CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 4, 2013) – In search of its first road victory of the season, the ETSU men’s basketball team will again take on a former Ohio Valley Conference rival as the Buccaneers face Austin Peay.
Tip is set for 8 p.m. (EST) Wednesday inside the Dunn Center.
The Bucs (3-5), who have won three of their last four games, will face an Austin Peay team that currently stands at 4-3 on the season. ETSU lost the last meeting between the two schools back in 2005, but the Bucs hold a 39-30 advantage in the all-time series.
ETSU will also face Austin Peay inside the ETUS/MSHA Athletic Center later this month on Dec. 21.
For more on Wednesday’s game, read the game notes below or click on the game notebook link to the right. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2013-14 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 program was glad to see the 2012-13 campaign come to an end, following a season which saw the team face multiple obstacles and challenges -- such as a brutal schedule that featured the likes of North Carolina, Arizona, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Georgia and Hawaii ... Other issues for the team included senior post Lukas Poderis (Port Richey, Fla.) missing the season with ankle injury that he suffered in the preseason, senior guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) being academically ineligible for the first two months of the year, and two other senior guards who were expected to be major contributors were dismissed from the team in early November for violations of team rules … This left head coach Murry Bartow and his coaching staff with a young, inexperienced group of underclassmen, several true freshmen, one redshirt freshman and a pair of junior college transfers … Those obstacles proved to be tough to overcome, as the Buccaneers posted a 10-22 record and finished 8-10 in Atlantic Sun Conference play … It was the toughest campaign in Bartow’s 10 seasons at ETSU, a tenure that has produced many championships, postseason tournament appearances and 20-win campaigns … In all, Bartow’s teams have earned three NCAA Tournament invitations (2004, 2009 and 2010), one NIT appearance (2007), and one CIT berth (2011), and the Bucs have eclipsed 20 wins five times. … This year, the Bucs will once again take to the floor with a young squad made up of several new faces … In fact, despite the return of the 6-fooot-9 Poderis, the Bucs have just five players back this season who played significant minutes a year ago.
The series vs. Austin Peay
The Bucs and Governors have a long history on the basketball floor, an in-state series that dates back to their time together in the Ohio Valley Conference ... ETSU leads the all-time series 39-30, but lost the last meeting back on Dec. 17, 2005, on the road in Clarksville, 84-71.
Last time out against Austin Peay
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 17, 2005) – Austin Peay shot 57 percent from the floor and guard Maurice Hampton scored a game-high 26 points as the Governors dropped ETSU 84-71 Saturday night in the Dunn Center. ... Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) was the points leader for the Bucs, scoring 24, while Courtney Pigram (Memphis, Tenn.) chipped in 16 points and four rebounds. ... The Govs (5-4) outscored the Buccaneers (1-6) in the first half, 46-36, and 38-35 in the second. Austin Peay’s largest lead was 21 in the second half at 10:42 while East Tennessee’s biggest lead of 6 came in the first half at 13:35. Both teams made 28 points in the paint. ... Zac Schlader added 12 points, Landon Shipley scored 11 and Fernandez Lockett finished with 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds. ... The Bucs scored 31 points off turnovers though Austin Peay was able to slightly edge them out with 32. The Govs shot 57.4 percent from the field to East Tennessee’s 46.7 percent.
Last time out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 30, 2013) – A familiar foe from the past brought out the best in the ETSU men’s basketball team Saturday afternoon. ... Shooting 54 percent from the field as a team and getting impressive individual performances from several players, the Buccaneers raced to an early lead and held back a late rally by former Southern Conference rival Marshall to collect an 88-78 victory in the final game of the First Bank and Trust Company Roundball Showcase inside Freedom Hall. ... The Bucs improved to 3-5 overall on the season and finished the three-game experiment inside Freedom Hall with an unblemished 3-0 record. Meanwhile, current Conference USA member Marshall dropped to 3-4 on the year. ... For sure, after coming off a game in which the Bucs were outrebounded 45-26 at Tennessee Tech, the Bucs held their own against the Thundering Herd. The Bucs were led by senior forward Hunter Harris (Nashville), who finished with a double-double thanks to a 17-point, 13-rebound effort. In addition to Harris, the Bucs also got a game-high 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.), along with 13 points each from junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) and sophomore forward Lester Wilson (Knoxville). ... In the first half, the Bucs trailed 11-9 with 14:07 left on the clock, but then outscored the Herd 37-23 the rest of the way to lead 46-34 at the break. ... That advantage grew to as many as 16 points at 52-36 with 19:09 left in the game, but from there Marshall would methodically rally and ultimately pulled to within two points at 70-68 with 5:41 left in the game. However, from that point the Bucs would hit seven of their final eight foul shots and ice the game for good with a dunk by Harris with 19 seconds left to make it 88-78.
