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Tracking the College Stars of the Future
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Hoops Recruiting Report
Sunday, May 5, 2002

By Thad Mumau
Special Correspondent

Wiley refining his game for C-USA wars

©2002 Bonesville.net

Catch Up on Hoops Recruiting:

Wiley refining his game for C-USA wars...
Holcombe-Faye 'pipeline' flows eastward...

'Hot Hand Luke' sold on ECU & C-USA...

Juco wings top off dazzling class...

It's a wrap ó ECU signs Moberly's Wiley...

Pirate recruiting class almost complete...

JC Transfer Mackay Makes It Official...

Herrion Snares Aussie Shooting Guard...

High-scoring Rivers signs with ECU...

Pirates seek experience in Juco targets...

Rivers attracted by 'tough' schedule...

'Minges Maniacs' impacted decision...

ECU makes early offer to Enloe junior...

C-USA transforms Pirates' recruiting...

ACC schools' pursuit of Rouse too late...

Mumau's C-USA recruiting roundup...

Kinston forward Rouse officially signs...

Catch Up on Football Recruiting:

Batten's 2003 Recruiting Crystal Ball...

Scotland Connection Keeps Flowing...

Lineman Devours Barbells & Groceries...

Batten's Signing Day Report Card...

Newest Pirates & Thumbnail Profiles...

Bonesville Scores 92% ó 22 of 24 Sign...

Signing Day Reflects Progress at ECU...

Coach Primed for His Favorite Time...

Video Clips from Signing Day...

Signees from the Carolinas & C-USA...

Derrick Wiley feels he can help East Carolina join the elite echelon of Conference USAís basketball teams. That challenge is one of the things that attracted him to Greenville.

The 6-4 wing guard/small forward completes an outstanding recruiting class for Bill Herrionís Pirates. He joins 6-4 shooting guard Luke Mackay of Lon Morris Junior College, 6-7 1/2 forward Corey Rouse of Kinston (NC) High School and 6-3 combination guard Belton Rivers of Atlanta (GA) Frederick Douglass.

Originally from Durham, Wiley averaged 20 points and seven rebounds this past season for a Moberly (MO) Community College team that finished 30-7 and fifth in the national junior college tournament.

Wiley has been a bit of a nomad, not staying more than a year at any of five stops in the past five years. He was at Riverside High School in Durham as a junior, then threw in 27 points a game for Raleigh Bonner Academy his senior season.

He was a scoring sensation at Montgomery Junior College, pouring in 31 points a game while grabbing 7.8 boards per contest. He spent one semester at Pratt Community College in Kansas and sat out a year before winding up at Moberly CC.

"I left Montgomery because I wanted to play against stronger competition, and also so more people could see me play," Wiley said. "Providence and Georgia were the only two big-time schools to look at me when I was a freshman. Montgomery was a Division II junior college, and I wanted to play D-I."

So Wiley moved on to the next destination, only to be unsettled by a staff shakeup.

"When I got to Pratt, the coach got fired, and I didnít get along with the new one," he said. "A close friend put me in contact with Coach (Pat) Smith at Moberly, and I signed with them."

Smith called Wiley "a slasher who takes the ball to the basket well and has a nice mid-range game, which is rare these days."

With so many of todayís players bent on shooting three-pointers or flying in for dunks and acrobatic drives, there is a lot of open space in between for anyone willing to use a ball fake and a dribble or two ó a fact not lost on the versatile Wiley..

"I hit a lot of pull-ups from around 17 feet," Wiley said. "I didnít hit that many threes, but I didnít shoot that many."

Wiley understood how he could most effectively contribute to the team's offensive attack and he executed accordingly, noted the Moberly coach.

"We had two kids who made a lot of threes," Smith said. "Iím big on roles, and Derrickís role wasnít to shoot three-pointers. He took the ball to the basket and he posted up. He is a very good post-up player for a guard."

It's no secret Herrion was on a mission to nab some 'shooters' in this recruiting class, and Wiley is already preparing himself to be effective in a slightly different role.

"I know I can shoot the ball," Wiley said. "Itís probably the thing I need to work the most on, and Iím doing that. But I have no doubt that I can become a consistent three shooter. Itís just a matter of doing it."

Wiley hit 46 percent of his field goal attempts last season and was a 77-percent free throw shooter. He scored a season-high 32 points in the playoffs against Lon Morris College, where a future ECU teammate, Luke Mackay, played.

Wiley was named to the All-JUCO tournament team after averaging 27.3 points in four post-season games. He was also an All-Region XVI selection.

According to Smith, Wiley has the physical tools and determination to succeed in the league he's headed for.

"Derrick is well built and is pretty strong (at 195 pounds)," Smith said. "He is such a great athlete, a definite Conference USA-type player. He is a tremendous leaper.

"Defensively, he has come a long way. He was very good off our press and steadily improved. He is a real good anticipator. Heíll make some mistakes, but if youíre patient with him, Derrick will make some plays."

Noted primarily for his offensive abilities, Wiley recognized last season what his biggest weakness was and set out to eventually make it a strength.

"Defense is probably the biggest challenge for me," Wiley said. "I have to work on funneling people in and not letting them get outside me. I worked hard on defense, though. I took pride in that."

He doesn't take failure lightly and he relishes the opportunity to help ECU achieve success against the Cincinnatis and Louisvilles of the world.

"Iím a guy who hates to lose," said Wiley. "I love the competition in Conference USA. Night after night, weíll be playing big-time teams. I know I can play at that level.

"Iím not worried about starting or playing time. That will take care of itself. If I start, I start. If not, Iíll get my minutes..."

He's also not worried about whether he'll have what it takes to land a spot on some team's roster when his days as a Pirate are over.

"Iíll be playing somewhere after college," he said. "I know that. Iím confident in my ability."

Wiley reeled off a long list of colleges that showed interest in him. They included St. Louis, West Virginia, South Florida, Illinois-Chicago, Western Illinois, Wagner, Stephen F. Austin, Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Creighton, Fresno State and UNC-Wilmington, as well as East Carolina.

He paid visits to only two of his suitors and, in the end, his decision came down to an affinity for Herrion and a chance to be near loved ones.

"I visited Wagner first and then East Carolina," he said. "I really like Coach Herrion, and I felt real comfortable there. Being from Durham, my family will be close by and can see me play. My fiancťe and two children are in Durham. Iíll be getting married in July."

Smith sized up Wiley's signing with the Pirates as a logical move for both parties.

"I think itís a good fit both ways ó for Derrick and for East Carolina," Smith said. "He will be a good player for them. They needed some guard help, and he can provide that."

Send an e-mail message to Thad Mumau.

Click here to dig into Thad Mumau's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 02:39:48 PM
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