Bucs prepped for Wednesday's much-anticipated matchup with Vols
Hubbard
Hubbard

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 2, 2009) -- With the momentum of a three-game winning streak and a recent win over Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas, the ETSU men's basketball team will attempt to knock off another SEC member when the Buccaneers faceoff with in-state rival No. 11 Tennessee Wednesday night inside Thompson-Boling Arena.

Tipoff between the Bucs and Vols is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast by Fox SportSouth.

ETSU (4-3) is off to a solid start this season despite not having the services of senior guard and preseason All Atlantic Sun Conference pick Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) for five of the team's first seven contests. However, Smith returned Sunday to post 14 points against conference foe North Florida, and juniors Tommy Hubbard (Boston) and Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) have continued to play well in Smith's absence.

The Bucs and Vols were both NCAA Tournament participants a year ago, and ETSU will have a challenge as it faces one of the nation's top teams.

For more on the game, click on the game notebook link above or read the game notes below.

 

Buc bits

The ETSU men's basketball team has won three straight games over the last week, a stretch that included a win over dropping SEC foe Arkansas on the road, 94-85, and the team's first conference win over the year 82-56 over North Florida ... The Bucs (4-3), who are now 3-0 at home and 1-3 on the road this sesaon, as they head back on the road for games at Tennessee (Dec. 2) and UAB (Dec. 4) ... ETSU just finished a stretch of six games in 12 days that included road trips to Chattanooga, Morgan State, Louisville and Arkansas, as well as home games against College of Charleston and North Florida ... ETSU had been without the services of preseason All Atlantic Sun Conference pick Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.), but the 1,000-point scorer and team's top returning player came back against North Florida in the team's last game, scoring 14 points in 21 minutes of play ... In Smith's absence, junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) and junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) have stepped up their games In fact, Hubbard has posted double-doubles in five of his last six games leading to his selection as A-Sun player of the week ... his week included a career best 32-point effort against the Razorbacks and a game-high 25-point effort in the victory over UNF ... Meanwhile, Tubbs posted a career best 29 points against CofC and 21 against Arkansas, to go with nine rebounds ... Currently, Hubbard and Tubbs lead the team in scoring with 18.3 and 15.3 points per game, respectively.

 

The series against Tennessee

The Bucs and Volunteers have met 12 times previously, with Tennessee holding the advantage 10-2 ... ETSU's two wins in the series came during the 1989-90 (83-70) and 1991-92 (87-79) seasons ... In their last meeting during the 2006-07 season, the Bucs fell in a close contest 93-88.

 

Last time out against Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 30, 2006) - The ETSU men's basketball team used a 16-0 run midway through the first half to take a game that appeared headed to a blowout and made it a dog fight with the 21st-ranked Tennessee Volunteers, eventually leading by as many as six points in the second half but ultimately falling to the Vols 93-88 in front of 18,216 fans at Thompson-Boling Arena ... The Bucs (8-6) got a career night from junior forward Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.), who posted personal bests with 17 points and 15 rebounds, while four other ETSU players reached double figures to power the ETSU attack. Sophomore guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) pitched in a team-high 19 points, while freshman guard Dequan Twilley (Shelbyville) scored a career high 17 points ... The Vols held a lead of as many as 18 points at 35-17 with 6:52 left in the half. At that point, though, the Bucs found their game in a big way, outscoring the Vols 16-0 over the next four minutes to cut the UT lead to 35-33 with 1:49 remaining before the intermission. The teams traded baskets from there and finished the half at 41-39 ...The second half started with a layup by Nuckles to tie the game at 41-41, and the Bucs went on to outscore Tennessee 17-11 for the next six minutes to lead 58-52 with 15:37 left in the game. The Vols answered in convincing fashion at that point with a 24-6 run of their own to hold a 12-point advantage at 76-64 with 9:21 remaining in the contest. The Bucs battled back again to cut the lead to five at 79-74, but were unable to get any closer the rest of the way.

