Saturday, February 12, 2011JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 13, 2011) -- With one final home game left on the 2010-11 schedule, the ETSU men's basketball team will honor its seniors while also trying to stay in the race for the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title when the Buccaneers take on North Florida Sunday at 4 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
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 series versus UNF
ETSU and North Florida have met 10 times, with ETSU a perfect 10-0 ... The Bucs won the last meeting between the two schools last month, winning 66-61 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Last time against UNF
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2011) - Relinquishing a 14-point halftime lead, the ETSU men's basketball team made clutch plays and hit critical free throws down the stretch to escape with a 66-61 win over North Florida in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the UNF Arena. ... Trailing 57-53 with just over two minutes left in the game, ETSU senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) hit six-straight free throws in the final two minutes, while a critical steal and lay-up from junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) made the difference in the final seconds. ... Williams and fellow senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) finished with a game-high 19 points each, while junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) pitched in 10 points and 12 rebounds in a double-double effort. ... The Bucs sprinted out of the gates in the early going, driving to the basket for some early scores and manufacturing a 9-0 run to open the game. At that point, UNF answered over the next five minutes of play to make it 15-13 with 11:28 remaining, but ETSU responded to that challenge with an 11-0 run to take a 13-point lead at 26-13 with less than eight minutes left on the clock. ... North Florida opened the second half with a renewed sense of urgency and produced in a big way, stifling the Bucs' offensive attack and outscoring ETSU 26-11 to take the lead at 46-45 with 5:58 left in the game. The two teams traded the advantage back-and-forth multiple times from there, but North Florida was left leading 57-53 with 2:15 on the clock. ... From there, Smith hit a foul shot, followed by a pair of offensive rebounds from Brown that led to lay-up from J.C. Ward (Marietta, Ga.) to make it 57-56. After a UNF miss, Williams grabbed an important defensive rebound and was fouled, hitting both free throws and giving the Bucs the edge at 58-57. A UNF turnover, a steal by Sollazzo and his resulting lay-up made it 60-57. Sollazzo was fouled on the play, but missed the free throw. ... The Ospreys answered with a free throw by Jimmy Williams, but another pair of makes from Williams with 12.6 seconds left made it 62-58. UNF was not done though, as a 3-pointer by Jerron Granberry brought the score to 62-61 with four seconds left. Micah Williams hit two more free throws at that point to basically icing the game as the UNF inbounds pass did not find its mark.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 11, 2011) - Putting together a dominating offensive effort in the first half, the ETSU men's basketball team built a 24-point halftime lead and held off a Jacksonville rally late in the second half to take an 80-64 win in Atlantic Sun Conference play Friday evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... A crowd of 3,890 fans looked on as the Buccaneers improved to 18-9 overall, 13-3 in A-Sun play, building a two-game lead over Jacksonville for second place in the conference standings. Meanwhile, the Dolphins dropped to 16-8, 10-5. ... The Buccaneers shot 55 percent from the field in the first half and dominated statistically. But after the break, Jacksonville managed to battle back into the game and cut the ETSU lead to just 10 points at 70-60 with 3:09 left in the contest. However, the Bucs then hit 10-of-10 from the line to ice the victory. ... ETSU put four players in double figures, with senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) leading the way with a game-high 23 points. Meanwhile, fellow senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) posted 21 points, while junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) had 13 points and seven assists. Junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami) also had a strong showing, posting a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. ... The Bucs roared out of the gates in the first half, as Smith scored 11 of the Bucs first 22 points and ETSU led 22-7 with 14 minutes left on the clock. JU managed to battle back at that point, going on a 15-6 run of its own to cut the deficit to just six at 28-22 on back-to-back lay ups from Ayron Hardy. ... However, ETSU was unfazed by the Dolphins' rally, as the Bucs bombed away from the field and from 3-point range. ETSU ultimately went on a 23-5 run to close out the half and enjoyed a 51-27 edge at the break. ... In the second half, JU still trailed 68-48 with 8:10 and began its comeback. Holding ETSU scoreless for the next 4:05, the Dolphins ultimately made it 68-57 before the Bucs got back on the board with a layup from Williams. Later, Jacksonville made it 70-60 before ETSU put it away.
