Bucs to host North Georgia in "Back to Brooks" game
Junior guard Justin Tubbs will help lead the Bucs Thursday night inside Brooks Gym.
Junior guard Justin Tubbs will help lead the Bucs Thursday night inside Brooks Gym.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 10, 2009) -- The ETSU men's basketball team will play host to North Georgia Thursday night in a much-anticipated game at Brooks Gym. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

The "Back to Brooks" game will feature the Buccaneers in special retro uniforms designed after the late-1960s squad, and fans are encouraged to participate in a special costume contest. The best dressed fan in 1960s attire will win a $100 gift certificate to BestBuy.

The Bucs (4-5) will be looking to snap a two-game skid in which they lost to No. 11-ranked Tennessee and Conference USA foe UAB. ETSU will likely be without the services of senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.), who continues to nurse some nagging knee and ankle injuries.

As for attending the "Back to Brooks" game, the ETSU ticket office now has just 100 tickets available to the general public, and those seats will go on sale tomorrow. Call 423-439-ETSU (3878) for more information.

Meanwhile, students are encouraged to attend the pre-game tailgate in front of Brooks Gym at 5:30. The first 300 students will get free hamburgers, hot dogs and CiCi's Pizza. Students are also asked to arrive early, as only 600 student seats will be available.

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 of its last five games, but has suffered back-to-back losses to No. 11 Tennessee (78-66) and Conference USA contender UAB (74-52) ... Prior to the loss at Tennessee, ETSU had won three straight including a victory over 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 (4-5), who are 3-0 at home and 1-5 on the road this sesaon, return to their old home Brooks Gym for tonight's game with North Georgia... Preseason All Atlantic Sun Conference pick Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) remains questionable for the North Georgia and Murray State games, even though he played against UAB and posted a 14-point effort ... Smith has only played in four games this season while dealing with knee and ankle injuries ... 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 eight games, which led his selection as A-Sun player of the week on Nov. 30 ... that 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 15.8 and 15.6 points per game, respectively.

 

The series against North Georgia

This will be the second meeting between the Bucs and Saints ... ETSU won the previous game 64-54 back in 1984.

 

Last time out

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Dec. 4, 2009) - In a game full of emotion for ETSU head coach Murry Bartow and his father, Gene, the Buccaneers' men's basketball team was unable to overcome UAB's strong inside game and fell 74-52 Friday evening in the inaugural UAB Health System Gene Bartow Classic Friday night at Bartow Arena ... The Blazers outrebounded the Bucs 52-28 on the night and held a 22-5 advantage in second chance points to hand ETSU its most lop-sided loss of the early season. Besides the nice moments for his father, there was not much to smile about for ETSU's head coach ... The Bucs got double figure scoring from senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) with 14 points, while junior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) added 11. However, UAB got a double-double from Elijah Millsap with 11 points and 15 rebounds, while Jamarr Sanders scored a game high 17 points. In addition, George Drake scored a season high 16 points and Kenneth Copper pitched in 11 ... ETSU got out of the gate with a strong start and led early when a Tubbs 3-pointer found the mark, making it 11-10 with 13:25 left in the first half. However, with the score 16-15 in favor of UAB at the 9:48 mark, the Blazers went on a 12-0 run to garner their largest lead of the half at 28-15 and later led 37-25 at the halftime break ... In the first half, ETSU shot just 37 percent from the floor and was unable to stop the Blazers on the glass, as UAB held a 22-14 advantage on the glass. Those numbers in the paint led to an 11-2 edge for the Blazers in second chance points and the main reason for UAB's lead at the break ...      After the break, Smith came ready to play and scored nine quick points to power an ETSU rally that pulled the Bucs to within five points at 45-40 with 12:03 left in the game. Unfortunately for the Bucs, UAB responded to the run with a 9-0 spurt that pushed the lead to 14 at 44-50 with 9:43 left ... The ETSU offense continued to struggle over the next five minutes and UAB ultimately led by as many as 20 points at 64-44 with 4:43 left in the game, and never looked back from that point on ... For the game, UAB shot 41 percent from the floor and 70 percent from the foul line. Meanwhile, the Bucs hit on just 35 percent of their shots from the floor and could not force enough UAB turnovers ...   After a tough stretch of road games, the Bucs will return home for a pair on contests next week, taking on North Georgia on Dec. 10 inside Brooks Gym as part of the special "Back to Brooks" game. The team will then host Ohio Valley Conference foe Murray State on Dec. 12.

 

Bucs to go back in time at "Back to Brooks" game

The ETSU men's basketball team will return to the site of many great Buccaneer hoops moments Thursday night as they host North Georgia inside Brooks Gym ... Named after legendary head coach Madison Brooks, Brooks Gym was home for Buccaneer basketball until the mid-1970s, when what is now called the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center opened ... Tonight, the Bucs will wear special retro uniforms designed after the 1968 squad and will honor longtime great Tom Chilton, who scored over 1,800 points while playing inside Brooks Gym ... In addition, fans will be encouraged to wear 1960s attire.

 

Smith's status still in doubt

Though he has played in four games this season and most recently scored a season high 14 points against UAB (12/4), senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) continues to battle nagging injuries ... This has left his status for this week -- and the rest of the year -- still in doubt ... No decision has been made at this point on whether Smith will redshirt this season or whether he will attempt to return to the floor this year ... Smith has been out of practice the last few days.

 

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 one week ago ... 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 15.8 points per game and 8.3 rebounds a contest ... while he has posted double-doubles in five of the last eight 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, and a game high 22 points in the loss to Tennessee  ... currently, Tubbs has eclipsed double-figure scoring in six of the Bucs first eight games and is second on the team with 15.6 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.

 

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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