 

Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 29, 2009) - Senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) returned to the lineup and junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) continued his dominating play with his fifth double-double of the season, as the ETSU men's basketball team opened Atlantic Sun Conference play with a convincing 82-56 victory over North Florida Sunday afternoon inside Memorial Center ... ETSU, now 4-3 overall, 1-0 in A-Sun play, got a game-high 25 points and 13 rebounds from Hubbard, while Smith pitched in 14 points and fellow junior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) added 12. The Buccaneers dominated in most every statistical category, out-rebounding the Ospreys 38-28, forcing UNF into 25 turnovers and finishing with a 26-point cushion ... The Bucs blitzed out to a 9-2 lead early in the game, but UNF responded with its own 8-0 run to take its only lead of the contest at 10-9. However, that edge did not last long, as ETSU put together a 10-2 run to go up 19-12 and never looked back ... Smith's return was highlighted by his first field goal of the season, which came after he stole a UNF inbounds pass and raced to the other end of the floor for a slam dunk. Smith's score was only part of a strong first half by the Bucs, which ultimately resulted in a 44-31 lead at the break ... In the second half, things only got worse for the Ospreys, as the ETSU fullcourt pressure kept resulting in turnovers and scores for the Bucs. The Ospreys did manage to get to within seven at 50-43 on a 3-pointer by Jerron Granberry, but ETSU responded by outscoring UNF 11-2 over the next three minutes to build their lead to 61-45. A 3-pointer by sophomore Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) and another by Williams then powered another 10-3 run to make it 71-48 and UNF would not recover.

 

Hubbard steps up his game, averaging double-double

Much has been written and reported about junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) and his efforts to improve his offensive game, and those strides most recently led to being selected A-Sun Player of the Week ... Already considered one of the best defenders in the A-Sun, Hubbard posted a 32-point and 10-rebound effort in the win over Arkansas and dropped in another game-high 26 in the win over UNF ... He currently leads the Bucs with 18.3 points per game and 10.4 rebounds a contest ... while he has posted double-doubles in five of the last six games, his efforts began to pay off on the offensive end against Chattanooga back on Nov. 17 ... Setting career bests for points (26) and rebounds (13), Hubbard collected his first career double-double against the Mocs ... In addition, he hit his first 3-point shot in three seasons with the Bucs, and didn't stop there -- ultimately finishing with four long-range bombs on the night.

 

Record setting night from the arc for Bucs

Hitting on 11-of-14 shots from 3-point range against Arkansas, the Bucs put their name in a multiple of record books ... First, those numbers set a new school record for 3-point field goal percentage in a game with a 78.6 percent mark, breaking the previous record of 66.7 percent which had been done three times previously ... In addition, it was the best shooting effort in the "nation" this season for teams taking more than 10 shots in a game ... And it was the best percentage by a team in the A-Sun since Nov. 28, 1999 when UCF was 11-of-14 in a game against South Carolina state.

 

Tubbs getting it done for the Bucs

When junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) transfered out of the University of Alabama and came to ETSU, many expected the athletic guard to provide an immediate impact on the offensive end of the floor ... This has been the case ... Against Charleston, Tubbs posted a game high and career high 29 points in the Bucs win over Charleston (11/25) ... He followed that effort up with 21 points against Arkansas ... currently, Tubbs has eclipsed double-figure scoring in five of the Bucs first seven games and is second on the team with 15.3 points per game.

 

Sollazzo steps up on night ETSU honors Coy

Before the start of the Bucs' Homecoming game against Appalachian State (11/14), the ETSU community honored the memory of former center Seth Coy, who died in a car accident last summer ... His former roommate and friend, Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), now wears Coy's No. 43 jersey and against the Mountaineers he played inspired basketball ... Sollazzo set a career high with 13 points and hit two critical foul shots in the final seconds to get the win.

