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ECU-ODU preview: Herrion searching for 'truth'

By Al Myatt
©2004 Bonesville.net

Bill Herrion
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East Carolina basketball coach Bill Herrion seems to be facing the same sort of challenge as the panel on the old "To Tell the Truth" television show.

The program was based on determining which among three guests was actually the person they claimed to be.

Herrion's youthful 2004-05 club has played seven games and the Pirates coach may be asking himself, a la "TTTT," "Will the real ECU please stand up?"

Hopefully for Herrion, he'll soon see the group of Pirates who have beaten Pepperdine, Oregon State and Toledo in a somewhat puzzling 4-3 start — not the guys who couldn't shoot straight at Gardner-Webb or the ones who endured an all-night bus ride back from Western Carolina after an overtime loss on Tuesday night.

ECU should provide some answers with a 1:30 p.m. game today against Old Dominion (7-1) in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

"We'll have to play well," Herrion said. "We've beaten some good teams. It's just a consistency thing with so many young kids."

ECU didn't play ODU last season but took a 75-67 win over the Monarchs on Dec. 7, 2002 in Norfolk. The personnel that accounted for that victory gives an indication of just how inexperienced ECU's current crop really is. Post player Moussa Badiane is the only Pirate to have seen action in his career against ODU.

Meanwhile, ODU coach Blaine Taylor's charges have shown their maturity with wins over South Alabama and Texas Christian.

"They've got a group that's been together," Herrion said. "Alex Loughton, the Australian kid, was the preseason player of the year in the Colonial (Athletic Association). Isaiah Hunter was a freshman when we played them two years ago. You could tell back then that they had guys who were going to be good players."

Hunter, a guard, averages a team high 12.9 points. Sophomore Arnaud Dahi is scoring at a 12.3 clip and Loughton is hitting 12.0 per game.

ECU counters with Badiane averaging 16.3 points, sophomore Mike Cook at 16.0 and junior Corey Rouse, who has stepped up his game, at 12.0.

At least the Pirates aren't faced with a trans-state bus ride round trip as was the case with their last game against the Catamounts.

"We didn't really play that bad out at Western," Herrion said. "Obviously if we had made a few more plays down the stretch in regulation, we could have stolen one on the road."

Herrion has been juggling his lineup to find the most productive combinations. Eight of 11 players on the roster have starts and four different groups have opened games for ECU.

ODU leads the series 32-14, but since 1996 the teams have split 14 games. The Pirates have won five of seven at home during that span. Herrion is 4-2 all-time against the Monarchs.

ECU won't play again until a 7 p.m. home game on Friday night with Winthrop, which will allow the Pirates some time to focus on exams. Herrion expects to know the status of 6-foot-10 freshman Charles Bronson, who has not been playing, after first semester.

Today's game should reveal a little more truth about the guys who have been playing.

02/23/07 12:47 AM

Compiled from Bonesville.net staff reports. A story from The (Charleston, SC) Post and Courier was used as a reference in writing this article. ©2004 Bonesville.net and other publishers. All rights rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 

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