Homecoming weekend wasn’t much better for East Carolina’s
basketball team than it was for the football Pirates. The only difference
was that the gridiron squad suffered an immediate loss on the field, while
the roundball coaching staff took a couple of setbacks that may translate
into losses down the road.
Here’s the story: Mike Cook visited Greenville Oct. 18-20
and had a good time, but apparently not good enough to choose ECU. Anthony
King was also supposed to visit along with Cook, but he called off his trip.
"East Carolina has offered Anthony a scholarship," said Levi
Beckwith, King’s coach at Durham (NC) Southern High School. "He was
scheduled to take an official visit there, but he told them he had decided
"I would think the East Carolina coaches will probably move
on. Anthony hasn’t said this, but I figure that if he isn’t interested
enough to visit, then he isn’t very interested at all any more."
King has his sights set on the Atlantic Coast Conference,
but there aren’t any ACC schools recruiting him at this time. Rhode Island,
Old Dominion, Tennessee Tech, Marshall and South Carolina State have offered
in addition to ECU. Miami has shown interest, but has not made an offer.
"I think Anthony will wait and see what happens," Beckwith
said. "I think he’ll wait until the spring to make a decision. A lot of
schools don’t get what they want in the fall, and some things open up after
the early (November) signing period."
King, who stands 6-8 1/2 and weighs 235 pounds, averaged
13.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, three blocked shots and three assists as a
junior, helping Southern Durham finish 20-3. One of his teammates was 6-5
David Noel, who is a walk-on at North Carolina with the promise of receiving
a scholarship next year.
"I hope Anthony doesn’t get caught up with going to a
big-name school," Beckwith said, "and then get recruited over the next year.
That can happen, or he could go to a big-time program and never play much.
On the other hand, there are some schools without such big basketball
reputations where he could play right away."
Cook, a fifth-year senior at New Hampton (NH) School, is
also looking for bigger fish to fry.
"Mike had a real good time on his visit to East Carolina,"
New Hampton School coach Jamie Arsenault said. "He definitely liked it
there. But he’s probably going to wait until spring to do anything.
"Here he is a fifth-year player, so there’s no sense in
being in a hurry. Why not wait and see what’s out there after the November
signing period is over?
"This isn’t meant as a knock on East Carolina," Arsenault
said, "but being a Philadelphia kid, I don’t think playing at East Carolina
was Mike’s goal. They want him to sign early, but he just isn’t ready to do
Cook is visiting Rhode Island this weekend (Oct. 25-28). It
is his second official trip, and he has no more planned at this time. He has
offers from Iowa State, Rhode Island and ECU.
Marquette is interested, but will not offer Cook unless
junior shooting guard Dwyane Wade leaves school after this season for the
"That is the type of thing that can happen when you wait,"
Arsenault explained. "But it won’t happen until the spring."
Other C-USA news
Two other Conference USA schools received hoops commitments, bringing the
league’s total to 30.
Cincinnati got the word from 6-7 power forward Mike Pilgrim
of Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy. He chose the Bearcats over Seton Hall,
with Boston College and Virginia rounding out his final four.
Pilgrim had been leaning toward Seton Hall before visiting
Cincy. Seton Hall head coach Louis Orr is his cousin. But Cincinnati is
Pilgrim’s home. He played there as a junior, averaging 20 points, 10
rebounds and five blocks per game for Purcell Marian High.
Another factor, according to Pilgrim, was that Cincinnati
coach Bob Huggins recruited him to play small forward, which Pilgrim
realizes is the position that gives him the best chance to play in the NBA.
Konimba Diarra committed to South Florida over St. Joseph’s
after visiting both schools. A 6-9, 230-pound center at Centereach (NY) Our
Savior New America, he averaged about five points and five rebounds per game
Alabama-Birmingham and Southern Mississippi are still
Here is the complete list of C-USA hoops commitments as we
CHARLOTTE — Martin Iti, 6-11 center, Durham (NC) Mount
Zion Christian Academy; Marcus Bennett, 6-3 wing guard/point guard,
Schoolcraft Junior College.
CINCINNATI — Nick Williams, 6-3 wing guard, Chipola Junior
College; Robert Whaley, 6-10 center, Barton County (KS) Junior College;
Mike Pilgrim, 6-7 power forward, Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy.
EAST CAROLINA — Keith Foster, 6-9 power forward/center,
Winston-Salem (NC) Reynolds.
HOUSTON — Lanny Smith, 6-3 point guard, Missouri City (TX)
Hightower; Parker Pinkalla, 6-4 wing guard, Houston (TX) Strake Jesuit
College Prep School; Andrew Francis, 6-7 small forward, Houston (TX) Elsik;
Darrius Brannon, 6-9 power forward Darrius Brannon, Baytown (TX) Lee
LOUISVILLE — Brandon Jenkins, 6-2 point guard/wing guard,
Detroit (MI) Southeastern; Nouha Diakite, 6-10 power forward, Barton
County Junior College; James Lang, 6-10 center, Birmingham (AL) Central
Parkway; Nate Daniels, 6-8 small forward/wing guard, Broward Junior
MARQUETTE — James Matthews, 6-7 power forward, Detroit
(MI) Denby; Dameon Mason, 6-5 small forward/wing guard, Aurora (IL) West;
Brandon Bell, 5-11 point guard, Detroit (MI) Southwestern.
MEMPHIS — Kendrick Perkins, 6-11 center, Beaumont (TX)
Ozen; Sean Banks, 6-7 small forward, Oradell (NJ) Bergen; Michael Ford,
6-8 small forward, Fitchburg (MA) Notre Dame.
SOUTH FLORIDA — Ricardo Freeman, 6-3 point guard, Seward
County Community College; Konimba Diarra, 6-10 center, Centereach (NY) Our
Savior New America.
ST. LOUIS — Darren Clarke, 6-1 wing guard, Minnetonka (MN)
TULANE — Chris Moore, 6-4 wing guard, Pittsfield (ME)
Central Institute; Troy Aaron, 6-0 point guard, Lake Charles (LA) St.
Louis; Vincent Camper, 6-3 point guard, Oxford (MS) High School; Dan
Fitzgerald, 6-8 small forward/power forward, Mendota Heights (MN) St.