DELAND, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2011)
-- On Super Bowl Sunday, the ETSU men's basketball team will hope to sustain its drive toward an Atlantic Sun Conference championship, as the Buccaneers take on A-Sun foe Stetson at 3 p.m. inside the Edmunds Center.
The Bucs, 17-8 overall, 12-2 in league play, enjoyed a win over the Hatters earlier this season inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center and have won 13 of their last 14 games . The team is coming off a 66-59 road win over FGCU on Friday night.
For more on Sunday's game, click on the game notes link above or read the game notes located below. For more on ETSU men's basketball throughout the season, 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.
The ETSU men's basketball team only added to its rich history of success during the 2009-10 season, capturing its second straight Atlantic Sun Conference Championship and earning the program's ninth trip all-time to the NCAA Tournament ... Posting the program's fourth 20-win season in the past seven years, the Bucs overcame multiple challenges during the season before dropping Mercer in the A-Sun finals.
The series versus Stetson
The Bucs are 10-5 all-time against the Hatters ... However, ETSU and Stetson split two games in 2009-10, with each team winning on the road ... This season, ETSU won the first meeting between the two teams 62-42 in Johnson City.
Last time against Stetson
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 10, 2011) - By producing a 19-0 offensive run midway through the first half and holding Stetson to just 42 points for the game, the ETSU men's basketball team picked up its sixth straight victory with a 62-42 Atlantic Sun Conference win over the Hatters inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. ... The 42 points allowed matched the 2000-01 Buccaneers, who held Lynchburg to just 42 in a 65-42 victory 10 years ago. Against Division I opponents, it was the lowest point total for an ETSU opponent since 1997-98, when Coastal Carolina scored just 41 against the Bucs. ... On the offensive end, senior guards Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) and Micah Williams (Manchester) were the difference, posting 23 and 19 points, respectively. ... The Bucs initially got off to a slow start, as the Hatters for the third straight year attempted to slow the game down and get ETSU out of its running and gunning style. It worked until the 8:19 mark, when Stetson went up by three at 14-11 thanks to a pair of free throws from Aaron Graham. ... At that point, the Bucs manufactured a 19-0 offensive run and built a lead of 30-14. During that stretch, ETSU held the Hatters scoreless until a 3-pointer from Aaron Graham with 30 seconds left in the half made it 30-17. The 17 points for Stetson in the first half matched the lowest point total of the season for an ETSU opponent, as Milligan only managed 17 as well. ... In the second half, Stetson pulled to within nine at 34-25, but from there the Bucs methodically built their lead to as many as 21 points at 54-33 with just under five minutes left in the game.
Last time out
FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 4, 2011) - Senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) scored 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half and the ETSU men's basketball team overcame some uncharacteristic offensive droughts to drop Atlantic Sun Conference foe Florida Gulf Coast 66-59 Friday evening inside Alico Arena. ... With the win, the Buccaneers stay one game back of Belmont in the league race, improving to 17-8 overall, 12-2 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, the Eagles dropped to 5-16, 2-10. ... In a matchup of two of the Atlantic Sun Conference's large, public institutions, the Bucs endured two stretches of offensive futility - one for eight minutes in the first half and another five-minute stretch in the second half. But on the defensive end, the Bucs forced 20 turnovers and cashed those in for a 26-12 advantage in points off turnovers. ... Along with Smith, fellow senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) scored 15 points to lead the ETSU attack. ... In the first half, ETSU raced out of the gates with a 12-1 run over the first four minutes of play. However, at that point the Bucs went cold from the field, not scoring for the next eight minutes of game time and allowing FGCU to take a 17-16 lead on Kevin Cantinol's dunk with 6:56 left in the half. ... The Bucs regrouped from there and regained the advantage, ultimately leading 30-23 at the break. ... In the second half, Smith found his rhythm offensively after scoring just two points in the first half. He netted 11 of the Bucs first 21 points of the second half and helped his team to a 51-34 advantage with 12:04 left in the game. ... However, for the second time in the game, ETSU went into an offensive funk and scored just two points over a five-minute period. This allowed the Eagles to cut into the ETSU lead and go on a 14-2 run to make it 53-48 with 6:54 left in the contest. ... From there, a 3-pointer from the left wing by Smith and a pair of free throws from Sollazzo made it 60-51, and ETSU went on to go up by as many as 11 with just over two minutes left. While FGCU was able to whittle away at the lead a bit in the final minutes, but finished seven points back at 66-59.
Williams eclipses 1,000; Smith moving up scoring 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) ... Below is where both players stand in the all-time scoring list:
Name Place Points
Mike Smith No. 8 1,584
Micah Williams No. 33 1,046
Smith wins his third A-Sun POTW honor this season
For the third time this season, ETSU senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) has been named the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday. ... Smith became the first A-Sun player to win the weekly honor three times in a season since Mercer's James Florence accomplished that feat during the 2008-09 campaign. Last week, Smith powered the Buccaneers to a perfect 3-0 record, eclipsing 20 points in each of those victories. ... Along the way, Smith twice set new career highs for scoring in a game, netting 27 points in the win over Kennesaw State (1/29) and then posting 28 points in the win over Mercer (1/31). In addition, Smith surpassed the 1,500-point mark in the Bucs' win over USC Upstate (1/25), as the 6-foot-6 guard scored 22 points. ... In all, Smith averaged 25.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game last week. He shot an impressive 58 percent from 3-point range, 56 percent from the field, and 91 percent at the foul line in those three wins.
Sollazzo rolling in last 15 games for ETSU
Junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) has really found his rhythm in the last 15 games, leading the team with 4.3 assists per game, and ranking third on the team with 12.3 points per game ... He has netted double figures in 10 of those 15 games ... In those contests, Sollazzo is shooting an impressive 63-of-104 from the field for a 61 percent clip ... he is also averaging 2.9 rpg in this stretch ... The Bucs are 13-2 in this span.
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. ... In addition, Smith is only the third player nationally to achieve that mark this season.
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.
Bucs help bolster A-Sun to strong RPI standings
With a pair of signature wins already this season, the ETSU men's basketball team - along with other members of the Atlantic Sun Conference - is doing its part to put the league in some impressive company on the national hoops stage. ... With wins over Atlantic 10 Conference stalwart Dayton and Southeastern Conference West Division favorite Mississippi State, the Buccaneers have helped the A-Sun generate plenty of waves across the board in the national RPI rankings. As a result, one month into the 2010-11 NCAA men's basketball season, the Atlantic Sun Conference is ranked ahead of other mid-major leagues including the Southern, Ohio Valley, Big South, West Coast, Mid-American, WAC and Sun Belt. ... The A-Sun remains among the top half of the conferences in the country. CollegeRPI.com ranks the A-Sun 14th, immediately behind the Horizon, Conference USA and Missouri Valley, and ahead of the conferences mentioned above. Against the Southern, Big South, Sun Belt and Ohio Valley conferences, the A-Sun owns a 15-8 mark. ... The conference has more than held its own against the BCS conferences. With ETSU's win at Mississippi State, the conference grabbed its fifth win against the "Power-6" leagues. No conference eligible for consideration for the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll owns as many BCS wins as the A-Sun. The five wins represent the most for the league since 2007-08.
Home Sweet Dome
Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 147-46 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 ... In 2007-08, the Bucs were 11-2 at Memorial Center ... In 2008-09, the Bucs were again 11-2 at home, and last year the team dropped off to a 9-5 clip at the Dome ... This season, the Bucs are 7-1at home.