men’s basketball team rebounded from a tough Florida road swing with a 99-93 win over Atlantic Sun Conference foe North Florida inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... The Buccaneers – who had lost three of their last four games –  improved to 10-10 overall, 3-4 in A-Sun play, while North Florida fell to 11-10, 5-3. The Ospreys are now 0-9 all-time in the Dome. ... The offensive effort – especially in the second half – was impressive. ETSU finished the game shooting 50 percent from 3-point range (9-of-18) and 97 percent from the free throw line, while scoring 58 points and shooting 59 percent from the floor in the second half. ... Four ETSU players reached double figures, led by a team-high 24 points from senior post Hunter Harris (Nashville), while junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) added 22 points. In addition, senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) netted 19 points, junior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) pitched in 18, and sophomore point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) finished with nine assists and no turnovers. ... The game saw multiple lead changes and ties over the first 32 minutes of play, but the critical stretch for ETSU came with less than eight minutes left in the second half. At that point, Rembert re-entered the contest despite having four fouls and responded by scoring the first seven points of a 16-3 run that took a 70-68 UNF lead, and turned it into an 83-70 ETSU advantage. ... The Ospreys would manage to cut that advantage to just five at 87-82 with 2:21 left, but the Bucs’ finished from there with a perfect 12-of-12 clip from the charity stripe. In all, ETSU would hit its final 23 foul shots in the game.


Historic night at the free throw line for Bucs

The ETSU men’s basketball team rewrote some records Thursday night at the free throw line ... Making 32-of-33 free throws on the evening was the first time the Bucs had made 32 shots at the charity strip since Feb. 19, 2011 in a game at Lipscomb ... In addition, junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) is now second on the Bucs’ single game list for free throw percentage after going 12-of-12 at the line in the game ... He is second only to former ETSU great Dimeco Childress’ 14-of-14 effort vs. Davidson on 2/9/2002.


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 first this year with a 44 percent  mark ... This year, he has shown a marked improvement in his style of offensive play, and currently leads the team with 15.6 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 (10-0)                   Losses (0-10)

ETSU scoring                        83.2 PPG....................... 65.7 PPG

Opponent scoring                72.6 PPG........................ 77.8 PPG

Rebounding margin                0.0......................................... -6.8

Shooting %                              .488.................................... .379

3-pt. shooting %                      .402................................... .306

Assists                                 13.4 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 one win 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 .578 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 (10.9 ppg), first in steals (1.3 spg), and third in minutes played (27.6 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.


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 814 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 13 of the last 15 games, with the team going 8-5 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.