Stat comparison: Freedom Hall vs. The Season
Much has been made of the Bucs perfect 3-0 record inside Freedom Hall this season, as the team moved from its normal home on campus at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center to play a special trio of games at the civic center ... The difference in the statsitical analysis is telling between games played at Freedom Hall and the rest of the year:
Statistical category Freedom Hall (3-0) Overall Season (0-5)
ETSU scoring 81.0 PPG.................. 67.4 PPG
Opponent scoring 70.3 PPG................. 76.4 PPG
Rebounding margin +3.7............................... -11.6
Shooting % .513.............................. .409
3-pt. shooting % .353.............................. .326
Foul shooting % .705............................... .683
Individual players have also thrived. For instance, sophomore forward Lester Wilson is averaging 12 ppg in Freedom Hall compared to 8.6 ppg overall on the year. He is also shooting eight percentage points better from the field in Freedom Hall.
All-around effort by Gadsden-Gilliard impressive
Setting new personal bests with 12 rebounds and six assists in the win over Samford (11/21), senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) had people thinking “triple-double” when he added an 18-point effort to his statistical line ... The Bucs hope that KGG can make these types of efforts more consistent ... KGG responded to that expectation by putting together a 19-point, seven-rebound and seven-assist outing against Marshall in an 88-78 victory on Nov. 30.
Giplaye makes return following open heart surgery
Earlier this year, the Buccaneers got a serious scare when junior forward Ron Giplaye (Lowell, Mass.) had to undergo open heart surgery for a condition that was described as “life threatening.” Following the successful procedure, Giplaye has slowly regained his strength and was able to play two minutes against Tennessee Tech (11/27), marking his first competitive compeition since the 2011-12 season when he played at Providence.
Bucs improve defensively, but inside game struggling
A year ago, ETSU allowed teams to shoot a high percentrage from the field and from the 3-point line ... This year, ETSU’s defensive efforts have paid off as the Bucs have held teams shooting to 42 percent from the field and 27 percent from 3-point range ... However, as the Bucs have improved outside, the team has struggled in the paint ... Currently, ETSU’s rebound margin is -5.8, and the Bucs have been out-rebounded by a total of 314-267 ... Those numbers have led to more second-chance points for opponents and the difference in the outcome of two games.
Merriweather continues to shine, posts double-double
Freshman guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.) has certainly made an impression in the early going this season, and he continued to make more news against Morehead State (11/12) ... The 6-2 guard collected his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, to go along with a pair of assists, a block and a steal in 35 minutes of play ... His current team ranks are first in rebounding (7.0 rpg), second in steals (1.0 spg), third in scoring (9.8 ppg), and third in minutes played (27.4 mpg).
Young Bucs still face obstacles with experience
The last two seasons, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow has faced the challenge of developing a roster with minimal experience ... As the 2013-14 Buccaneers begin play, Bartow is once again looking at a team with several new faces and limited playing time ... In all, the Bucs return just six players who saw time on the floor last sesaon, while there are a total of seven newcomers to the program ... When counting the entire 15-man roster, the Bucs have a total of just 11 varsity seasons between the team for an average of less than a season per player.
Shuffling starters the “new normal” for Bucs
Last season, ETSU head coach Murry Bartow used 17 different starting lineups in the team’s 32 games ... Injuries and dismissals left the ETSU’s coaches searching for the right combination all season. ... Bartow hoped to find more stability with his rotation in 2013-14, however he has now used five different starting lineups in eight games so far this season. ... He has seemed to settle into the current lineup of Harris, Rembert, Gadsden-Gilliard, Merriweather and McClain, as that group is currently 3-1 over the last four games.
Rembert hoping to stay hot as 2013-14 season begins
Junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa) has made the most of his increased playing time over the last two seasons, having made a 3-pointer in 37 straight games dating back to last season ... Last season, Rembert ranked fourth in the A-Sun in 3-point field goal percentage at 39.7 percent for the year. ... This year, Rembert has shown signs of expanding his offensive productivity, as he averaged 21.0 points per game in the Bucs’ exhibitions against Milligan (10/29) and Mars Hill (11/2) ... In fact, he put up a stunning 33 points on nine made 3-pointers in the win over Milligan.
KGG, Merriweather enjoy strong debuts at Charlotte
With his career-high, 31-point effort in the loss at Charlotte (11/8), senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) certainly made an impression on those inside Halton Arena. ... Along with KGG’s showing, freshman A.J. Merriweather (Jackson, Tenn.) did not shy away from the challenge of his first college game and the assignment of defending Charlotte guard Pierria Henry ... While KGG finished with career bests for points (31), field goals made (10) and 3-pointers made (4), Merriweather finished with 10 points to go along with team highs for rebounds (7) and steals (3) in 29 minutes of play.
Bucs have tradition of postseason appearances, success
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) ... In 2011, the Bucs made their first ever appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, winning twice and advancing to the semifinals of that event ... It was the program’s 12th postseason tournament appearance all-time.
Three-point streak for Bucs dates back nearly 20 years
Since Feb. 16, 1987 in a game against Davidson, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 801 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game.
ETSU picked among nation’s best “Prestige” programs
In 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 Bucs -- who have enjoyed nine NCAA trips, one NIT and one CIT berth, 14 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 team, as well as former SoCon rivals Appalachian State, Western Carolina, Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro. In addition, at that time the Bucs ranked ahead of SEC schools such as Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Georgia, Mississippi and Auburn, as well as programs such as Notre Dame, DePaul, Bradley, Clemson and Fla. State.