Bucs Set to Head North to Take On James Madison

James Madison
James Madison

Johnson City, Tn. – The rebuilding campaign continues for the now REALLY YOUNG Bucs Wednesday night when the travel up I-81 to play 2-5 James Madison in Harrisonburg, Virginia (7 PM tipoff).  After some of the more tumultuous moments in the Bartow era, the Bucs have managed to post a couple of wins and began to move past the off court troubles and back to basketball.   They will do so however with a razor thin roster, as freshman point guard Petey McClain is OUT with an ankle injury, and Kinard Gadsden Gilliard is hampered with ankle issues.  With six scholarship players available, expect the Bucs to dig deep into the roster, with walk on player and Kingsport native Todd Halvorsen seeing some action, if nothing more just to have some age on the court.  When the Bucs take the floor, this will be the youngest and most inexperienced lineup in the Bartow era at ETSU.  One scholarship junior is for sure available in Hunter Harris, the junior college transfer will be playing in his sixth division I basketball game, with the most experienced players being John Walton and Rashawn Rembert.

The outlook for JMU is different, but similar.  Injuries have plagued the Dukes the entire tenure of head coach Matt Brady, and this year is no different.  Returning to the lineup is preseason All CAA selection AJ Davis, as well as leading scorer Rayshawn Goins and leading rebounder Devon Moore.  Andrey Semenov has been bothered by a groin injury and as of this typing it is unclear whether or not he will be a go for the inter-conference tilt.  At 2-5, JMU has certainly seen its’ share of early season struggles, despite having a roster chock full of fifth year seniors, and explosive freshmen who have been seeing time on the floor.  Replacing Humpty Hitchens has been met with somewhat balanced scoring, with the Dukes having three players averaging double figures, but not much else.  Expect Devon Moore to give ETSU fits on the defensive end, but also is solid with ball distribution offensively.

The midweek game gives the Bucs their third road game out of the last four.  It also kicks off a three game road stretch that includes stops at North Carolina and the “Tad Pad” at Ole Miss.  The game can be heard on the same Buccaneer Sports Network stations as usual and be seen online for free through Madizone, JMU’s Official Audio and Video Home for athletics.  As a side note, Murry and Gene Bartow rank fourth all time in NCAA wins as a father/son duo.

Scott Lawson

Graduated in 2006 with a degree in Communications, Scott has spent time with WCYB, MRN, Citadel Broadcasting and the Buccaneer Sports Network. After moving to Nashville, he traveled the south working with retail merchandising and is currently studying to go back to school to become a software engineer. He enjoys fishing, golf, country music, college football and college basketball. Scott is married with twin boys on the way.

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