CIT Second Round ... Bucs brace for Towson Friday night
The ETSU men's basketball team would win its 20th game of the year and earn a quarterfinal spot in the CIT with a victory over Towson.
CIT Second Round ... Bucs brace for Towson Friday night
Thursday, March 20, 2014

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 20, 2014) – Aiming to keep its postseason run alive, the ETSU men’s basketball team will host Colonial Athletic Association member Towson in the second round of the Tournament Friday evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.

Tip is set for 7 p.m. and tickets are available now via on-line purchase at and by calling 423-439-ETSU (3878) or 423-439-4828. This will be the first ever meeting between the Bucs and Tigers.

The Buccaneers learned late Wednesday that Towson would be their next opponent. ETSU advanced to the second round with a 79-66 win over longtime rival Chattanooga on Tuesday night, while Towson needed a half-court, buzzer-beater to defeat USC Upstate 63-60 on Wednesday. In fact, Towson’s game-winning play is currently the ESPN Play of the Day right now on SportsCenter.

A clip of the Tigers’ amazing shot is available here:

With a win over Towson Friday night, the Buccaneers (19-15) would advance to the quarterfinals of the CIT and also win their 20th game of the year. But it won’t be easy against a Tigers’ team that is 24-10 on the year and finished second in the CAA.

For more on Friday’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 postseason, visit 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.


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’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 18, 2014) – Round one of a rivalry renewed goes to the ETSU men’s basketball team. ... With the Buccaneers joining the Southern Conference in 2014-15, ETSU fans got a preview of things to come as the Bucs faced longtime rival Chattanooga for the first time in five years, using their best defensive effort of the season to drop the Mocs 79-66 Tuesday night in the first round of the Tournament at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... ETSU (19-15) held the Mocs to just 31.4 percent shooting from the floor – a season low for ETSU opponents – and the Bucs got double-figure scoring from four players, led by a game-high 23 points from junior guard Jaley Riley (Racine, Wis.) and 17 points from junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) ... Along with Riley and Rembert, the Bucs also got 12 points from senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) and 11 from freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.). Senior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville) also contributed to the cause with 12 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. … The game was tight in the first half, with ETSU’s largest lead coming just before the intermission at 33-27. In the second half, the Bucs built their lead to as many as 13 points at 52-39, but Chattanooga (18-15) roared back with a 12-2 run to make it 54-51 with 10 minutes left in the contest. ... At that point, the Bucs progressively regained their hold on the contest and led by as many as 15 at 73-58 before ultimately winning by 13. ... For Chattanooga, Martynas Bareika led the way with 15 points, while Z. Mason posted a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds. In addition, Casey Jones added 12 points and Eric Robertson netted 11. ... ETSU shot 46 percent from the field and 84 percent from the foul line for the game, while the Mocs held a slight edge in rebounding at 44-43. The Bucs also enjoyed a 36-18 edge for points in the paint.


The series vs. Towson

This will be the first ever meeting between the Buccaneers and Tigers.


Rembert with shot at A-Sun scoring title

Junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) has a great chance to win the Atlantic Sun Conference scoring title ... Rembert and  USC Upstate senior Torrey Craig entered the first round of the CIT with 555 points each, but Craig scored just 14 points in the loss to Towson, while Rembert netted 17 against Chattanooga ... Rembert now holds a slight lead with a 16.8 scoring average heading into Friday’s game with Towson ... The scoring title is based on average scoring per game, and not overall points scored.


Bucs have tradition of postseason 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 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. ... The Buccaneers have five postseason tournament victories all-time ... Those wins include a 79-69 win over Florida State in the 1968 NCAA Tournament and an 87-80 victory over Arizona in the 1992 NCAA Tourament. ... The Bucs also have three victories in the CIT all-time, with wins over Furman and Ohio in 2011, and the win over Chattanooga this year.


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. 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 during the regular season. 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.


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 105 3-pointers so far this season, Rembert has easily eclimpsed the previous 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 13.9 points and 4.7 rebounds a game, while shooting 44 percent from the field, 39 percent from 3-point range,  and 93 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.


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 (19-0)                   Losses (0-14)

ETSU scoring                        83.8 PPG....................... 68.0 PPG

Opponent scoring                73.6 PPG........................ 78.8 PPG

Rebounding margin                +0.3....................................... -7.4

Shooting %                              .471.................................... .382

3-pt. shooting %                      .396................................... .327

Assists                                 13.0 APG..................... 11.3 APG


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 (9.6 ppg), first in steals (1.5 spg), and third in minutes played (26.4 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 828 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 22 of the last 29 games, with the team going 14-8 in those contests.