CHATTANOOGA (Feb. 21, 2015) – Currently on a three-game win streak and hoping to continue to build momentum in the final weeks of the Southern Conference regular season, the ETSU men’s basketball team will take to the road to face arch rival Chattanooga on Saturday night at 8 p.m. inside McKenzie Arena.
The game will be carried live on television by the American Sports Network on WJHL’s secondary MeTV channel and can be found on the following stations: Over air 11-2; Charter 182; Comcast 232; BTES 144; BVU 247; Shentel 163; DirectTV 640. In addition, fans can listen to the radio broadcast courtesy of the Buccaneer Sports Network presented by East Coast Wings.
In fact, East Coast Wings will also host a special viewing party for ETSU fans during the live broadcast.
The Bucs (16-10 overall, 8-7 SoCon) still have a chance to lock in a third place finish in the regular season standings, but the Mocs also have plenty to play for as they are currently just one game back of league-leading Wofford.
ETSU will be looking to avenge an earlier loss to Chattanooga back in January at Freedom Hall. In that game, it took a desperation, buzzer-beating 3-pointer by the Mocs to take a 74-71 win in overtime.
For more on Saturday’s game, read the game notes below or click on the game notebook link to the right. For more on ETSU men’s basketball as the 2014-15 season comes to a close, 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 ETSU men’s basketball program enjoyed a solid campaign in 2013-14, winning 19 games on the year and earning a berth into the CollegeInsider.com Tournament ... The trip to the CIT marked the sixth postseason trip for the Bucs in head coach Murry Bartow’s 11 seasons at ETSU (three NCAAs, one NIT and two CIT trips) ... In addition, the Bucs enjoyed a first round postseason tournament victory over Lipscomb in a thrilling double overtime game, while also giving Florida Gulf Coast a scare in the tournament semifinals in Fort Myers, Fla. ... ETSU went on to defeat longtime rival and newly-renewed conference foe Chattanooga in the first round of the CIT at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center ... The key to success for the Bucs in 2013-14 was the play of an impressive backcourt and that group will return this year led by rising seniors Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) and Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.), along with rising junior Lester Wilson (Knoxville) ... While that trio will be back to lead the Bucs, the team will also return starters A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) and Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) this season ... One major area of concern for the Bucs will be the frontcourt, as the team lost all of its contributors from a year ago ... Along with the loss of senior Ron Giplaye (Lowell, Mass.) to a knee injury earlier this season, sophomore Isaac Banks, and newcomers such as senior Alex Bates (Greenbelt, Md.), junior Tommy Williams and freshman Karl Overstreet (Lynchburg, Va.) are left to make up for those losses on the inside ... Other players who are expected to contribute this season include sophomore guard Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.), who showed great potential at the end of last season, and freshman guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt), who was a Mr. Basketball selection during his senior year of high school.
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 77 times with ETSU trailing the all-time series 34 to 43 ... The two teams shared the same conference from 1979 to 2005, spending several years battling in the Southern Conference ... The Mocs won the last meeting on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in overtime 74-71 back on Jan. 10, 2015 in Freedom Hall.
Last time out vs. Chattanooga
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 10, 2015) – Chattanooga’s Casey Jones had made only one 3-point shot in the last two seasons. Unfortunately for the ETSU men’s basketball team, his second came at a terrible time. ... Jones connected on an NBA-range 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in overtime, handing the Mocs a 74-71 win over the Buccaneers in this longtime Southern Conference rivalry matchup inside Freedom Hall. With the loss, ETSU drops to 9-5 overall, 4-2 in SoCon play, while UTC improves to 11-7, 4-1. ... The game lived up to the rivalry’s history, as the Bucs had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but senior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) missed the mark on a 3-point attempt as time expired. In the overtime period, ETSU tied the game at 71-71 with 49 seconds left following a traditional 3-point play from sophomore guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson). ... ETSU then forced a miss from UTC’s Eric Robertson with 21 seconds left, but Jones made another key play by grabbing the offensive rebound. That set up his heroics following a timeout by Chattanooga head coach Will Wade. ... For the Bucs – a team that entered the game second in the league in free throw shooting percentage – a 9-of-20 effort from the foul line (45 percent) didn’t help the cause against the Mocs. In addition, the Bucs – who also entered the game averaging over 11 made 3-pointers a game – looked on as Chattanooga used that same approach to hit 14 threes on the night.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2015) – Senior guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) scored a game-high 31 points and fellow senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) netted 17 as the ETSU men’s basketball team enjoyed a Senior Night win 87-79 over non-conference opponent Tennessee Tech in the Bucs final regular season home game inside Freedom Hall ... The Bucs, who improved to 16-10 overall, had to outlast a stingy Tennessee Tech (12-15) squad that kept it close throughout the second half, shooting 52 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range for the game. However, ETSU was equally impressive from the floor on the night, shooting 50 percent and an impressive 81 percent at the foul line (17-of-21). ... Along with Riley and Rembert, the Bucs also got double-figure scoring efforts from junior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) and sophomore guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson). Wilson finished the night with 15 points, while Merriweather pitched in 13.
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).
Game with Mocs to air locally on MeTV
WJHL-TV has contracted to carry the ETSU vs. Chattanooga game live on its secondary MeTV station on Saturday night. Fans in the Tri-Cities will be able to watch the game on the following stations: Over air 11-2; Charter 182; Comcast 232; BTES 144; BVU 247; Shentel 163; DirectTV 640.
