BALTIMORE (Nov. 19, 2009) -- The ETSU men's basketball team will continue its road warrior ways Thursday night, taking on the second of three straight teams that made the 2009 NCAA Tournament field a year ago when they face the Morgan State Bears Thursday night at 7 p.m. inside Hill Field House.
The Buccaneers (1-1) will be looking to rebound after a tough 85-76 loss to in-state rival Chattanooga Tuesday night -- a game in which the Bucs led by as many as nine points in the second half. ETSU's current three-game road swing will then end on Saturday at 4 p.m. when the Bucs take on perennial powerhouse Louisville. The game with the Cardinals will air live locally on WJHL-TV 11 Connects.
For more on ETSU's game with Morgan State, including up-to-date statistics and more information, click on the game notes link located above, or read the game notes below.
The series against Morgan State
This will be the first meeting between the Bucs and Bears.
Last time out
CHATTANOOGA (Nov. 17, 2009) - A double-double effort and career high 26 points from junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) were not enough to overcome ETSU's poor foul shooting and second half offensive struggles inside the McKenzie Arena, as the Buccaneers relinquished a nine-point second half lead to fall 85-76 to former Southern Conference rival Chattanooga ... The Bucs (1-1), who were a disappointing 14-of-29 from the charity stripe and hit only eight field goals in the second half, looked on as Chattanooga (2-0) went 22-of-27 from the foul line and outscored the Bucs 38-24 in the second half. ETSU senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) was in street clothes on the bench and his offensive presence was missed in the loss ... No one on the ETSU bench could have seen the second half offensive struggles coming, especially after the first half offensive blitz ... The first 20 minutes was an offensive clinic by both teams, as the Bucs and Mocs torched the nets for a combined 99 points, with ETSU hitting 51 percent of its field goals and UTC matching those numbers with a 50 percent clip from the floor ... There were eight ties and eight lead changes in the first 20 minutes, but it appeared Chattanooga was on its way to building a significant lead when Ridge McKeither's 3-pointer with 3:44 left before the intermission made it 47-40 in favor of the Mocs. However, ETSU answered in fine fashion by scoring 12 unanswered points to close out the first half with a 52-47 advantage ... Hubbard led the way in the first half, taking just 20 minutes to score 14 points and eclipse his previous career point total of 11. Six of Hubbard's points came from beyond three-point range, even though he had never hit a shot from beyond the arc in his previous two seasons with the Bucs ... In the second half, the Bucs built their lead to as many as nine points early in the second half at 58-49, but a four-minute scoring drought allowed the Mocs to rally and ultimately build a lead of six points at 68-62 with 8:03 left in the game. The Bucs couldn't rally from there and ultimately fell 85-76 ... Hubbard finished with a game-high 26 points and 13 rebounds, while sophomore forward Isiah Brown (Miami) posted 13 points and senior guard Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) pitched in 11. The Bucs shot 44 percent from the field, but only 48 percent from the foul line.
Charity stripe woes cost Bucs
Shooting just 52 percent from the foul line so far this season, the Buccaneers are showing how poor foul shooting can cost a team ... Against Chattanooga, ETSU attempted two more foul shots than the Mocs (29-27), but UTC hit on 22 of their attempts compared to just 14 for the Bucs ... A year ago, this was a strength for ETSU, which as a team shot 71 percent from the line.
Hubbard steps up on offensive end
Much has been written and reported about junior forward Tommy Hubbard (Boston) and his efforts to improve his offensive game ... Already considered one of the best defenders in the A-Sun, Hubbard's hardwork finally paid dividends against Chattanooga ... 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 ... Hubbard also set career highs for field goals (9), field goals attempted (13), 3-pointers attempted (5), blocks (1) and steals (2).
ETSU games at Louisville, Arkansas to air live locally
In cooperation with WJHL 11 Connects, the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is proud to announce that fans throughout the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina regions will be able to watch the Bucs take on BCS schools Louisville and Arkansas live on television ... The Bucs take on Louisville on Saturday at 4 p.m., while the Arkansas game is set for 8 p.m. (EST) on Nov. 27.
Sollazzo steps up on night ETSU honors Coy
Before the start of Saturday's Homecoming game against Appalachian State, 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 lift the Bucs to a victory.
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 contributions from the bench.
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.
Turnovers key for Bucs during recent success
Since winning five of their last six games a year ago and their two exhibition games this season, the Buccaneers are showing why their focus on defense is so important ... Most coaches believe that team's should score at least one point to every single turnover they force ... For the Bucs, this number has been much higher ... In their last six games a year ago, the Bucs forced 103 turnovers and scored 132 points off those opponent mistakes ... This is an average of 22 points off 17 turnovers a game -- well over the ratio most coaches desire ... If one adds in this year's two exhibition games, those numbers go to 25 points off 19 turnovers.
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.
ETSU the "only" A-Sun team 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.
Sollazzo to honor Coy with number change
When ETSU's rising sophomore forward Seth Coy (Montgomery, Ind.) was tragically killed in a car accident this summer, it left the entire Buccaneer community with a deep sense of loss ... As is often the case, those that are left to mourn have looked for ways to remember the Bucs' 6-foot-11 "Gentle Giant." ... For sophomore guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa), who was Coy's roommate, the answer was simple ... Changing his jersey number from No. 20 to Coy's No. 43, Sollazzo will play the 2009-10 season to honor his friend and have that memory with him each night.