Insights and Observations
Thursday, January 29, 2004
By Henry Hinton
Broadcaster & Owner
of Greenville Cable 7
Pirates down but not out
with Henry Hinton, Mike Steele and Steve Logan:
Listening to Bill Herrion after the Wednesday night
80-57 Pirate drubbing at the hands of the Cincinnati Bearcats, you got the
feeling that the East Carolina coach is searching for the silver lining. You
also got the feeling that he may well find it.
The Pirates are severely undermanned in a league that
continues to pour it on and be extremely difficult even for teams which are
at full strength.
Consider the Pirates’ plight in having to go through
this league stretch run without three-year scoring leader Gabe Mikulas — and
now without Corey Rouse, who stayed in Greenville after suffering a
concussion in practice on Tuesday.
Add to those losses a plethora of lost minutes from
Erroyl Bing, Frank Robinson and Mike Cook due to bang-ups and cramps, and all
of a sudden Herrion could look hexed.
Still, Herrion is able to find some positives in the
loss at the Shumaker Center.
“I can’t dispute the effort that we gave tonight,” said
Herrion in his post game radio comments. “Our kids didn’t quit. They fought
and played hard. We are coming off an absolutely brutal stretch.”
Herrion, of course, is right. Five of the six
conference games ECU has played have been against the top teams in
Conference USA (read some of the best teams in America). Don’t forget that
the Pirates have also played two nationally-ranked teams in the last two
“These kids could have folded their tent but they have
not quit”, Herrion said. “Now,we have to find a way to win a game.”
The ECU coach did not remind us that his team is on a
seven-game slide right now, and there is a light at the end of the
tunnel. While the upcoming games still feature a virtual who’s who of college
basketball, the brutal January stretch is now over.
ECU has only played in Williams Arena twice since
the year began. Saturday night’s game with DePaul could offer some new
That game will start a stretch of, if you will excuse
the expression, “winnable” games for the Pirates that include a pair of
matches with South Florida and home games with Charlotte, Memphis, Tulane
and Texas Christian, along with a Valentine’s Day visit to UAB.
“We’re not that far off,” Herrion says. “Now we have to
just go win a game.”
Positive words from a guy who could easily pack it in
at this point. The Pirate head coach knows he must maintain belief if he
expects his team and its fans to do the same.
Saturday night will be a great opportunity for ECU fans
to show up to display to this team that they understand the struggle and
intend to help Herrion and crew find a way to get through a difficult period.
It is not too late for a turnaround for this team. But
with an 8-8 record and no wins in the league, Herrion knows it is now or
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02/23/2007 10:13:08 AM