Buccaneers place two plays on ESPN Sportscenter
The ETSU men's basketball team is making a habit of garnering airtime on ESPN Sportscenter's Top Plays. ... Just three weeks ago, ETSU senior Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) was selected as the No. 1 play of the day with his 360 degree slam dunk against Lipscomb on Jan. 21 in the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Well, the Buccaneers took it a step further on Friday night inside the Dome against Jacksonville, placing two plays in the Top 10 and once again taking the top slot. ... Senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) threw down a one-handed, alley-oop slam on a pass from his roommate and fellow senior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.). That play was picked fourth in the countdown. ... Meanwhile, Tubbs again took the show after receiving a pass from junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa). Going toward the opposite end of the floor from where he dunked against Lipscomb, Tubbs executed the same 360-degree slam with even more flair. The Sportscenter hosts described it as a Winter X Games style dunk.
Williams eclipses 1,000; Smith moving up scoring list
While senior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) was already a member of the 1,000-point club, fellow senior Micah Williams (Manchester) joined his roommate on the list against Kennesaw State (1/29) ... With a 3-pointer from the left wing at the 17:55 mark of the second half, Williams went over 1,000 for his career, becoming the 33rd ETSU player all-time to reach that number ... Meanwhile, Smith joined another select group by eclipsing 1,500 points for his career in the win over USC Upstate (1/25) ... Below is where both players stand in the all-time scoring list:
Name Place Points
Mike Smith No. 8 1,619
Micah Williams No. 33 1,084
Sollazzo rolling in last 17 games for ETSU
Junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) has really found his rhythm in the last 17 games, leading the team with 4.5 assists per game, and ranking third on the team with 11.9 points per game ... He has netted double figures in 11 of those 17 games ... In those contests, Sollazzo is shooting an impressive 68-of-118 from the field for a 58 percent clip ... he is also averaging 3.1 rpg in this stretch ... The Bucs are 14-3 in this span.
Smith's 20/20 vision leads Bucs over FGCU
With his 20-point and 20-rebound effort against Florida Gulf Coast on Jan. 8, 2011, senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) made history ... According to the statistics available to the ETSU media relations office, Smith was the first Buccaneer since Feb. 14, 1959 to post a 20/20 effort ... The last was Buc great Tom Chilton, who scored 35 points and grabbed 25 rebounds in a win over Wofford during the 1959 season. ... In addition, Smith is only the third player nationally to achieve that mark this season.
Bucs help bolster A-Sun to strong RPI standings
With a pair of signature wins already this season, the ETSU men's basketball team - along with other members of the Atlantic Sun Conference - is doing its part to put the league in some impressive company on the national hoops stage. ... With wins over Atlantic 10 Conference stalwart Dayton and Southeastern Conference West Division favorite Mississippi State, the Buccaneers have helped the A-Sun generate plenty of waves across the board in the national RPI rankings. As a result, one month into the 2010-11 NCAA men's basketball season, the Atlantic Sun Conference is ranked ahead of other mid-major leagues including the Southern, Ohio Valley, Big South, West Coast, Mid-American, WAC and Sun Belt. ... The A-Sun remains among the top half of the conferences in the country. CollegeRPI.com ranks the A-Sun 14th, immediately behind the Horizon, Conference USA and Missouri Valley, and ahead of the conferences mentioned above. Against the Southern, Big South, Sun Belt and Ohio Valley conferences, the A-Sun owns a 15-8 mark. ... The conference has more than held its own against the BCS conferences. With ETSU's win at Mississippi State, the conference grabbed its fifth win against the "Power-6" leagues. No conference eligible for consideration for the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll owns as many BCS wins as the A-Sun. The five wins represent the most for the league since 2007-08.
Bartow gets wins No. 250 overall and 150 at ETSU; ranks among best coaches in last five years
With his team's win over Florida Gulf Coast on Jan. 8, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow picked up his 250th career victory ... He then collected his 150th win at ETSU when the Bucs downed Jacksonville on Jan. 15 ... 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.
Home Sweet Dome
Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 148-46 inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 76 percent ... The Bucs had won five straight at Memorial Center during the 2006-07 season before a loss to Belmont (1/2) ... The Bucs then rattled off 10 straight at home to stand at 15-1 on the Memorial Center floor that season ... In 2007-08, the Bucs were 11-2 at Memorial Center ... In 2008-09, the Bucs were again 11-2 at home, and last year the team dropped off to a 9-5 clip at the Dome ... This season, the Bucs are 10-1at home.
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