Tuesday, March 15, 2011JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 15, 2011) -- For the first time in school history, the ETSU men's basketball team will host a game in a national postseason tournament, as the Buccaneers will take on former Southern Conference rival Furman Tuesday evening in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tourament.
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.
Bucs add to postseason resume
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) ... This will be the Bucs first ever appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, and the program's 12th postseason tournament appearance all-time.
ETSU "only" A-Sun team picked among nation's best "Prestige" programs
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 ESPN.com's "Prestige" ranking released back in 2008 ... Since that time, the Bucs have only added to their list of prestigious honors … The Buccaneers, who have enjoyed nine NCAA Tournament trips, one NIT berth, 11 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. 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.
The series versus Furman
ETSU has a long history with the Furman Paladins, having faced its former Southern Conference foe a total of 46 times in a series that dates back to 1962 ... Most of those meetings came during the Bucs' years in the Southern Conference from 1979 to 2005 ... The series is tied 23-23, with ETSU holding a win in the last meeting 87-84 in the first round of the 2005 SoCon Tournament.
Last time against Furman
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (March 2, 2005) - East Tennessee State University junior guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) scored a game-high 37 points and matched his career high for 3-point goals with five, leading the Buccaneers to an 87-84 win over Furman in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament Wednesday night at McKenzie Arena. ... The Bucs got off to a quick start, as junior guard Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) grabbed the opening tip and raced to a layup on the other end. From there, the Bucs led the rest of the first half and built a lead of as many as nine points. While Rhoda sparked the offense initially, Smith powered the ETSU engine the rest of the half, scoring 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor, as the Bucs led 45-40 at the intermission. ... In the second half, ETSU continued to build its advantage, leading by as many as 11 points at 72-61 with 9:11 remaining in the contest. However, Furman came charging back behind the play of sophomore guard Robby Bostain and senior forward Ben Earle. Bostain scored all of his 16 points in the second half, while Earle hit three of his four 3-pointers after the break. ... With the score 76-74 in favor of the Bucs, Earle's second three of the half gave Furman its only lead of the game at 77-76. It was then that Smith came through again. With the shot clock winding down, Smith seemed to be trapped in the corner and threw up a desperation 3-pointer that found its mark. ... While Furman senior Nicholas Sanders tied the game once more at 79-79 with a tip-in at the 2:30 mark, the Bucs went on to outscore Furman 8-5 the rest of the way to take the win. Bostain took a running 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the shot did not find its mark. ... Along with Smith, Rhoda netted 17 points and four rebounds, while freshman post Andrew Reed (Port Richey, Fla.) collected his second career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. In nine postseason games - which includes two first round NCAA Tournament contests -- Smith is averaging 25.3 points per game.
Last time out
MACON, Ga. (March 4, 2011) - The ETSU men's basketball team had never lost to North Florida. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, that is no longer the case. ... Despite struggling offensively throughout the contest and trailing by as many as nine points in the second half, junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) still had a potential game-tying attempt miss the mark with 20 seconds left and the Bucs fell to North Florida 59-55 Friday in the semifinals of the General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Conference Championships at Mercer's University Center. ... Meanwhile, North Florida improved to 15-18 on the season. ... Senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) did all he could to break the Bucs out of their offensive funk, scoring a game-high 20 points. However, it was not enough to overcome a 35.2 percent shooting percentage and hitting on just 12.5 percent from 3-point range. ... Meanwhile, North Florida had four players in double figures, with both Parker Smith and David Jeune leading the way with 13 points apiece. ... As in their quarterfinal game against Campbell, the Bucs struggled to find their offensive rhythm in the first half and the Ospreys took advantage. With the game tied at 19-19, UNF manufactured a 10-1 run to take its largest lead of the game at 29-20 and seemed to be pulling away. However, ETSU responded with its own 7-2 in the final two minutes to make it 31-27 at the break. ... After the intermission, ETSU scored first to get within two, but once again the Bucs' offense could not muster any efficiency and UNF pulled back ahead by nine at 48-39 with 9:42 left in the game. A 3-pointer by Tubbs finally seemed to ignite the Bucs' spirits with just under nine minutes left, as ETSU went on a 9-2 run and made it 50-48 with 3:12 remaining in the contest. ... UNF ultimately led by five at 55-50 with 2:02 left, but ETSU managed to cut the lead to one at 56-55 with 32 seconds on the clock. After Juene hit one of two free throws, Sollazzo raced to the other end of the floor and put up a shot from in front of the rim, but with 14 seconds on the clock it rimmed out. ... Juene then iced the game at the line.
Smith named A-Sun POTY, Williams second team
The Atlantic Sun Conference office announced Tuesday that senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) was a unanimous pick as the 2010-11 Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year, while fellow senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) was a second team pick ... Smith becomes the ninth ETSU players all-time to win a conferenc POTY honor, and he is the fourth player to do so under head coach Murry Bartow ... He joins former Bucs Zakee Wadood (2004), Tim Smith (2006) and Courtney Pigram (2007) to win the honor under Bartow's direction ... This year, Smith led the Bucs in points (16.9 ppg), while finishing second in rebounds (6.9 rpg) ... Meanwhile, Williams finished second on the team with 14.9 points per game, and the 2010 A-Sun Tournament MVP posted 24 double-figure scoring efforts.
Home Sweet Dome
Since the 1996-97 season, the Buccaneers are an amazing 142-45 inside Memorial Center, good for a winning percentage of 77 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 ... In 2008-09, the Bucs were again 11-2 at home, and last year the team was 9-5 at the Dome ... This year, the Bucs are currently 11-1 at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Brown making a name as a "blocking machine"
With his six-block performance against Belmont, ETSU junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) matched the program's single-game record ... He since picked up four blocks in the win over Campbell and three in the loss to North Florida, giving him 67 for the season and ranking him second on the ETSU all-time single season block list ... Brown joins six other ETSU players who have had six-block games, including former standouts Brad Nuckles, Eryk Thomas, Jerald Fields, Zakee Wadood, Greg Dennis and Greg Hamlin. ... He is currently three blocks back of Zakee Wadood, who holds first place with 70 during the 2003-04 season.
Buccaneers place two plays on Sportscenter
The ETSU men's basketball team is making a habit of garnering airtime on ESPN Sportscenter's Top Plays. ... Just three weeks ago, senior Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) was selected as the No. 1 play of the day with his 360 degree slam dunk against Lipscomb on Jan. 21 in the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Well, the Buccaneers took it a step further against Jacksonville, placing two plays in the Top 10 and once again taking No. 1 ... Senior Micah Williams (Manchester) threw down a one-handed, alley-oop. That play was picked fourth in the countdown. ... Meanwhile, Tubbs again took the show after receiving a pass from junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa). ... Tubbs again executed the same 360-degree slam with even more flair. The Sportscenter hosts described it as a Winter X Games style dunk.
Williams eclipses 1,000; Smith moving up 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). Here is where they stand:
Name Place Points
Mike Smith No. 7 1,709
Micah Williams No. 33 1,150
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.
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.
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