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College Hoops in the Carolinas

View from the East
Monday, February 18, 2002

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

Herrion Longs for Old Days of 'Live' Scouting


If you want to scout an opponent in Division I basketball, you generally have to go to the videotape. NCAA regulations don’t permit coaches to scout opponents in person.

“When I first broke in as an assistant coach in Division I at Boston University in 1985, you could live scout,” Herrion said. “I really miss that. The NCAA eliminated it 10 years ago as a cost-cutting measure. But say you were playing Campbell or UNC Greensboro, you used to be able to hop in the car and go see them play.

“You could see the kids up close and personal and I think that had some value. I used to love live scouting.”

Now it’s handled by video. Teams in Conference USA have a mandatory exchange of tapes, which are delivered via Fed Ex. Video technicians break down an opponent in a variety of ways.

“You can take a tape and break it down so you have a tape of their man-to-man offense, their zone offense, and their out-of-bounds plays,” Herrion said. “You can put together a tape, you know — here’s their shooting guard or their center and his moves.”

Not all the expense of scouting is eliminated.

“The film exchange is handled by Fed Ex because you need it immediately and that costs quite a bit of money. ... When you get your tapes, you get a roster for your opponent. The roster might say a kid is 6-foot-8 and 240 (pounds). Then you play that team and that kid might really be 6-6 and 220. You don’t miss that if you’re live scouting on press row. You also get a lot of a team’s verbal calls from press row.”

Herrion misses the old days and the old ways.

“I’m kind of a preparation guy,” he said. “I’m kind of disappointed they took it away.”

Tournaments are an exception in which coaches are allowed to watch an upcoming foe. Right now the Pirates are doing their best to make the Conference USA Tournament, which would possibly give Herrion a chance to renew his passion for getting an up close scouting report on an opponent.

The top 12 of C-USA’s 14 teams make the tournament based on their league records. If two teams are tied, the first tiebreaker is head to head competition. The second is how you performed against teams in your division, going from top to bottom. A win over a second-place team in your division would beat a team whose highest win in the division was over a third-place team.

If the tournament, which will be played at the First Star Center in Cincinnati on March 6-9, started today, the Pirates, who are 3-9 in the league, would be in. They are currently ahead of DePaul (2-10) and Southern Miss (2-11).

The Blue Demons have the head to head tiebreaker over ECU if they finished tied by virtue of beating the Pirates twice. ECU would have the tiebreaker over Southern Miss by virtue of its win in their only meeting. ECU plays teams in the American Division twice — on a home and home basis. The Pirates play selected teams from the National Division just once for a total of 16 league games.

Making the league tournament would be a great achievement for ECU in its first season in C-USA.

Moving on the State Line Hoops Report©, where top-ranked Duke is coming off its second loss of the season.


State Line Hoops Report© — 02/18/02


1. Duke ... The Blue Devils lost 87-73 on Sunday at Maryland’s Cole Field House as Chris Wilcox scored a career-high 23 points in the win. Maryland’s home floor claimed its seventh No. 1-ranked victim after Duke had won four straight on the Terps’ court. Maryland is moving to a new arena, the $20 million Comcast Center, next season. Duke, 23-2 overall and 11-2 in the ACC, fell behind by 25 points on Sunday but cut the margin to 81-70 with 2:09 to go. Carlos Boozer led the Blue Devils with 19 points and 12 rebounds as Duke’s winning streak ended at 11 games. The Blue Devils are at Wake Forest on Thursday at 9 p.m. before hosting St. John’s at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

2. N.C. State ... The Wolfpack emerged from a 108-71 spanking at Duke on Thursday with no lingering effects and pounded visiting Clemson 83-54 on Saturday as Anthony Grundy led the way with 23 points. Grundy leads NCSU (19-7, 8-4 ACC), which climbed into the Associated Press poll at No. 24 on Monday, with a 16.9 scoring average. Grundy also leads the Pack with 5.6 rebounds per game and 3.5 assists. State visits Georgia Tech at 9 p.m. on Wednesday and hosts North Carolina at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.

3. Wake Forest ... Duke, Maryland, Kansas and Cincinnati are projected as No. 1 seeds for the NCAA Tournament and the Deacons have faced them all. Wake enters a week in which it will see the Blue Devils and Terps again after losing earlier to the two powers by a combined total of 45 points. The Deacons visit College Park at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The Deacons tuned up for a tough week by downing Virginia 92-70 as Dariius Songaila scored a career-high 30 points and had 11 rebounds. Craig Dawson followed a career high 38-point effort that included an ACC record-tying 11 three-pointers against Clemson with a 17-point night against the Cavaliers.

