HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Dec. 2, 2008) -- The ETSU men's basketball team continues with the third of five straight games on the road Tuesday evening, when the Buccaneers face off with former Southern Conference rival and current Conference USA member Marshall at the Cam Henderson Center. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Bucs (3-3) are coming off a road loss to Missouri Valley Conference power Bradley 82-69 last weekend, while Marshall (2-3) snapped a three-game losing streak with a home win over Old Dominion over the holiday break.
This will mark the 46th meeting between the schools, with ETSU leading the all-time series 24-21.
For more on the Bucs and Herd read the game notes below, or click on the game notebook link provided above.
A seven-time NCAA Tournament and two-time NIT participant, the ETSU Buccaneers enter the 2008-09 season having come up just one win shy of the 20-win mark in 2007-08 and looking to avenge a hard fought loss to Belmont in the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament ... With a 19-13 overall mark and a third place finish in regular season league action (11-5) a year ago, the Bucs return their top two and three of their top six scorers from a year ago, led by first-team All Atlantic Sun selection Courtney Pigram (Memphis) ... The 6-1 guard will begin his senior campaign with 1,445 career points after having averaged a team-leading 15.8 points, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals a game last year .... Pigram will be joined by senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.), who helped power the offense with 14.6 points and a team-high 2.9 offensive rebounds a game last season en route to earning second team All A-Sun honors.
The series against Marshall
With a series history that dates back to a time when the Bucs and Thundering Herd were rivals in the Southern Conference, these two teams have met a total of 45 times, with ETSU holding an edge in the overall series 24-21 ... The two teams split meetings a year ago during a rare home-and-home series, as the Herd dropped the Bucs by one in overtime 84-83 on Nov. 20, and ETSU was the victor 79-73 on Dec. 4.
Last time against Marshall
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 4, 2007) - After giving up a large second half lead and then losing by one point in overtime earlier this season at Marshall, the ETSU men's basketball team was faced with what could have been a similar situation Tuesday night in Memorial Center. This time the Bucs didn't fold ... Watching a 13-point lead dwindle to five with just under a minute left, the Buccaneers made the defensive stops they needed in the final seconds and converted at the foul line to finish with a 79-73 win over Conference USA's Thundering Herd in front of 4,080 blue clad fans. With the win, ETSU improved to 4-3 on the young season, with Marshall dropping to 4-2 ... Indeed, the Bucs once again rolled on the offensive end of the floor, hitting 54 percent of their shots (27-of-50) and committing just 14 turnovers. While the Bucs still were out-rebounded 38-36 and gave up 16 offensive rebounds, ETSU did cut back on its foul issues, actually going to the line 38 times compared to just 18 trips for the Thundering Herd ... The key to victory for the Bucs on this night came with just over nine minutes left, when junior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) recovered from just scoring two points in the first half to score nine straight points and power a 13-2 offensive surge. The run took a 49-47 game and made it 62-49 with 7:15 remaining in the game ... However, from there Marshall managed a run of its own in the final two minutes, outscoring the Bucs 9-2 to make it 73-68 with just over a minute left. However, sophomore guard Dequan Twilley (Shelbyville) did just enough at the foul line to keep the Herd at bay and give the Bucs a win over their former Southern Conference rival.
Last time out
PEORIA, Ill. (Nov. 29, 2008) - Having watched Bradley struggle from beyond the 3-point arc much of the season, the ETSU men's basketball team hoped for the same when it faced the Braves Saturday night. However, things didn't work out as planned ... Bradley - which entered the game making just 27 percent of its 3-pointers - hit a season high 13 shots from beyond the arc for a stout 54 percent from the outside - and a Buccaneer rally in the second half would come too little too late as the Missouri Valley Conference's Braves upended the Bucs 82-69 inside Carver Arena. With the loss, ETSU drops to 3-3, while Bradley improved to 4-2 ... Senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) led all scorers with 27 points, scoring 22 of those points in the second half and during a late rally that the cut lead to nine at 75-66 with 2:21 left in the game. Senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) finished with 15 points and was the only other ETSU player in double figures ... Bradley had four players reach double figures, led by a team-high 17 from Dodie Dunson, while Chris Roberts added 16, Theron Wilson scored 12, and Eddren McCain added 10. As a team Bradley had 20 assists, including a game-high eight from guard Sam Maniscalco ... The first half had a nightmarish start for the Bucs, as the Braves - whose previous season high for threes in a game was seven - hit their first five 3-point attempts and rolled out to a 17-2 lead at the 13:59 mark. Tiggs then single-handedly stopped the bleeding, scoring seven straight to make it 19-9 with 11:34 left, and the Bucs then pulled to within seven at 25-18 with 7:35 left before the half, thanks to five points from Pigram and a dunk by junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.). ... However, the Braves' high percentage shooting didn't stop and the Bucs couldn't maintain the momentum as Bradley outscored ETSU 19-7 the rest of the way to lead 44-25 at the break. ETSU suffered its worst offensive half of the season, scoring just 25 points on 33 percent shooting from the floor, while Bradley blitzed the nets to the tune of 62 percent from the field and an even more amazing 62 percent from beyond the arc ... In the second half, Bradley built their lead above 20 several times, but trailing 67-47 with 8:09 left, Pigram caught fire and scored 13 of the next 15 for the Bucs, powering a 19-8 run that made it 75-66 with 3:19 left on the clock. However, from there some untimely ETSU fouls and solid free throw shooting by Bradley sealed ETSU's fate ... The Bucs actually had one more made field goal than the Braves, but Bradley hit 13 threes to just six for ETSU. The teams were even 28-28 on the boards and the Bucs had just 12 turnovers to 20 for Bradley. However, the Bucs managed just 10 assists to 20 for the opposition.
