CHARLESTON, S.C. (Dec. 6, 2010) -- Still stinging from a last-second conference loss at USC Upstate, the ETSU men's basketball team will look to regain its footing and momentum when the Buccaneers invade the Carolina First Arena Tuesday evening for a television showdown with former Southern Conference rival College of Charleston. Tip is set for 7 p.m. and the game will air on CSS.
For the Bucs (3-3), the momentum they gained with a win at Atlantic 10 Conference foe Dayton last week was erased on Sunday, when Upstate hit a layup with 3.6 seconds left to give the Spartans a 60-59 upset win on their home floor in Spartanburg, S.C. However, there is no time to rest for ETSU, which finds itself in the midst of a daunting month-long, eight-game road trip.
For more on Tuesday's game, click on the game notes link above or read the game notes below. For more on ETSU men's basketball, 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 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 team only added to its rich history of success during the 2009-10 season, capturing its second straight Atlantic Sun Conference Championship and earning the program's ninth trip all-time to the NCAA Tournament ... Posting the program's fourth 20-win season in the past seven years, the Bucs overcame multiple challenges during the season before dropping Mercer in the A-Sun finals ... The Bucs were led by a team of "role" players that included forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston), guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.), guard Micah Williams (Manchester), guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa, Fla.), post Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.), and post J.C. Ward (Marietta, Ga.) ... Hubbard finished the year as a second team All ASun player after leading the Bucs in both scoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.2 rpg), and was named to the league's All-Tournament squad ... Meanwhile, Williams finished the year on a tear, scoring in double figures in 11 straight games, including a 32-point effort against Campbell en route to being named the A-Sun Tournament MVP ... Only losing senior guard Jocolby Davis off the roster from 2009-10, the Bucs will add Smith back to the mix after receiving a medical redshirt a year ago, and a trio of incoming recruits will also add to the talent pool.
The series versus College of Charleston
The Bucs and Cougars shared many hard fought battles during their time in the Southern Conference throughout the 1990s and early this decade ... In all, the Bucs trail the series 4-7 ... Some of ETSU's most recent wins came during the 2002-03 season when the Bucs defeated Charleston in the regular season and in the semifinals of the SoCon tournament en route to the NCAA Tournament ... ETSU also won the last meeting between the two, a 77-71 win back on Nov. 26, 2009.
Last time out against College of Charleston
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 26, 2009) - Junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) scored a career high 29 points and the ETSU men's basketball team held off a late College of Charleston rally to drop the Cougars 77-71 in non-conference play Wednesday night inside Memorial Center. ... A crowd of 3,105 looked on as the Bucs led by as many as 12 points multiple times during the game, but the Cougars used a 9-2 run late in the second half to pull within three points at 68-65 with 3:09 left in the regulation. However, from there the Bucs hit enough free throws to hold off their former Southern Conference rival, a team that is picked to win the SoCon this season. ... The Bucs did dominate the glass and hold the Cougars' shooting attack in check. Meanwhile, along with Tubbs' scoring ETSU got a double-double from Hubbard with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Ward provided 11 points and five boards in just 21 minutes of action. ... Statistically, the Bucs only turned the ball over just 10 times in the game and committed just nine fouls in 40 minutes of action. ETSU improved somewhat at the foul line hitting 63 percent (15-of-24) from the line, and held the Cougars to a 26 percent clip from 3-point range. ... In the first half, ETSU blitzed to a 7-0 lead behind Tubbs' pure shooting stroke and built that advantage to as many as 12 at 36-24 with just over a minute left before the break. Tubbs ultimately finished with 20 points in the first half and ETSU led 40-30 at the break. ... The second half saw the Cougars cut the lead to 46-40 on a 3-pointer by Andrew Goudelock with 13:26 left in regulation, but the Bucs once again pulled away to make it 66-56 with just under six minutes left. However, the Charleston fullcourt press confused the Bucs from there on out, allowing CofC to rally and pull to within three at 68-65. ETSU withstood the charge though, outscoring Charleston 9-6 the rest of the way. ... Charleston - the preseason favorite in the SoCon - got a team high 23 from Goudelock.