 

Bench play critical in win over Mountaineers

With only 21 points of offensive production from its starting five on Saturday, the Bucs got a huge lift from its bench against the Mountaineers ... All three ETSU players to reach double figures -- Adam Sollazzo (13), Justin Tubbs (11) and Sheldon Cooley (11) -- all came off the bench, and the Bucs got a total of 41 from the reserves as a whole ... With injuries costing the Bucs several offensive weapons, look for ETSU to continue to count on the bench.

 

Preseason polls pick Bucs middle of the pack

The ETSU men's basketball team was picked fourth by the Atlantic Sun Conference coaches and fifth by the league's media in preseason polls release Wednesday by the conference office ... The conference's two most recent tournament champions, ETSU (2009) and Belmont (2006-08) place fourth and fifth, depending on the poll. The Buccaneers edged out the Bruins for the spot from the coaches while the media gave the nod the Bruins. Both teams suffered tremendous losses due to graduation. ETSU must replace Courtney Pigram (Memphis) and Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), one of the highest scoring duos in the nation a season ago.

 

Big questions surround Bucs entering 2009-10

With the loss of seniors Courtney Pigram and Kevin Tiggs -- one of the most dynamic offensive duos in the country -- the Bucs have a lot of questions to answer on the offenisve end of the floor this season  ... Having averaged 78.1 points a game a year ago, which ranked 21st nationally in all of Division I play -- ETSU has lost 44.0 of those points to graduation when one includes now departed senior Greg Hamlin in that trio ... In addition to the losses on offensive, the Bucs' 13-man roster includes just eight players who have experienced actual floor time in college ... The other five players are either true freshmen, redshirt freshmen or walk-ons.

 

Big questions surround Bucs entering 2009-10

With the loss of seniors Courtney Pigram and Kevin Tiggs -- one of the most dynamic offensive duos in the country -- the Bucs have a lot of questions to answer on the offenisve end of the floor this season  ... Having averaged 78.1 points a game a year ago, which ranked 21st nationally in all of Division I play -- ETSU has lost 44.0 of those points to graduation when one includes now departed senior Greg Hamlin in that trio ... In addition to the losses on offensive, the Bucs' 13-man roster includes just eight players who have experienced actual floor time in college ... The other five players are either true freshmen, redshirt freshmen or walk-ons.

 

 

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MCC NCAA South Regional Tallahassee, Fla.
Nov 14 13 of 22
WCC NCAA South Regional Tallahassee, Fla.
Nov 14 23 of 29
VB ETSU 3 Charleston, S.C.
Nov 14 The Citadel 1
WBB ETSU 81 Final
Nov 14 University of North Carolina at Asheville 68
MBB ETSU 76 F
Nov 14 Valparaiso 90
VB ETSU 3 Macon, Ga.
Nov 15 Mercer University 1
WBB High Point University 76 Final
Nov 17 ETSU 84
MBB Virginia-Wise 66 F
Nov 18 ETSU 111
WBB Appalachian State University 76 Final
Nov 19 ETSU 70
WBB ETSU Loretto, Pa.
Nov 21, 7:00 p.m. Saint Francis University
VB ETSU Greensboro, N.C.
Nov 22, 12:00 p.m. No. 5 Western Carolina (SoCon Quarterfinal)
MBB UNC Asheville Freedom Hall
Nov 22, 7:00 p.m. ETSU
VB ETSU Greensboro, N.C.
Nov 23, 7:00 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament (Semifinals)
VB ETSU Greensboro, N.C.
Nov 24, 7:00 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament (Championship)
MBB ETSU Rock Hill, S.C.
Nov 24, 7:00 p.m. Winthrop
WBB ETSU Terre Haute, Ind.
Nov 24, 8:00 p.m. Indiana State University
WBB ETSU Bloomington, Ind.
Nov 26, 2:00 p.m. Indiana University
WBB ETSU Blacksburg, Va.
Nov 29, 5:00 p.m. Virginia Tech University
MBB ETSU Morehead, Ky.
Dec 1, 7:00 p.m. Morehead State