TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
bigger for Pirates
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College basketball is simply a sport where you need to be playing your
best basketball in March. Jeff Lebo’s East Carolina team is hoping to
follow that thought process.
Pirates are are on their way after
a third straight league win last
Saturday night. They pulled away late from Rice, beating the Owls 82-68.
"That was a great win tonight,” said Lebo after the win. “Rice has got a
good basketball team, and they were coming in with a lot of confidence.
They have a road win against Texas A&M, a team that was preseason picked
to win their league.”
Pirates were led by Darrius Morrow with 16 points. Morrow's
contributions are almost a given. The fact that four other Pirates hit
double figures is another sign that this team is getting better.
“Offensively, we were really solid tonight,” said Lebo. “We had great
balance. It was great to see Corvon Gaines make some shots and play with
Gaines had one of his best nights as a Pirate. He had 13 points, five
rebounds and a couple of assists. He also had one of four technical
fouls in the game, and sat out for a while after that.
Those close to the bench told me that several Rice players and at least
one assistant coach had yelled out to Gaines that he couldn’t shoot.
Gaines reportedly answered back that he could after he hit a
three-pointer and was assessed the technical.
Patience has been a staple of Coach Lebo’s work with this team this
year. It was also a key to Saturday night’s win.
was just patient,” said Gaines. “Today was a great day for me, I just
felt good out there. It's a big team win for us and we just pulled
“When you are patient the one thing about it is you’re going to have to
put the ball on the floor a little bit and make plays at the end of shot
clocks and that’s not one of our strong points,” explained Lebo. “We
have to get better at that. Our patience was good.
shot the ball at a high rate which we need to do. We have to make people
defend on the other end by shooting at a high rate on the perimeter."
While the Pirates have struggled at times on offense, this ECU team
plays good defense. That trend continued in the Rice game.
did a terrific job on the two guys that we needed to stop, (Arsaian)
Kazemi and (Connor) Frizzelle,” said Lebo. “We did a good job
defensively and overcame a lot of things. We had foul problems with (Darrius)
Morrow, but we had a lot of guys that stepped up and played big for us.
Sampson had some big rebounds for us and really defended well when
Morrow was out. He did a good job on Kazemi in the post there."
Pirates have certainly turned their season around with the three
straight wins. But Lebo knows there are several more big hurdles to get
over as March approaches.
“We’ve got the best two rebounding teams in the league coming in here
next,” said Lebo. “This was an important stretch for us. We knew from
here to the end we have Memphis twice, we have Marshall twice. We’ve got
four games against teams picked one and two. We’ve got a trip down to
needed to get these two here at home. It’s going to get a lot tougher
coming down the stretch."
Next up is Memphis, and this Pirate team deserves a packed house to
welcome the Tigers to Greenville. Lebo has said many times that he knows
the Pirate Nation can make a difference.
They’ll get a chance on Wednesday night!
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