Bucs offer Darius Thompson, 6’3″ SG

According to Rivals, the Bucs have offered 6’3″ shooting guard Darius Thompson.  Several teams have already offered Thompson (see link below), including hometown MTSU. The Bucs will graduate 3 shooting guards following the 2012-13 season–Sheldon Cooley, Jarvis Jones, Marcus Dubose–so Thompson could help fill a need at off-guard.


9/5/2012 Update on Thompson. Source: Team Nashville Basketball
The son of a college coach, Darius Thompson is a smooth 6-foot-3 shooting guard with a feel for the game on the offensive end. He never has to waste dribbles, is a very good jump shooter and has the athleticism to get out and finish on the break. Thompson is built a bit slightly and has to get stronger, but he looks as if he would be a heck of a catch for programs such as Middle Tennessee State,Richmond, Tennessee State, Furman, East Tennessee State, Presbyterian, Drake and Stony Brook, which have offered. More recently, Boston College and Minnesota have expressed interest.

3/24/13 Update: Thompson has signed with Tennessee

I was able to find only limited footage of Thompson:

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Lester Wilson-6’4″ 205 lb F, Knoxville, TN

Lester Wilson

Introduction (by swvabucsfan):

Lester Wilson
“Basketball wise he is undersized for the forward position, but we think he is a lot like Kevin Tiggs in the sense that he doesn’t fit a position. He is a high-major athlete and is unbelievably efficient from 10 feet and in.” ~Coach Bartow

Lester’s comment on arriving at ETSU last year was how great it was that he could now go to the weight room any time he wanted.  This indicates the kind of work ethic that he brings to the game.  Although a glance at Lester this year tells you right away how he’s been spending his time.  “The Action Figure” is noticeably bigger and stronger than last year.  He showed admirable commitment and patience in taking a redshirt year last year to improve his skills.  Although still not a polished or complete player, he is already able to score the ball with range beyond the arc as his performance against UT players in the Rocky Top League indicates.

If he keeps that Tommy Hubbard work ethic, he can expect to continue with the kind of improvement by leaps and bounds that Tommy showed over his career.  But Lester has power, speed and athleticism that Tommy could only dream about.   Whatever you see from him this fall, know this:  there is better, much better, to come.

Rocky Top League-7/02/12:

Lester Wilson
The Action Figure

Lester Wilson, fittingly dubbed the action figure, dropped 49 pts. on July 2nd in the Rocky Top League. The (Pilot) Rocky Top League games are held in the sweltering Bearden High School gym in Knoxville. Although these games are primarily a showcase for UT basketball players, it was Lester who was getting “oohs and aahs” from the UT-centric crowd (as well as snickers about UT’s lack of recruiting interest in him). These matters aside, it was clear why Lester is nicknamed the action figure: His physique is chiseled, like that of an action figure. He is built like Terrell Owens, and like Terrell Owens, has great length and speed down the floor. In addition, he has huge mitts, allowing him to palm the ball with ease.

It should be noted that defense is not at a premium in the Rocky Top League. Any defense is token at best, so Lester’s 49 were not exactly against Gary Payton-like defenders. Nevertheless, Buc fans should be thrilled about Lester’s debut as a Buccaneer in a few months. First and foremost, Lester possesses spectacular athleticism, matching his action-figure physique. He was dunking with power and ease, and with a little flair. His dunks rattled the rim, prompting the entertaining MC to sing Lester’s praises. In addition to his leaping ability, he runs the floor extremely well. He never appeared winded either, and it was HOT in that little gym.

Lester Wilson
A supremely gifted athlete that plays with passion and is very coachable, describes this Knoxville phenom. Wilson can play above the rim scoring off the interior feed or using his speed, which is big time receiver fast, to finish with a flurry on the break. ~ESPN Insider

In watching Lester, it was difficult to “box him in” with respect to position. His game fits most closely to a ‘4’, but he is probably the height of a ‘3’. Will he be able to guard a taller ‘4’? Will he be able to guard a quicker ‘3’? I’ll be curious to see how Bartow uses him. Tommy Hubbard and Kevin Tiggs held their own quite well against taller players, and I think that Lester’s strength, length, and athleticism will compensate for his relative lack of height.

Questions aside, Lester’s athleticism will allow him to be a productive freshman. I suspect that he is more athlete than basketball player at this point in career, which means that he has not even begun to scratch the proverbial surface of his potential.


  • 27 ppg, 13 rpg in high school
  • All-district, all-region all four years of high school







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Scouting the Newcomers: Yunio Barrueta, 6’4″ 215 lb SF, Miami, FL

Yunio Barrueta

“Yunio reminds us a lot of a young Mike Smith — thick and powerful,” said Bartow, referring to the A-Sun player of the year two seasons ago. “He’s only 6-4 but he’s really put together, very strong, and we may be able to play him all over the floor like we did Mike.” http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Sports/article.php?id=101396







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Scouting the Newcomers-Hunter Harris, Nashville, TN via Volunteer State

