East Tennessee State 2010 NCAA Tournament Preview
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East Tennessee State Buccaneers - Atlantic Sun Conference (20-14, 13-7)
Seed: #16 - East Region
Big Wins: 11/14 Appalachian State (62-58), 11/25 Charleston (77-71), 2/27 at Jacksonville (64-62)
Bad Losses: 11/17 at Chattanooga (76-85), 1/14 Stetson (52-54), 2/14 Mercer (77-82)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2009, First Round loss to Pittsburgh
Coach: Murry Bartow (0-3 in 3 NCAA appearances)
Probable East Tennessee State Starters:
Jocolby Davis, Senior, Guard, 2.8 ppg, 2.4 apg
Micah Williams, Junior, Guard, 12.5 ppg, 1.0 apg
Justin Tubbs, Junior, Guard, 12.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Tommy Hubbard, Junior, Guard, 14.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg
Isiah Brown, Sophomore, Forward, 7.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.5 bpg
Key East Tennessee State Roleplayers:
Sheldon Cooley, Freshman, Guard, 6.9 ppg, 1.8 apg
Jarvis Jones, Sophomore, Guard, 4.1 ppg, 1.1 rpg
Adam Sollazzo, Sophomore, Guard, 3.7 ppg, 1.7 apg
J.C. Ward, Freshman, Forward, 2.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Why The Buccaneers Can Surprise:
East Tennessee State willed their way into the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year due to their tenacious defense, but it takes some offense to win games too and the Bucaneers have a trio of guards who have emerged as a dynamic scoring threat. Tommy Hubbard, a 6-4 junior, is the team’s best scorer. He is not much of an outside shooter, but he will use his size to attack the basket and he does that quite well. He is also the team’s best rebounder and averages an incredible 8.3 rebounds per game. That is not bad at all for a guard.
Micah Williams and Justin Tubbs are the other two scorers on the perimeter. Tubbs is mostly a three-point shooter and he takes 6.6 long balls per game. That is a majority of his shots, but Tubbs can be a decent mid-range player. Williams is a mixture of Tubbs and Hubbard. He is a better outside shooter than Hubbard and will also attack the basket quite effectively. Add subs Sheldon Cooley and Jarvis Jones to the mix and ETSU has a lot of talent on the perimeter.
Why The Buccaneers Can Disappoint:
But that is the problem. This is a very perimeter orientated team. While Hubbard is a great rebounder and has turned the Buccaneers into a solid team on the glass, he is only 6-4 and is forced to spend quite a bit of time at the power forward position. Some opposing power forwards can simply back him down or face him up and shoot over him. Isiah Brown is the lone starter who is really a forward. The 6-8 sophomore has done an admirable job on both ends of the floor. He has developed into a decent interior scorer, rebounder and shot blocker. J.C. Ward is only 6-6, but he is a good rebounder and will spell Brown when he needs a break. The only other major contributor with any size is Adam Sollazzo and he is a guard. While the 6-6 Sollazzo does a good job on the defensive end against taller opponents, he is not much of a scorer or rebounder.
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Who To Watch for ETSU:
It is Jocolby Davis’ job to serve up all the talented guards. Davis does not have eye popping numbers. In fact, his numbers are only eye popping in a negative way. He is not a shooter or a scorer. His assists-to-turnover ratio is barely in the black, but he does the things that do not show up on a stat sheet. Davis plays great defense and is the steadying force behind the offense. Coach Murry Bartow relies on his senior to be a leader on the floor and keep the team moving at a relatively slow pace and that is exactly what Davis has done all year long.
East Tennessee State By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.2 (169th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.5 (133, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.5 (178, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.5 (91, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.1 (272, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.0 (256, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.3 (252, 7)
Rebound Margin: 0.9 (161, 5)
Assists Per Game: 10.9 (299, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.9 (257, 7)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Kentucky