4. Charlotte ... 49ers coach Bobby Lutz signed a contract extension through the 2007-08 season on Monday and then guided his teams to wins over Memphis, 75-63, on Wednesday and DePaul, 81-57, on Saturday. Jobey Thomas poured in 20 points against the Blue Demons and Cam Stephens had 13 rebounds as Charlotte (16-8, 10-3 C-USA) tuned up for an 8 p.m. game on Tuesday at Marquette. The 49ers, getting 19.0 points per game from Thomas, are back in the Queen City to take on Tulane at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

5. South Carolina ... The Gamecocks avenged a 60-51 loss at home to Vanderbilt by rolling past the Commodores 66-43 on the road on Saturday as coach Dave Odom’s first-year club improved to 15-10 overall and 5-7 in the Southeastern Conference with a balanced scoring effort that included 14 points from Jamel Bradley. Vandy was limited to 14 of 55 field goal shooting for a lowly 25.5 percent. USC forced 20 turnovers and outrebounded their hosts 41-28. The Gamecocks had little trouble regrouping from a 52-51 loss at home to Alabama on Wednesday. Odom’s club hosts LSU at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and goes to Auburn for a 2 p.m. tipoff on Saturday.

6. College of Charleston ... The Cougars are 19-6 overall and 9-5 in the Southern Conference after dismantling visiting Chattanooga 86-62 on Saturday night as Jeff Bolton scored 27 points in the win. Bolton leads the team in scoring with a 17.5 average and is hitting 80.2 percent of his free throws. The Cougars start the week with a one game lead over Chattanooga in the league’s South Division. Coach John Kresse’s club hosts North Division leader Davidson on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. and visits Georgia Southern at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

7. UNC Wilmington ... After losing 59-56 at George Mason on Monday, the Seahawks came back to down William & Mary 66-58 at home and edge Delaware 69-66 on the road. Craig Callahan had 23 points against the Blue Hens as UNCW moved to 18-8 on the season and 11-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association, one half-game ahead of the Patriots. The Seahawks are at Drexel for a 7 p.m. tipoff tonight and are back home to play Virginia Commonwealth at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Brett Blizzard is the team’s top scorer at 17.8 per game.

8. UNC Greensboro ... David Schuck scored 30 points as the Spartans upped their record to 16-9 overall and 9-5 in the Southern Conference by beating visiting VMI 74-71 on Saturday. Schuck also had 13 rebounds as UNCG bounced back from a 90-76 loss at East Tennessee State on Tuesday. The Spartans visit Appalachian State tonight at 7 p.m. and get a break before returning to action against Furman at home at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Schuck is averaging 12.8 points and 6.7 rebounds.

9. Davidson ... The Wildcats won 64-56 over Georgia Southern on Wednesday before falling 62-60 at home to Appalachian State on Saturday as the Mountaineers rallied after trailing 34-24 at the half. The Wildcats failed to get to the free throw line on any kind of regular basis as they made just one of three free throws in falling to 17-8 overall and 10-4 in the Southern Conference. Peter Anderer led the scoring with 18 points in the loss and Martin Ides claimed 12 rebounds. The Wildcats continue to lead the league’s North Division but face challenges on the road at College of Charleston on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and at VMI on Saturday at 1 p.m.

10. Clemson ... The Tigers’ inconsistency was exemplified during a week in which they beat Wake Forest 118-115 in double overtime at home on Wednesday night but were blown out 83-54 at N.C. State on Saturday afternoon. Muscular Chris Hobbs, who controlled 17 rebounds against the Deacons, managed to grab just three at the Entertainment and Sports Arena as the Tigers fell to 12-14 overall and 3-9 in the ACC. Jamar McKnight leads the team with a 13.5 scoring average. Clemson hosts Maryland on Wednesday at 9 p.m. and Florida State on Saturday at noon.


11. The Citadel
12. Gardner-Webb
13. North Carolina
14. Furman

15. East Carolina ... Pirates coach Bill Herrion earned his 200th career win when ECU topped Southern Miss 61-58 on Tuesday as Gabriel Mikulas scored 16 points and Kenyatta Brown drove for the go-ahead basket in the final minute. “We’ve won three conference games (Conference USA) and I think that’s three more than a lot of people thought we would win,” said Herrion, who was 167-71 at Drexel before coming to ECU. A balanced scoring effort on Saturday helped the Pirates pay back Birmingham Southern for a 76-74 road loss in double overtime last season. Brown led ECU’s second straight win with 16 points as each starter scored in double figures. Erroyl Bing had 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Mikulas scored 13 points as he made all nine of his free throws. Bryan Foxx and Travis Holcomb-Faye added 11 points each as ECU hit 50 percent from the field, 21 of 42. The Pirates made 22 of 27 free throws and nine of 17 behind the arc. Holcomb-Faye had seven assists. The Pirates (10-15, 3-9 C-USA) visit Louisville on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and return home to play Houston at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The Pirates got their first Conference USA win against the Cardinals, 87-77, on Jan. 16 in Greenville as Holcomb-Faye had 20 points and nine assists. Freshman Jonathan Moore had 12 rebounds. ECU has never played Houston before. ECU will be trying to snap a string of 16 straight losses on the road. Bing is averaging 13.7 points and 8.7 rebounds. Mikulas averages 13.4 points and 5.8 rebounds. Brown is averaging 10.8 points. Holcomb-Faye leads the team in assists at 3.7 per game.

16. Wofford
17. Appalachian State
18. Western Carolina
19. Winthrop
20. UNC Asheville
21. South Carolina State
22. N.C. A&T
23. Campbell
24. Elon
25. Charleston Southern
26. Coastal Carolina
27. High Point

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02/23/2007 12:58:04 AM

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