Hunter Harris
“Hunter had a 40-point, 20-rebound game as a freshman, and over his two years he averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds a game. But the best thing about him is that even though he’s that good, he doesn’t show it. He is a really humble kid and he just plays hard all the time. If the ball is loose or he’s going after a rebound, he’s playing at one rate of speed and that’s hard.” Coach Rusty Melvin, Volunteer State
Hunter Harris
“The first thing you notice about Hunter is that he has a great motor…He plays with a tremendous energy, and he’s very bouncy and athletic. He can score the basketball, he can really rebound, and we also like his versatility.” Coach Bartow










Hunter Harris, 6’6″ 235 lb PF, Nasvhille, TN via Volunteer State


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Scouting the Newcomers: Kinard Gadsen-Gilliard, aka KGG

Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard

 6′ 6″ 250 F Georgetown, SC via Roane State

Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard“Kinard is a versatile player that can score the basketball inside and out….He’s also a great passer, can defend multiple positions, and is a good rebounder. We like his skill level and he’s a quality young man. His junior college coach Randy Nesbitt did a great job with him at Roane State.”  ~ Coach Bartow (etsubucs.com)

“I really think the best is ahead of him…He wasn’t really a scorer when he first came to us, but he’s developed into a guy that can come down and pull a 3-pointer with a defender on him. He’s also been able to post up and score for us. He’s gotten better and better during his time here.” ~Coach Nesbitt (etsubucs.com)





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Scouting the Newcomers: Mario Stramaglia, 6’2″, 180lb SG, Birmingham, AL

Mario Stramaglia
Mario Stramaglia

“You’re not going to find too many kids like him,” Mountain Brook boys basketball coach Bucky McMillan said. “He’s the hardest-working player I’ve ever been around. It’s impossible for anyone to work harder than him. He’s the last player to leave the weight room and the last one to leave the gym. And when he’s not at our gym he goes to the gym at Mountain Brook Baptist Church to shoot. “He makes 1,500 shots a day. I’m not talking about taking 1,500. He makes 1,500 even if it takes him five hours to do it.”  http://highschoolsports.al.com/news/article/6446635807782733953/super-mario-stramaglia-has-bright-future-for-mountain-brook/

“Mario is a two-guard and a big-time shooter….He’s a strong, powerful and athletic player who can really score. We are very excited about what he can bring to our program.”  ~Coach Bartow

Written by bucfaithful & swvabucsfan:

An unusual combination guard.  Like fellow Alabaman McClain, Mario is a physical 6’0” who has put in time in the weight room.  He’s got good jumping ability, able to drive and finish with a slam, and sometimes jumping center for his high school team.  But his greatest asset is a classic jump shot from all points along the arc.  He’s a real competitor, but may have to have a little patience this year with senior guards Sheldon Cooley, Marcus Dubose and Jarvis Jones already aboard.  You really need to see the highlight films to get a sense of what he can do


  • Stramaglia, a 6-foot-1 guard who is entering his senior season at Mountain Brook High School, averaged 18 points and five rebounds a game as a junior, while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range. The 1,000-point scorer has averaged double-figure scoring in each of his previous three high school seasons, and was picked to participate in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s North/South All-Star Game. He was also an All-Metro, All-Area and All-State selection last season (etsubucs.com)
  • Named part of the “Super 8” (One of the best 8 players in Alabama)
  • Mountain Brooks High School’s all-time leading scorer







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Scouting the Newcomers: Petey McClain, 6′ 185 lb PG, Mobile, AL

Petey McClain

Petey McClainLorenzo Petey McClain

“We love his speed and he has a great motor….Petey really knows how to compete and knows how to run a team. He can score and is phenomenal off the dribble.” ~Coach Bartow

Written by bucfaithful and swvabucsfan

This first installment of “Scouting the Newcomers” profiles Lorenzo “Petey” McClain.  Petey arrives at ETSU with great expectations and big shoes to fill following the graduation of Adam Sollazzo.

Many Buc fans have been yearning for a throwback to the explosive small point guards of yester year: Mr. Jennings, Timmy Smith, Jason Niblett, Eric Palmer.   They’re hoping that ‘Petey’ may provide it in a physical, 6’0” package.   He’s drawn early praise from Courtney Pigram among others.  Murry will give him every chance to get significant minutes at the point.













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2013 prospect Kahlil Thomas: A prototypical ETSU recruit

Kahlil Thomas

The city of Memphis and various regions of Florida have served ETSU well over the years.  One of these pipelines appears to be still open:  According to scout.com, the Bucs have offered Kahlil Thomas, a 6’7″ 195 lb PF from Pompano Beach, Florida.  ESPN Insider reported the following on Thomas:

Thomas is a long and athletic forward the plays extremely hard. He excels on the break by running the floor and finishing above, around or through contact of defenders. He slashes to the basket with short quick drives and long play completions with terrific athleticism.

Coach Bartow and company have had great success recruiting active, rangy, athletic, frontcourt players who thrive in transition.  Andrew Reed, Eryk Thomas, Isiah Brown, and John Walton all come to mind.  From the youtube highlights below, it appears that Thomas fits that mold.  Thomas’ stock appears to be rising, and several mid-majors have already offered: http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75&p=8&c=1&nid=6439116


Thomas’ game would meld well with ETSU’s up-tempo, pressing style-of-play.  Let’s hope he joins his fellow Floridians in the Blue & Gold next season.

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