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Bucs set to begin quest for third straight A-Sun title
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
MACON, Ga. (March 2, 2011) -- With hopes of garnering a third straight tournament title and the program's 10th trip to the NCAA Tournament, the ETSU men's basketball team will open play in the 2011 General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Conference Men's Basketball Championships Wednesday evening, taking on No. 7 seeded Campbell at 9 p.m. inside Mercer's University Center.
The No. 2 seeded Buccaneers, who enter the tournament at 21-10 overall, have made four NCAA Tournament trips in the last eight years. They are currently on a six-game winning streak in A-Sun Tournament play, having captured the league title in both 2009 and 2010.
For more on the Bucs as they prepare for this week's action in Macon, click on the links above or read the game notes located below. For more on ETSU men's basketball, throughout the postseason, 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 Bucs in the A-Sun Tournament
Entering just their sixth Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, the Buccaneers are 9-3 all-time and are currently on a six-game winning streak in tournament play ... Most recently, ETSU enjoyed a perfect 3-0 run through the event a year ago en route to a second straight conference title and trip to the NCAAs ... The Bucs' previous trips included a loss in the first round of the event in 2006, advancing to the finals in 2007, falling in the semifinals in 2008, and winning the tournament in both 2009 and 2010 ... In conference tournaments all-time (including the Southern and Ohio Valley), the Bucs are 39-21, having gone 8-3 in league championship final games.
ETSU in conference finals
The Buccaneers have played in 10 previous tournament finals and hold an impressive 7-3 mark ... The following is a breakdown of those games:
1983 -- vs. Chattanooga, 70-62 (L)
1989 -- vs. Marshall, 96-73 (W)
1990 -- vs. Appalachian State, 96-75 (W)
1991 -- vs. Appalachian State, 101-82 (W)
1992 -- vs. Chattanooga, 74-62 (W)
1993 -- vs. Chattanooga, 86-75 (L)
2003 -- vs. Chattanooga, 97-90 (W)
2004 -- vs. Chattanooga, 78-62 (W)
2007 -- vs. Belmont, 67-94 (L)
2009 -- vs. Jacksonville, 85-68 (W)
2010 -- vs. Mercer, 72-66 (W)
Bucs hoping to add one more NCAA trip
Having already made nine trips to the NCAA Tournament in its history, the ETSU men's basketball team would like to add another conference tournament trophy to the case in the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center ... The Bucs' current stretch of success under head coach Murry Bartow is arguably the second best run in ETSU hoops history ... The most memorable stretch was from 1989 to 1992, when the Bucs made four straight trips to the NCAAS, were ranked in the Top 10 nationally (1991), and defeated Arizona in the NCAA first round of the tournament in 1992 ... The Bucs only other trip prior to that run came in 1968 ... While head coach Ed DeChellis took the Bucs to the tournament in 2003, Bartow has taken the Bucs to the tournament three times (2004, 2009 and 2010), while also leading ETSU to the 2007 NIT.
The series versus Campbell
The Bucs and Camels have met 16 times, with most of those games coming since ETSU joined the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2005-06 ... The Bucs hold an 14-2 edge in the series ... ETSU won the last meeting 66-59 less than a week ago in Buies Creek, N.C., snapping a two-game losing streak in Gore Arena ... The Bucs also ousted the Camels from the A-Sun Tournament in last year's first round. ... In that game a year ago, current senior Micah Williams (Manchester) scored a career high 32 points in a 72-64 win, which also ignited a three-game run for the Buccaneers that resulted in a second-straight A-Sun title ... Williams ultimately earned tournament MVP honors.
Last time out
BUIES CREEK, N.C. (Feb. 24, 2011) - With three of its major contributors sitting on the bench in street clothes, the ETSU men's basketball team got a career high 22 points from junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) and dominated the offensive glass en route to a 66-59 victory over Campbell in Atlantic Sun Conference hoops action Thursday night at Gore Arena. ... The short-handed Bucs, who conclude their regular season schedule at 21-10 overall, 16-4 in the A-Sun, played without the services of senior guards Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) and Micah Williams (Manchester), as well as sophomore guard Sheldon Cooley (Tampa). Smith missed the game with a left ankle injury, Williams was out with a right shoulder sprain, and Cooley sat out due to an illness. All three are expected to be back for next week's A-Sun Tournament quarterfinal game Wednesday evening in Macon, Ga. ... Along with Sollazzo's 22 points, the Bucs also got 21 points and eight rebounds from junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.), another 14 points from senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) and sophomore J.C. Ward (Marietta, Ga.) started the game and added eight rebounds. ... ETSU out-rebounded the Camels 38-21 on the night, and held an impressive 18-4 edge in offensive boards. The Bucs outscored Campbell 20-0 on second chance points, and held a 32-16 advantage in the paint. ... Both teams battled back and forth in the first half, with nine ties and five lead changes in the first 20 minutes of play. The Buccaneers utilized its size - with forwards Curtis Wilkinson (Bude, Miss.) and Lukas Poderis (Tampa) getting substantial minutes - and elected to go with three inside players much of the time, outscoring Campbell 26-4 in the paint. ... The result was a 33-30 ETSU lead at the intermission, with Brown scoring 12 points and Sollazzo adding 10 in the first half. ETSU shot 41 percent from the floor in the first half, and outrebounded Campbell 21-12. ... In the second half, the Bucs twice led by as many as nine points, but saw Campbell cut the lead to just four at 57-53 with four minutes left on the clock. From there, ETSU responded by going 7-of-10 from the free throw line to complete the victory. In the second half, the Bucs were a strong 21-of-28 from the free throw 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.
Smith, Williams snap starting streaks
Senior guards Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) and Micah Williams (Manchester) were both nursing injuries last week ... Smith missed most of the Lipscomb game with a left ankle injury, while Williams injured his right shoulder during practice earlier this week ... Both sat out the regular season finale at Campbell ... The health issues snapped two extended streaks for consecutive starts, as Williams streak ended at 55 and Smith's at 30 straight games.
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 then picked up another three blocks in the win over Lipscomb, giving him 60 for the season and ranking him third 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 six back of Zakee Wadood for second on the single season list ... Wadood also holds first place on that page, 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; mith 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. 8 1,665
Micah Williams No. 33 1,132
Sollazzo rolling in last 21 games for ETSU
Junior guard Adam Sollazzo (Tampa) has really found his rhythm in the last 21 games, leading the team with 4.5 assists per game, and ranking third on the team with 12.1 points per game ... He has netted double figures in 13 of those 21 games ... In those contests, Sollazzo is shooting an impressive 83-of-157 from the field for a 53 percent clip ... he is also averaging 3.5 rpg in this stretch ... The Bucs are 17-4 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.
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.