A-Sun Tourney action returns to the Dome, as Bucs host Bisons
The ETSU men's basketball team has enjoyed a strong turnaround from its 2012-13 season, rewarding ETSU fans with a home conference tournament game.
A-Sun Tourney action returns to the Dome, as Bucs host Bisons
Monday, March 3, 2014

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 4, 2014) – After fighting to the last day of the regular season to clinch an opportunity to host a quarterfinal game in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, the No. 4-seeded ETSU men’s basketball team will welcome No. 5 seed Lipscomb into the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center Tuesday night.

Tip is set for 7 p.m., as all four quarterfinal games will be played simultaneously at the home sites of the top four finishers in the A-Sun standings. With a win, the Bucs would advance to Thursday’s semifinals, but the site and opponent are still to be determined.

As for the matchup with Lipscomb, the Bucs split a pair of games with the Bisons this year, as both team’s managed to win on the road.

Fans are encouraged to attend the game and can purchase tickets by visiting the ETSUBucs.com ticket office link or by calling 423-439-ETSU (3878). Despite the A-Sun Conference’s mandate that students purchase tickets for $5, a special sponsorship from Mountain States Health Alliance has made it possible for student to enter the game for free Tuesday night.

For more on the 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 postseason, 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 Bucs in the A-Sun Tournament

Entering just their ninth Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, the Buccaneers are 11-6 all-time and have won eight of their last 11 games in tournament play ... Recently, ETSU enjoyed a perfect 3-0 run through the tournament back in 2010 ...  The Bucs’ previous trips included a loss in the first round of the event in 2006, advancing to the finals in 2007, falling in the semifinals in 2008, and winning the tournament in both 2009 and 2010 ... In 2011, the Bucs lost to UNF in the semifinals. ... In 2012, the Bucs made the seimifinals before losing to eventual champion Belmont ... Last year (2013), ETSU lost a quarterfinal matchup with Stetson ... In conference tournaments all-time (including the Southern and Ohio Valley), the Bucs are 41-24, having gone 8-3 in league championship final games.


Bucs hoping to add one more NCAA trip

Having already made nine trips to the NCAA Tournament in its history, the ETSU men’s basketball team would like to add another conference tournament trophy to the case in the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center ... The Bucs’ current stretch of success under head coach Murry Bartow is arguably the second best run in ETSU hoops history ... The most memorable stretch was from 1989 to 1992, when the Bucs made four straight trips to the NCAAS, were ranked in the Top 10 nationally (1991), and defeated Arizona in the NCAA first round in 1992 ... The Bucs only other trip prior to that run came in 1968 ... While head coach Ed DeChellis took the Bucs to the tournament in 2003, Bartow has taken the Bucs to the tournament three times (2004, 2009 and 2010), while also leading ETSU to the 2007 NIT and the 2011 CIT. ... Bartow holds the most NCAA trips and the most overall postseason trips of any coach in school history.


Last time out in the A-Sun Tournament

MACON, Ga. (March 7, 2013) – In a season where offensive inefficiency haunted the ETSU men’s basketball team, the Buccaneers’ final game of the season was a nightmare. ... Scoring a season low 22 points in the second half and shooting just 25 percent from the floor for the game, the Bucs relinquished an eight-point first half lead and looked on as Stetson rolled to a 67-46 win in the quarterfinals of the General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Conference Championships inside Hawkins Arena. ... The Bucs ended the year with losses to USC Upstate and Stetson by a combined 53 points, and this was the first time since the 2005-06 season that the Bucs have exited a postseason tournament in the first round. ... In what was a sloppy first half offensively for both teams, the Bucs missed multiple shots at the rim but still managed to lead by as many as eight points at halftime. ... After the break, Stetson stayed aggressive on the offensive end and ultimately opened the half with another 13-1 run to take a 34-25 lead with just over 14 minutes left in the game. The Stetson lead remained at nine for the three minutes, but ETSU’s scoring issues only continued and the Hatters closed out the game by outscoring the Bucs 28-19 the rest of the way to pick up the 21-point victory.


Last time out

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Feb. 28, 2014) – Taking two distinctly different approaches Friday night, the ETSU men’s basketball team’s outside shooting was unable to overcome USC Upstate’s inside game, as the Buccaneers dropped an all-important Atlantic Sun Conference matchup 79-73 at the G.B. Hodge Center. ... In a game that was to determine third place in the league standings, the loss drops the Buccaneers to 17-14 overall, 10-8 in A-Sun action. ... For the game, Upstate forward Ricardo Glenn led the way with a double-double effort thanks to 24 points and 10 rebounds. As a team, the Spartans outscored the Bucs 44-12 in the paint and held a 12-4 advantage in second-chance points. Meanwhile, ETSU hit 13 3-pointers for the contest, and junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) paced the team with a career high 33 points on 8-of-14 shooting from 3-point range. ...Leading 37-34 at the break, the Bucs continued to hit from beyond the arc, while the Spartans remained content to score in the paint. The strategy paid off for Upstate, which overcame the halftime deficit and actually tied the game at 56-56. From there, the Spartans used a 19-7 run to take a 12-point lead at 75-63 with just two minutes remaining.


