JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 18, 2014) – The day to renew ETSU’s most storied basketball rivalry has arrived.
The ETSU men’s basketball team will welcome Chattanooga to the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center Tuesday night at 7 p.m., as the Buccaneers and Mocs meet in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since November of 2009, but it is a sneak peek of a traditional rivalry that will be rekindled next season when ETSU rejoins the Southern Conference.
This will be the Bucs’ second appearance all-time in the CIT, and the 13th overall postseason trip for the program (which includes nine NCAA Tournament and two NIT appearances). The Bucs have reached postseason play six times in head coach Murry Bartow’s 11 seasons on the ETSU bench.
Great seats remain for the game, and fans can purchase those prime tickets in the Dome’s lower bowl by visiting ETSUBucs.com and clicking on the ticket link, or by calling the ETSU ticket office at 423-439-3878. For more ticket information, fans can click on the link located to the right.
For more on Tuesday night’s matchup, read the game notes below or click on the game notebook link to the right. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, 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.
Bucs add to postseason resume
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) ... This will be the Bucs second time in the CIT Postseason Tournament, and the program’s 13th postseason tournament appearance all-time ... In the Bucs first CIT appearance, ETSU went 2-1 with wins over Furman and Ohio, advancing to the tournament semifinals before losing to Iona in a hard-fought 83-80 contest at the Dome.
ETSU “only” A-Sun team picked among nation’s best “Prestige” programs
Since the beginning of 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, with back-to-back NCAA appearances in 2009 and 2010, followed by CIT appearances in 2011 and 2014 … Since the 1984-85 season, the Buccaneers, who have enjoyed nine NCAA Tournament trips, one NIT berth, two CIT berths, 11 20-win seasons, and a slew of conference regular season and tournament championships in that time, 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 Conference team, as well as former Southern Conference rivals Appalachian State, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro. In addition, the Bucs ranked ahead of SEC schools such as Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Georgia, Mississippi and Auburn, as well as other major programs such as Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, DePaul, Bradley, Clemson, California and Florida State.
Last time out in the CIT
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 26, 2011) - In a game with multiple offensive swings and plenty of exciting play, the ETSU men’s basketball team had no answers for the high-powered Iona offense in the second half and came up short in a thrilling 83-80 loss to the Gaels in the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament Saturday afternoon at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... The Gaels were led by the powerful inside presence of forward Mike Glover, who finished with a double-double on a game-high, 33-point, 10-rebound effort. Iona also got 20 points from Sean Armand, and point guard Scott Machado had a game-high 11 assists. ... Meanwhile, ETSU seniors Micah Williams (Manchester) and Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) once again led the way with 23 and 18 points, respectively, while junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) had 21 points and senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) added 13. ... It was the first time this season that ETSU had scored 70 points or more and still lost, giving even more validity to the quality of the Iona offense.
The series vs. Chattanooga
In what is widely considered the longest and most heated rivalry in ETSU basketball history, the Bucs and Mocs have met 75 times with ETSU trailing the all-time series 33 to 42 ... The two teams shared the same conference from 1979 to 2005, spending several years battling in the Southern Conference ... The Bucs lost the last meetign 85-76 back on Nov. 17, 2009 in Chattanooga.
Last time out vs. Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA (Nov. 17, 2009) - A double-double effort and career high 26 points from junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) were not enough to overcome ETSU’s poor foul shooting and second half offensive struggles inside the McKenzie Arena, as the Buccaneers relinquished a nine-point second half lead to fall 85-76 to former Southern Conference rival Chattanooga. ... The Bucs (1-1), who were a disappointing 14-of-29 from the charity stripe and hit only eight field goals in the second half, looked on as Chattanooga (2-0) went 22-of-27 from the foul line and outscored the Bucs 38-24 in the second half. ETSU senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) was in street clothes on the bench and his offensive presence was missed in the loss.
ETSU and Chattanooga similarities striking
The rivalry between the Buccaneers and Mocs is in many ways directly related to the similarities between the programs. Both teams’ successes have mirrored each other:
Overall championships 21 28
Regular Season ( to include North Titles) 12 18
NCAA Appearances 9 10
Sweet 16 Appearances 1 1
Players of the Year 9 5
Coaches of the Year 8 6
The two teams have met five times in tournament title games, with ETSU holding a 3-2 advantage in those matchup, winning in 1992, 2003 and 2004, while the Mocs have victories in 1983 and 1993. Over a 17-year span from 1981 to 1997, the Bucs and Mocs represented the SoCon in the NCAAs a remarkable 12 times (ETSU four times and Chattanooga eight times).
Last time out
FORT MYERS, Fla. ( March 6, 2014) – Faced with playing on the road in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament semifinals against No. 1 seed Florida Gulf Coast, the ETSU men’s basketball team simply wanted a chance late in the game. They had that opportunity. ... Unfortunately, despite leading 62-61 with three minutes left, the Bucs missed some critical shots down the stretch and the Eagles managed just enough offense in the final minutes to escape with a 69-64 victory inside a sold out Alico Arena. ... While defense had been a challenge for the Bucs throughout the year, they clamped down on the Eagles in this game, holding FGCU to just 37 percent shooting from the floor and only 17 percent from 3-point range. However, while the Bucs defended better, their offensive game let them down, as they shot just 33 percent from the floor, 32 percent from beyond the arc.
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.
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. ... This 2014 CIT appearance is the Bucs’ sixth postseason trip in Coach Murry Bartow’s 11 seasons at ETSU.
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 103 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 22nd in the country in free throws made as of March 17 with 625 makes ... 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. ... In addition, the Bucs have currently hit 609 free throws this season, which is a new school record, breaking the old mark of 589 makes in 1991-92 ... The Bucs’ 75 percent shooting mark would also rank first in program history, besting the .749 clip set in 1989-90, and individually, junior Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) is currently third on the all-time list for makes in a year.
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 (6.5 rpg), fifth in scoring (9.5 ppg), first in steals (1.4 spg), and third in minutes played (26.6 mpg).
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 827 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.