Bucs to face Kennesaw State on Super Sunday
ETSU junior guard Jalen Riley and the Bucs hope to win for the third time in their last four games.
Bucs to face Kennesaw State on Super Sunday
Saturday, February 1, 2014

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 2, 2014) – Playing a Super Bowl Sunday matinee, the ETSU men’s basketball team will host Atlantic Sun Conference foe Kennesaw State at 2 p.m. Sunday inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.

The Buccaneers , who are 11-11 overall, 4-5 in A-Sun play, will be looking to win their third game in the last four outings when the Owls (4-19, 1-9) fly into the Dome. Following this contest, the Bucs will hit the road for games at Northern Kentucky (Feb. 6) and Lipscomb (Feb. 8).

Fans are also 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 Sunday’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.


Game Notes


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. Kennesaw State

The Bucs are 16-1 all-time against KSU, including a 71-55 win in their last game back on Jan. 4, 2014 in Kennesaw, Ga. ... ETSU has won 16 straight.


Last time out vs. Kennesaw State

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 4, 2014) – Junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) and freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) each scored a game-high 19 points, as the ETSU men’s basketball team opened Atlantic Sun Conference play with a 71-55 victory over Kennesaw State inside the KSU Convocation Center. ... With the win, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow collected his 300th career victory. ... The Bucs closed the first half on a 10-2 run and later opened the second half on a 10-0 surge to build an 18-point lead and never looked back. ETSU ultimately led by as many as 21 points in the second half, shooting 55 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range for the game. ... Merriweather finished with his third career double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds to go with his 19-point effort. Meanhwhile, Rembert finished a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point range and 7-of-9 from the field. ... It was a back-and-forth game in the first half, with the Buccaneers shooting well from beyond the 3-point arc and Kennesaw State holding a decisive advantage on the glass. The game featured eight lead changes and four ties in the first 20 minutes, but ultimately resulted in a 40-32 score in favor of ETSU at the break. ... After the break, Rembert and Merriweather combined to score the first 10 points of the half and quickly make it 50-32 with 18 minutes left.


Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 31, 2014) – If the ETSU men’s basketball team could have played Mercer Friday night without the Bears’ senior guard Bud Thomas on the floor, things would have been very different. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, Thomas’ presence was obvious. ... During one decisive stretch late in the first half and into the second half, Thomas scored 18 straight points on six 3-pointers and ultimately finished with a game-high 28 to lead Mercer past ETSU 90-77 in Atlantic Sun Conference hoops action at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... With the win, first-place Mercer continued to improve its season record, moving to 18-5 overall 9-1 in league play. Meanwhile, the Bucs dropped to 11-11, 4-5. ... The Bucs did post some quality numbers, shooting 47 percent from the floor and 42 percent from 3-point range. However, Mercer bested those numbers with a 55 percent clip from the floor, and a 52 percent mark from beyond the arc. In addition, the Bears out-rebounded the Bucs 38-24, while dishing out an impressive 22 assists on the night.


Gadsden-Gilliard named A-Sun Player of the Week

The Atlantic Sun Conference office announced Monday that senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) has been named the league’s player of the week. ... Gadsden-Gilliard, who produced two solid performances in wins over North Florida and Jacksonville, averaged 18 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game for the week. More importantly, KGG hit the game-winning shot with nine seconds remaining to push ETSU to 4-4 in league play and 11-10 overall. ... This is the first career A-Sun POTW honor for Gadsden-Gilliard, who scored 19 points in the win over North Florida and 17 in the victory over Jacksonville. For the week, he shot an efficient 13-of-24 (54.2 percent) from the field, and an even more impressive 5-of-6 (83 percent) from 3-point range.


Bartow gets win No. 300 overall and No. 200 at ETSU

ETSU head coach Murry Bartow won his 300th career game on Jan. 4 against Kennesaw State, and captured his 200th win on the ETSU bench on Jan. 25 against Jacksonville ... Bartow is the second winningest coach in program history, behind only legend Madison Brooks’ 370 victories for the Blue and Gold. In addition, Bartow’s .580 winning percentage also ranks second in the modern era for the Bucs, behind only Alan LeForce’s .607 percentage.


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 45 percent  mark ... This year, he has shown a marked improvement in his style of offensive play, and currently leads the team with 15.5 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 NCAA list to the left).


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 (11-0)                   Losses (0-11)

ETSU scoring                        82.5 PPG....................... 66.7 PPG

Opponent scoring                72.8 PPG........................ 78.9 PPG

Rebounding margin                -1.0........................................ -7.9

Shooting %                              .485.................................... .387

3-pt. shooting %                      .408................................... .316

Assists                                 13.6 APG..................... 11.0 APG


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 (6.1 rpg), fourth in scoring (10.6 ppg), first in steals (1.4 spg), and third in minutes played (27.2 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 816 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 15 of the last 17 games, with the team going 9-6 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.