The series vs. Lipscomb

The Bucs are 32-13 all-time against the Bisons, in a series that dates back to 1951 when both teams played at the NAIA level ... ETSU has won 13 of the last 20 meetings since joining the A-Sun, with five of those games going to overtime -- the Bucs are 4-1 in those overtime games ... The Bucs won the last meeting 96-88 back on Feb. 8, 2014.


Last time out vs. Lipscomb

NASHVILLE (Feb. 8, 2014) – Dramatic, pulse-quickening games have defined the Atlantic Sun Conference series between ETSU and Lipscomb since 2005. And in what could be the last meeting between the two teams for some time, there was once again no lack of drama. ... In a contest that featured 10 ties and 27 lead changes, ETSU junior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wisc.) scored a career high 30 points and fellow junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) added 21 to lift the Buccaneers past Lipscomb 96-88 in a game highlighted by spectacular offense Saturday afternoon at Allen Arena. ... For the game, the Bucs shot an impressive 61 percent from the floor and were a decisive 35-of-41 from the free throw line (85 percent). The team also had three others in double figures, with senior Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) netting 16 points, sophomore forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) pitching in 13, and freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) adding 12.


Rembert, Riley, Merriweather earn All A-Sun honors

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. ( March 3, 2014) – The ETSU men’s basketball team has enjoyed quite a turnaround from its 2012-13 season, and a trio of Buccaneers were honored Monday for their contributions to those successes by being named to various All Atlantic Sun Conference teams. ... In a vote of the league’s head coaches, junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) was named first-team All A-Sun, freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) was voted to the league’s all-freshman team, and junior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wisc.) was picked as the A-Sun’s Newcomer of the Year. ... Rembert led all scorers in A-Sun play at 18.3 PPG, as he connected on 3.4 three pointers against conference foes. His 96 three’s made this season is tied for 10th most in the A-Sun record books, and his 43.4 percent shooting from behind the arc ranked first in the A-Sun. Meanwhile, Riley added more scoring punch to the Buccaneer line-up this season as he registered 12.7 PPG in only 19.8 minutes per game and shot 86.2 percent from the charity stripe; second-best in the league. Riley increased his scoring to 13.1 PPG in league play as he came off the bench in all but one game this season. As for Merriweather, he continues to lead the Bucs in rebounding and steals per game, and has ranked as one of the squad’s top scorers all season.


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.


Rembert making place in history during 2013-14

Junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) has become one of the most feared shooters in the Atlantic Sun Conference, and this season he has rewritten ETSU’s record books ... With 96 3-pointers so far this season, Rembert has eclimpsed the program record of 86 makes in a season, set by Courtney Pigram (Memphis) in 2006-07. ... Rembert’s numbers are also some of the best in the nation for an outside shooter ... For those statistics, look to the column on the left of this page.


Resurgent Wilson giving Bucs a lift on offense

With his career high 31 points and seven made 3-pointers in the Jacksonville game (2/20), sophomore Lester Wilson (Knoxville) continued his recent resurgence as a major offensive weapon for the Bucs ... Since Jan. 25, Wilson is averaging 15.4 points and 4.8 rebounds a game, while shooting 48 percent from the field, 42 percent from 3-point range,  and 95 percent at the foul line ... By comparison, before his recent streak, Wilson had averaged 7.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game on just 33% shooting from the field and 26% shooting from 3-point range.


Free throws key to ETSU victories this season

What a difference a year can make ... Last season, the Buccaneers struggled for consistency at the foul line, but this year has been a different story ... The Bucs currently lead the Atlantic Sun Conference with a 75 percent shooting clip from the charity stripe, and their numbers are also good enough to rank 18th in the country in free throws made as of March 3 with 578 ... In fact, the  Bucs matched the program record for free throw percentage in a game against Jacksonville (2/20), going 18-of-18 for 100 percent at the charity stripe.


Merriweather continues to shine, posts double-double

Freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.) has certainly made an impression 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 (6.4 rpg), fifth in scoring (10.0 ppg), first in steals (1.5 spg), and third in minutes played (26.8 mpg).


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 (17-0)                   Losses (0-14)

ETSU scoring                        83.8 PPG....................... 68.3 PPG

Opponent scoring                73.2 PPG........................ 79.5 PPG

Rebounding margin                +0.7....................................... -7.5

Shooting %                              .479.................................... .386

3-pt. shooting %                      .410................................... .327

Assists                                 13.2 APG..................... 11.6 APG


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 825 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 20 of the last 25 games, with the team going 12-8 in those contests.