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 5, 2010) - USC Upstate forward Chalmers Rogers picked the perfect time to score his only two points of the game, laying in a basket with three seconds remaining to give the Spartans a 60-59 win over ETSU in the Atlantic Sun Conference opener for both teams at the G.B. Hodge Center. ... On a day when the Spartans were dedicating their $4 million renovation of the G.B. Hodge Center, the Buccaneers struggled offensively throughout the contest. Shooting just 33.8 percent for the game, the Bucs still took 19 more shots from the field than Upstate and outrebounded the Spartans 48-34. ... However, the only statistic that really matters did not go the Bucs' way - the score. ... Despite the offensive woes, the Bucs managed to tie the game at 58-58 on a pair of free throws by junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) with 1:17 left in the game. From there, Upstate (2-6 overall, 1-0 A-Sun) turned the ball over at the top of the key and junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) raced to the other end. ... Sollazzo was fouled on the play and hit one-of-two free throws to give the Bucs only their second lead of the game. But more importantly than the lead, sophomore forward J.C. Ward (Marietta) made an important hustle play, tapping the ball back out to Sollazzo and giving the Bucs another possession with 50 seconds left in the game. The Bucs missed on that scoring opportunity though, giving Upstate a shot at the win with 13.5 seconds left. ... Rogers' heroics came after Upstate guard Carter Cook went up for an apparent shot, but lost the ball. Even though it appeared to be heading out of bounds, freshman guard Torrey Craig managed to grab it and flip to Rogers for the game winner. ... Craig's hustle play was just an exclamation point on a great game, as he posted a career best 18 points and enjoyed a double-double thanks to 15 rebounds. He was joined in double figures with 12 points by Josh Chavis.
Plans, trains and automobiles await Bucs
The Bucs find themselves in the midst of a month-long road trip that will see the team play a total of eight games away from the ETSU/MSHA Atheltic Center ... Trips to Dayton, Ohio, Charleston, S.C., Starkville, Miss., Oxford, Miss., and Cancun, Mexico await ... In all, the Bucs will travlel 3,776 miles by bus and 1,906 miles by plane during this time ... In total, it will amount to 5,682 miles and 67 hours/33 minutes of travel time.
Bartow among best in the country over last five years
When looking at coaches across the country, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow stands among a select group ... Of those coaches that have been at their current school for at least five years, only 24 have averaged better than 20 wins a season ... That list includes coaches such as Dayton's Brian Gregory, Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, UConn's Jim Calhoun, Florida's Billy Donovan, Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Duke's Mike Kryzewski, Louisville's Rick Pitino, Kansas' Bill Self, Maryland's Gary Williams and North Carolina's Roy Williams ... The list also includes Bartow, who is average 20.2 wins a year since 2005-06.
ETSU duo chasing
While senior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) is already a member of the 1,000-point club, two other seniors have outside shots at making it to the group:
Name Current Points
Tommy Hubbard 567
Micah Williams 754
With those point totals, Hubbard would have to average just over 14 points a game this season to reach 1,000, while Williams would need to average 10 points a game to reach the mark.
Defense shines despite offensive woes
While much has been made of the Bucs poor offensive effort against Murray State, the squad's defensive effort was superb and encouraging ... Utilizing a new 3-2 zone, the Bucs held Murray State to just 50 points, which is the second time this "calendar" year the Bucs have held a team to less than 50 -- the last time coming Feb. 25, 2010 at North Florida (61-46) ... The Bucs are currently allowing 63.5 points per game in six contests, which includes allowing just 60 points against Tennessee Tech ... Against the Racers, the Bucs also forced 16 turnovers, out-rebounded Murray State 39-30, and held them to 37.8 percent shooting.
Bucs counting on "experience edge"
If the Bucs will be looking for any edge this season, they will find it in the experience department ... All told, the Bucs have 33 years of previous college experience on its 15-man roster, a group that includes players with multiple years of experience like three fifth-year seniors (Mike Smith, Micah Williams and Justin Tubbs), and a fourth-year junior (Isiah Brown).
Smith happy to be back on the floor with Bucs
One year ago, the Bucs were forced to play all put four games without the services of guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) due to an injury … However, Smith is back and brings his 1,253 career points with him … Without Smith, the Bucs struggled to score points last season (69.3 points per game) and relied heavily on its defensive efforts to win games … This year, the Bucs hope to continue to hold team's down offensively, while returning to their normal "high scoring" ways ... In his return game against Kentucky, Smith netted 15 points, and he recently followed up that performance with a career high 26 points against Tennessee Tech
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 … The Buccaneers, who have enjoyed nine NCAA Tournament trips, one NIT berth, 10 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 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.