Bucs hope to overcome odds at SoCon
Junior guard Tim Smith leads the Bucs in scoring with 21.3 points per game.
Junior guard Tim Smith leads the Bucs in scoring with 21.3 points per game.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (March 1, 2005) -- Despite being winners of two straight Southern Conference Tournament Championships and back-to-back participants in the NCAA Tournament, the East Tennessee State University men's basketball team enters the 2005 SoCon Tournament looking for redemption after a 2004-05 regular season that did not go as planned.

The Buccaneers begin their quest to win a third-straight SoCon Tournament title on Wednesday at 6 p.m., as they will face the Furman Paladins in first round play at McKenzie Arena. Live broadcasts from the tournament can be heard locally on any of the Mountain States Health Alliance Buccaneer Sports Network radio affiliates, or by clicking on the network logo located at ETSUBucs.com.

Thanks to a bevy of preseason injuries, several in-season injuries and player defections midway through the year, a depleted Buccaneer roster struggled for continuity throughout much of the 2004-05 regular season and finished the campaign with a disappointing 9-18 overall record and 4-12 SoCon mark. In their final trip to the SoCon Tournament before heading to the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2005-06, the Bucs hope their history of hoops success will be enough for one more run at greatness.

Led by the league's leading scorer in junior point guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.), who is averaging 21.3 ppg, and the league's best rebounder in junior forward Dillion Sneed (Chicago), who is averaging 9.6 rpg, ETSU second-year head coach Murry Bartow hopes to rally his troops for one more battle. Along with Smith and Sneed, veterans like Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio), James Anthony (Tampa, Fla.) and Sam Oatman (Neenah, Wis.) have made the trip to the SoCon title game twice before and will be counted on again in 2005.

But the road will not be easy, as the Bucs face a task never before accomplished - win four games in four days to capture the championship and a berth in the NCAAs.

For more on the Bucs as they head to the SoCon Tourney, click on the media guide link located at the top of this story.


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MCC NCAA South Regional Tallahassee, Fla.
Nov 14 13 of 22
WCC NCAA South Regional Tallahassee, Fla.
Nov 14 23 of 29
VB ETSU 3 Charleston, S.C.
Nov 14 The Citadel 1
WBB ETSU 81 Final
Nov 14 University of North Carolina at Asheville 68
Nov 14 Valparaiso 90
VB ETSU 3 Macon, Ga.
Nov 15 Mercer University 1
WBB High Point University 76 Final
Nov 17 ETSU 84
MBB Virginia-Wise 66 F
Nov 18 ETSU 111
WBB Appalachian State University 76 Final
Nov 19 ETSU 70
WBB ETSU 79 Final
Nov 21 Saint Francis University 63
VB ETSU Greensboro, N.C.
Nov 22, 12:00 p.m. No. 5 Western Carolina (SoCon Quarterfinal)
MBB UNC Asheville 87 F
Nov 22, 12:00 p.m. ETSU 98
MBB ETSU Rock Hill, S.C.
Nov 24, 7:00 p.m. Winthrop
WBB ETSU Terre Haute, Ind.
Nov 24, 8:00 p.m. Indiana State University
WBB ETSU Bloomington, Ind.
Nov 26, 2:00 p.m. Indiana University
WBB ETSU Blacksburg, Va.
Nov 29, 5:00 p.m. Virginia Tech University
MBB ETSU Morehead, Ky.
Dec 1, 7:00 p.m. Morehead State
WBB ETSU Fairfax, Va.
Dec 3, 5:00 p.m. George Mason University
MBB Western Carolina Freedom Hall
Dec 3, 8:00 p.m. ETSU