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Bucs set to meet Iona in CIT Semifinals Saturday at 2 p.m.
Friday, March 25, 2011
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 26, 2011) -- As one of only a handful of teams still playing basketball this 2010-11 season, the ETSU men's basketball team will take on Iona in the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Tickets to Saturday's game between ETSU and Iona are still available and can be purchased by visiting ETSUBucs.com, or by calling the ETSU ticket office at 423-439-ETSU (3878). Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12, and ETSU students are free with a valid student ID.
The CIT Final Four also includes Santa Clara and SMU, who will meet on Friday night to determine the other participant in next week's championship game, which is scheduled for Wednesday, March 30.
ETSU made program history with its 82-73 win over Ohio, becoming the first Buccaneer team to win multiple postseason games in the same season. In addition, the Bucs are the first A-Sun team to win multiple games since 1987.
For more on the Bucs and Saturday's game with Iona, click on the game notes link above or read the game notes below. For more on ETSU mens' 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.
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 first ever appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, and the program's 12th postseason tournament appearance all-time.
Bucs only Div. I team playing in Tennessee
While teams such as Memphis, Belmont and Tennessee earned trips to the postseason earlier this month, the ETSU men's basketball team -- by virtue of its win last week against Furman and a bye in the second round of the CIT -- are the only NCAA Division I program still playing basketball for this 2010-11 season.
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, 11 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.
The series versus Iona
The Bucs and Gaels have only met once all-time, with ETSU winning a 92-88 game back during the 1988-89 season ... That game was played in the Syracuse Carrier Dome, as part of the Carrier Classic Tournament.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 22, 2011) - Senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) scored a season high 27 points and fellow senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) posted a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds, as the ETSU men's basketball team dropped Ohio University 82-73 in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament Tuesday evening inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... A raucous crowd of 2,203 looked on as the Buccaneers improved to 24-11 and made history by becoming the first ETSU team to win multiple postseason games in the same season. The Bucs are also the first A-Sun team to win multiple postseason games since Arkansas-Little Rock won three games in the 1987 NIT. ... The Bucs did not get the win without a fight however, as Ohio managed to rally from an 11-point second half deficit to actually take the lead at 71-70 on a 3-pointer from D.J. Cooper with 2:17 left on the clock. However, from there ETSU recaptured the edge at 72-71 on a jumper by Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), and went on to outscore the Bobcats 10-2 the rest of the way. ... That final surge by the Bucs was highlighted by a two-handed slam from Smith that made it 80-73 and put the game away. Sollazzo finished with 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench ... Tubbs - who matched his career high with seven 3-pointers - was the story of the first half, hitting on 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and scoring 19 points before the break. His efforts helped ETSU overcome an early 9-3 deficit to ultimately lead by as many as 11 at 41-30 with just under a minute left in the half. The Bobcats managed to score five points in the final minute and ultimately trailed 43-35 at the break.
Smith wants to keep playing at home
The scoring production at home for senior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) is bordering on the ridiculous ... In the Bucs last six games, Smith has set new career scoring highs four times ... His previous single-game high was 25 points, but since the Bucs' win over Kennesaw State on Jan. 29, this has been Smith's production:
Date Team Points
Jan. 29 Kennesaw State 27
Jan. 31 Mercer 28
Feb. 13 North Florida 29
March 15 Furman 32
March 22 Ohio 24
Smith's recent scoring has helped catapult him up some ETSU record lists, including single season scoring ... He now stands at 608 points on the season, which is 8th on the all-time list.
Bartow on Skip Prosser "Many of the Year" list
ETSU men's basketball head coach Murry Bartow has been named one of 16 finalist for the 2011 Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award. ... The award, which is awarded by CollegeInsider.com, was established in 2008 to honor those who not only achieve success on the basketball court but who display moral integrity off of it as well. ... The winner will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet on April 1 in Houston, site of the men's basketball championship. ... In eight seasons at ETSU, Bartow has posted a 162-98 overall record and his .623 winning percentage ranks is the best in school history. His teams have averaged over 20 wins a year and have made five postseason tournament trips ... In addition, his program has consistently posted strong academic and graduation numbers, and is consistently involved in community service.
Brown ties single season block record against Ohio
With his six-block performance against Belmont, ETSU junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) matched the program's single-game record ... At the time, Brown joined six other ETSU players who have had six-block games, including former standouts Brad Nuckles, Eryk Thomas, Jerald Fields, Zakee Wadood, Greg Dennis and Greg Hamlin ... He continued to swat away, and with his three blocks against Ohio (3/22), Brown tied the school's single-season block record at 70, which was set in 2003-04 by former ETSU great Zakee Wadood.
Home Sweet Dome ... against non-conference teams
Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 143-45 overall inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 77 percent ... But when looking at the past 10 years, the Bucs are an even more impressive 42-3 against non-conference opponents ... This year, the Bucs are currently 13-1 at the Dome.
The Bucs' "magic" number is 70
The Buccaneers are 15-0 this season when the score 70 or more points ... This statistic is more telling in regards to the Bucs' defensive play, which has been consistently good this season and has held opponents to an average of just 63.9 points per game ... When the Bucs struggle offensively and score less than 70 points, they are just 9-11.
Johnson makes most of his opportunity
As a walk-on two years ago, senior guard DeShaud Johnson (Bristol, Va.) knew his opportunities to play may be limited ... However, as the Bucs prepared for the first round of the CIT, Johnson was as surprised as anyone else when he saw his name in the starting lineup for the game against Furman ... Instead of buckling under the pressure of his second career start (the first came on senior day back on Feb. 13), the 5-foot-9 point responded by setting career bests for points (5), field goals (2), 3-pointers (1), assists (4) and minutes played (22) ... He also started against Ohio (3/22) in the CIT quarterfinals, and will likely start again against Iona (3/26).
Buccaneers place two plays on Sportscenter
The ETSU men's basketball team is making a habit of garnering airtime on ESPN Sportscenter's Top Plays. ... Just three weeks ago, 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 against Jacksonville, placing two plays in the Top 10 and once again taking No. 1 ... Senior Micah Williams (Manchester) threw down a one-handed, alley-oop. That play was picked fourth in the countdown. ... Meanwhile, Tubbs again took the show after receiving a pass from junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa). ... Tubbs again executed the same 360-degree slam with even more flair. The Sportscenter hosts described it as a Winter X Games style dunk.
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.
Williams eclipses 1,000; Smith moving up 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). Here is where they stand:
Name Place Points
Mike Smith No. 7 1,765
Micah Williams No. 20 1,157
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.