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Kelly Hodge

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Bartow counting on Dubose to bolster depleted Bucs' lineup

September 29th, 2011 12:34 am by Kelly Hodge

Bartow counting on Dubose to bolster depleted Bucs' lineup

Marcus Dubose is a scorer, and the former junior-college guard readily admits it. But he doesn’t want to be boxed in as the start of preseason basketball camp draws near at East Tennessee State.
“I’m coming to do whatever they need me to do,” Dubose said Wednesday before a team workout in the Dome. “If they need me to score, I can score. If they need me to play defense, I can play defense. I just try to do it all.”
The Bucs start practice in two weeks, and they will surely need Dubose to score.
The Hartsville, S.C., native spent the last two years at Mendocino Community College in California, and he put up big numbers. Last season he led the Bay Valley Conference in scoring at 23.8 points per game, shooting 47 percent from the field, including 44 from 3-point range, and 86 percent from the foul line.
There apparently aren’t many holes in his game.
“It was a small college, but I was doing big things,” Dubose said. “I liked the coaches here when I first talked to them, and I’m glad to be here now. The team is good, everybody is working hard.”
Bartow thinks the 6-2, 180-pound Dubose will set a welcome tone as the Bucs reload after the graduation of Mike Smith, Micah Williams and Justin Tubbs.
“Number one, Marcus is an older kid and has a great deal of maturity,” said Bartow. “We think he’s going to be an outstanding scorer for us. If you had to compare him to other players, I’d say he’s in the Kemba Walker or Courtney Pigram mold.
“He can really shoot the three, but he can go by you and finish in the paint. He’s just a fantastic athlete. Assuming he’s healthy, he’s going to make an immediate impact.”
Dubose said he’s a more mature, well-rounded individual after spending a couple of years on the West Coast. The quiet life in Ukiah, in wine country about 115 miles north of San Francisco, agreed with him.
“I learned a lot about basketball and about myself there,” he said. “It was a small town, family-oriented. It reminded me of my roots.”
n Speaking of the dearly departed, Smith, Williams and Tubbs are all looking at playing professional basketball this fall.
Smith’s team in Germany is about to start its season. Williams left for Japan two weeks ago and has reportedly caught on with a team there.
Tubbs, meanwhile, is going to pursue a job in the NBA Development League, which will keep playing regardless of whether its big brother does or not.
n ETSU fans have until Monday to renew their basketball season tickets and keep their same seats.
New season-ticket packages are also available for the upper and lower levels of the Dome. They start at $120, with additional discounts for seniors, children and ETSU staff.
Single-game sales will begin Oct. 10 by phone or online. Call the ticket office at 439-3878.
n The men’s soccer team was headed to Nashville on Wednesday to start the Atlantic Sun Conference schedule. The Bucs play tonight at Belmont.
It’s been a strong first month for the defending A-Sun champs. They’re 6-1-1 and just broke into the NSCAA poll, at No. 24 this week. They are No. 22 in the Soccer America rankings.
“The most recognized is the NSCAA poll because it’s voted on by a pretty large panel of Division I coaches,” said ETSU coach Scott Calabrese. “The Soccer America poll is also well thought of. We’re in both because we’ve gotten results against some pretty good teams.”
In their last four games, the Bucs have defeated nationally ranked William & Mary on the road, beaten Davidson and Virginia Tech here, and tied Furman, another nationally ranked team, at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
Their only loss was a 4-0 drubbing by Old Dominion. They’ve allowed just two goals in their other seven games combined.
“I think we’ve shown periods within games where we’ve played very well, and some periods where we’ve been vulnerable,” said Calabrese. “Our potential is very high. We just need to be consistent.”
The Bucs now get down to conference play. Despite winning the championship last year and beefing up the roster, they were picked second in the A-Sun behind Florida Gulf Coast. The teams play here on Oct. 16.
“That will definitely be on the board before we play them,” said Calabrese. “We can’t worry about that stuff now. It’s time to see where we stack up with all the conference teams. That’s our path back to the NCAA tournament.”
The Bucs will host Lipscomb on Sunday at 1 o’clock.
n It was a tough spring for the softball team, and some beautiful fall days recently on the diamond haven’t erased those memories for coach Brad Irwin.
“I don’t want to harp on the fact that we were 15-33, didn’t make the tournament and all that stuff,” said Irwin, who was in his first season at ETSU. “But it’s definitely something we’re using; 15-33 eats at me every day.”
The Lady Bucs are in their fourth week of fall workouts, going four days a week. They’ll play eight games, including a double-header with Walters State and Tusculum on Friday, and a single game with Lincoln Memorial on Saturday.
“The kids are working hard,” said Irwin. “With seven newcomers, we have to see what we have. It’s important to see how they react in game situations with a little bit of pressure. We’ve been putting a lot of people in a lot of different places.”
The Lady Bucs finish up next weekend with a one-day round-robin against King and Lee.
n Rhys Pugh made a rain-shortened debut for the ETSU golf team earlier this week.
The event at Inverness in Toledo, Ohio was rained out on Monday and shortened to 18 holes. The Bucs finished ninth in a field of 11 on Tuesday with a score of 304.
Pugh, the freshman from Wales who was a star at the recent Walker Cup matches, shot 78. That tied him for third on the team with classmate Tom Heggarty.
The Bucs were led by Spencer Lawson’s 2-over-par 73. Rhys Enoch shot 74.
The team will be back in action this weekend at the Rod Myers Invitational in Durham, N.C.

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