Young Bucs faced With An Opportunity to knock off Rebuilding Va. Tech

Johnson City, Tn. –  The time has come.  The preseason pomp and circumstance is over, the double suicides have been ran and it’s FINALLY HERE.  Regular season college basketball kicks off in earnest for the ETSU Bucs Saturday against a rebuilding Va. Tech squad, led by first year head coach James Johnson.  Johnson brings a new, up tempo style of basketball to Blacksburg, one that has Hokies’ fans wondering if a team with only 8 scholarship players can maintain for the length of the season.  With one of the top point guards in the ACC in Erick Green, the Hokies will look to distribute the basketball to juniors Jarell Eddie and Cadarian Raines.  Also, the Hokies will be without Dorian Finney-Smith, who has transferred to Florida.

The Young Bucs have an opportunity on Saturday to do more than just play in what many view a “paycheck” game.  With a razor thin roster in Blacksburg, the Bucs posess enough athleticism and offense to pull off the upset.  ETSU coach Murry Bartow will most likely stick with the same starting five he used in the exhibition win over Carson Newman, but fans should expect to see Knoxville native and offensive threat Lester Wilson for atleast 20-25 minutes on Saturday.  For the Bucs to win however, they will have to find a way to neutralize the abilities of Green to distribute the basketball as well as go to the rack.  A total team effort on offense coupled with closing holes in what was a porous second half defense against the vaunted Carson Newman offense.

For fans wishing to attend the game on Saturday, tickets remain at the Cassell Coliseum box office as well as several second hand ticket outlets for the 2:30 p.m. tipoff.  Also, ETSU president Dr. Brian Noland as well as the ETSU Alumni Office invite all ETSU fans for a gathering at Kem’s Restaurant, located in Christiansburg, Va. on 99 Bradley Drive.  The event is scheduled from 11-1 before the game.  Fans and alums are encouraged to attend and RSVP to the alumni office.   For fans staying home, the game will be available for free viewing through ESPN3 at as well as the WatchESPN app.  Fans can also listen by tuning into any of the affiliates on the Buccaneer Sports Network.

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.

3 thoughts on “Young Bucs faced With An Opportunity to knock off Rebuilding Va. Tech

  1. Sheldon Cooley was 12th in the nation with 2.481 steals per game last year. He looks ready to rock this year with 3 steals against C-N. He’s one of the best on-the-ball defenders in D1 basketball and this should be a great matchup. Dubose is also no slouch on defense, averaging 1.3 the last i games of last year, and Petey McClain snatched 3 against Carson-Newman.

    This matchup should be fun to watch.

  2. It’s gonna take a pretty great effort. The loss of Finney-Smith though for VPI can’t be underrated. That was a big get when Coach Greenberg was there, so Smith leaving was a tough loss for them.
    As rough as things were in the second half lull against Carson Newman, this is a winnable game.

  3. One of the more worrisome things to me is the front court matchups where the Hokies have length and muscle: 6’9″ 238 r-Jr. Cadarian Raines; 6’8″ 232 So. C.J. Barksdale; and 6’7″ 218 Jr. Jarell Eddie. All of those guys have some experience with the Hokies – all were on the floor against us last year.

    We will counter with 6’7″ 200 John Walton, 6’7″ 220 Hunter Harris and either 6’5″ 250 KGG or 6’4″ 205 Lester Wilson. They have a bit of a size advantage, though not extreme, and an advantage in experience.

    They also have several other long guys on the bench 6’10” van Zegeren, 2 more 6’8″ guys and 1 6’7″. We will need to play aggressive but smart, since we only have 2 guys over 6’5″. We’ll need to stay out of foul trouble. But this is something we’ll see repeatedly, so we might as well get used to dealing with it.

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