Will the Bucs make it a “trio” in the 1,000 point club?
Both senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) and junior forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville) recently surpassed the 1,000-point mark for their careers, leaving teammate Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) aiming to join them in that elite group. ... While Rembert now stands at 1,297 for his career and Wilson is at 1103 points in his two plus seasons, Riley currently sits at 974 points ... Riley’s current scoring average would easily get him to over 1,000 points by the end of the season.
Riley rolling in SoCon play, one of nation’s best scorers
In 14 games against SoCon teams this season, guard Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) has put up impressive scoring numbers ... Riley is averaging 21.8 ppg in SoCon games, while shooting 42 percent from the field, 36 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent at line ... In those games, he is also averaging 2.4 assists and 1.8 steals ... For the year, Riley is first in the SoCon in scoring with 19.8 points per game, and he ranks 15th nationally as well. ... Riley has produced these numbers despite not starting much of the season, instead coming off the bench.
Bucs rank among best in NCAA in various categories
This season, the Buccaneers are ranking among the best teams and players in the country in various categories ... The chart to the left shows where the Bucs rank following games on Feb 19th.
Rembert making his place in ETSU hoops history
Senior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) has become one of the most feared shooters in the country over the last two years ... Rembert now stands at 255 career makes from behind the arc, which puts him second on the Bucs’ all-time list ahead of all-time great Keith “Mister” Jennings ... Rembert will now set his sights on first place, which is held by Courtney Pigram (Memphis), who made 276 3-pointers from 2005 to 2009 ... Rembert also currently stands 12th on the all-time scoring list with 1,297 points ... The quality numbers don’t stop with just scoring and 3-point shooting, as a year ago he set Top 10 single season marks for free throw shooting percentage (.842), while also helping the Bucs finish with the top season marks ever for free throws made (656) and attempted (877).
This season, it’s no secret that the Buccaneers are relying on their 3-point shooting as a major component of the team’s offense this year ... In 14 home games so far this season, the team has combined to hit 236 3-pointers, and has tied the school record for 3-pointers in a game (15) two times at home -- and a total of three times all together ... Those numbers have led some people to start calling Freedom Hall by a new moniker -- Three-dom Hall ... As a team, the Bucs currently rank 6th nationally with 9.5 3-pointers per game ... Individually, senior guards Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) and Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.) are ranked among the nation’s best in threes per game ... Rembert is 8th (3.3 pg) and Riley is 42nd (2.7).
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 855 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game. ... The Bucs currently rank as the 7th longest streak in the NCAA.
Harris steps up game in win over UNC Greensboro
Setting career highs for points (13), field goals (5) and minutes played (28), sophomore guard Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.) also enjoyed his third career double-double thanks to 10 rebounds in the win over UNC Greensboro (2/12) ... That outing only continues to show Harris’ growth as a player, as he had consistently provided valuable minutes ... He currently ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.6 rpg) and ranks fifth in scoring (6.0 ppg). ... Unfortunately for Harris, he was injured during warmups against Furman on Feb. 14 and is currently listed as doubtful.
Bradford provides spark, shows signs of a bright future
With several key contributors not available for the game with Furman on Feb. 14, freshman guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) was given his first career start and played career high 26 minutes ... He responded during those minutes -- especiall in the final five minutes of the game when he hit a pressure-packed 3-pointer and scored seven straight points to seal the victory in an otherwise tight game ... Bradford has shown signs of this potential before ... with the Bucs trailing Wofford on Feb. 5, Bradford gave fans a glimpse of what could be a bright future for the former Mr. Basketball winner from the state of Tennessee ... During the final five minutes of that contest, Bradford scored 14 points and collected three steals.
Perimeter trio accounts for signiciant offensive output
The trio of senior guards Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) and Jalen Riley (Racine, Wis.), along with forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville), accounted for over 50 percent of the team’s offensive production a year ago, with Rembert and Riley leading the team with 16.8 and 13.4 points per game, respectively, while Wilson pitched in 10.1 points per game. ... That same group has picked up where it left off a year ago, with Riley leading the team with 20.2 ppg, Rembert second with 15.5 a contest, and Wilson netting 12.7 ppg.
McClain making place next to ETSU’s greatest PG
ETSU fans have fond memories over former point guard and All-American Keith “Mister” Jennings, who is considered the program’s greatest player ... What many fans may not realize is that current point guard Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) is quietly making a place next to Jennings in the ETSU record books ... Currently, McClain ranks No. 2 next to Jennings on the Bucs’ all-time assist/turnover ratio list, making him one of the two best guards in school history for protecting the basketball ... McClain also entered the year ranking in the Top 10 all-time for total assists (10th) and assists per game (6th). ... In fact, McClain matched his career high with 11 assists in the loss to Tennessee (12/31). ... Currently, McClain ranks first in the SoCon and 13th nationally in assist/TO ratio at 3.0, and is second in the SoCon in assists per game with 4.2 a contest.
Bucs adds to postseason resume in 2013-14
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) ... A year ago, the Bucs made their second trip all-time to the CIT Postseason Tournament, marking 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 ... Last year, the Bucs went 1-1, defeating fellow Southern Conference member Chattanooga before falling to Towson in the quarterfinals.