Pigram makes history with triple-double
With his 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Wingate (11/20), senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) became just the second ETSU player to record a triple-double and the first to reach that special feat in NCAA Division I play this season ... He joins former Buc Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) on that exclusive list at ETSU ... In Atlantic Sun Conference play, Pigram is just the sixth player to accomplish that feat since 1996-97, and he is the first to post a triple-double against a non-conference opponent ... A full list of those players can be found below:
A-Sun Triple Doubles
Player School Date Opp Pt-Rb-Ast
Courtney Pigram ETSU 11/20/08 Wingate 21-10-10
Tim Smith ETSU 1/25/06 KSU 21-10-10
Damitrius Coleman Mercer 2/27/05 JU 13-14-14
Damitrius Coleman Mercer 1/03/05 FAU 14-12-11
Kingsley Edwards UCF 1/16/05 Troy 10-10-14
Dexter Lyons UCF 1/11/03 Troy 14-13-10
Bartow adds three early signees to 2009-10 class
ETSU men's basketball head coach Murry Bartow has announced that the Buccaneers have received three national letters of intent for their 2009-2010 recruiting class ... Three high school seniors have signed the dotted line with the Bucs, a trio that includes 6-foot-3 guard Sheldon Cooley of Tampa, Fla., 6-foot-8 forward Lukas Poderis of Port Richey, Fla., and 6-foot-1 guard Bruce Grimm of Rochester, Ind. ... Cooley, who averaged 22.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 7.0 blocks and 5.1 steals a game during his junior season at Plant High School, has been a four-year letter winner on the Panther squad. He was the Western Conference Player of the Year in 2007-08, a first team All-Suncoast and All-Tribune pick, and a third-team All-State Class 5A selection. Along with multiple other player of the year and all-star selections, Cooley will finish his senior season as his high school's all-time leading scorer ... While Poderis is originally from Lithuania, he currently plays at Ridgewood High School in Port Richey, Fla., the same school that produced former ETSU standout Andrew Reed. Poderis has helped his high school to three straight 20-wins seasons, and a year ago he averaged 18.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 67 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range. A 1,000-point scorer, Poderis was the Sunshine Athletic Conference Player of the Year last season, and a third-team All-State pick ... Grimm has been a three-year starter at Rochester High School, was a first-team all-conference selection as a sophomore and junior, while also receiving his team's most valuable player award. He averaged 20 points a game, while dishing out five assists, three steals and three rebounds a contest as a junior ... The Bucs are scheduled to have one more scholarship open for the 2009-2010 season.
Hamlin, Brown step up in Coy's absence
After freshman Seth Coy (Montgomery, Ind.) earned a spot in the Bucs' starting five, there was a lot of hope for the 6-11 post ... However, after a foot injury sidelined Coy for the Tennessee Tech game, the Bucs turned to 6-7 senior forward Greg Hamlin (Flint, Mich.) and 6-8 freshman post Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) to step in and pick up the slack ... The two responded in a fine fashion ... Hamlin posted his career best game, scoring eight points, grabbing seven rebounds, dishing out three assists and blocking three shots ... Meanwhile, Brown posted eight points and five boards ... The coaches would take a combined 16 points and 12 rebounds from the duo each night.
ETSU picked among nation's best "Prestige" programs
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (July 22, 2008) - 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 a new "Prestige" ranking released by ESPN.com ... The Buccaneers, who have enjoyed six NCAA Tournament trips, one NIT berth, seven 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. The Bucs also were placed ahead of every current member of the Colonial Athletic Association with the exception of Old Dominion ... 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.
Smith stepping up in junior year
In his first three games this season, 6-foot-6 junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) has done his part and then some ... Currently, Smith is third on the team 13.5 points per game and is averaging a team-best 7.3 rebounds a game ... Smith is shooting 46 percent from the floor and has posted a team-best 2.5 steals per game ... Smith, who has scored 680 points in his career, was named a team captain and has fit that role well.
Non-conference home win streak at 18
Over the last five seasons, the Bucs have fared well against non-conference opponents within the confines of Memorial Center ... In fact, the Bucs have won 18 straight non-conference home games since losing a 90-73 contest to Fresno State back on Nov. 27, 2004 ... ETSU has wins over teams such as Marshall (twice), Tennessee Tech (twice), Chattanooga, Central Michigan, Morehead State, UNC Asheville, Eastern Kentucky, Radford and Appalachian State during that time frame.
Home Sweet Dome
Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 119-38 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, but fell to Belmont in the championship of the A-Sun Tourney... In 2007-08, the Bucs were 11-2 at Memorial Center.