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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports
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From the Anchor Desk
Friday, February 8, 2002
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By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

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Winning on Road in C-USA a Monumental Task

©2002 Bonesville.net

At some point this team has to learn how to win on the road. And that’s a very difficult assignment.

I really don’t know where I first heard that comment. I know that Charlie Harrison said it when I first came to Greenville.

I know that Mike Steele, and Eddie Payne and Joe Dooley all agreed. Bill Herrion has the same problem now at East Carolina.

Herrion’s road woes are much different now. Yes, it is tough to win on the road. For Bill Herrion, it may turn out to be down right impossible, at least for now.

No other coach in East Carolina’s basketball history has had the travel concerns that face Coach Herrion. The other coaches dealt with bus trips to James Madison and George Mason. You just can’t get jet lag by riding on a bus.

Herrion deals with jet trips to Cincinnati and DePaul. For midweek games, the team leaves on Tuesday, plays on Wednesday, and returns on Thursday. Without a team charter, these are brutal trips, and may be the difference in the player’s “having their legs” for game night.

“I also think it’s a mental thing,” Herrion explained. “We have to become tougher on the road. It’s just another step in the process of building a basketball team. We have been competitive on the road, but now we need a win.”

Conference USA Shines in 2002

Don’t look now but Cincinnati, Charlotte and Marquette all have 20 wins.

Conference USA is the first league in the nation to get 3 teams to the 20-win mark.

C-USA is also the only league in the nation with three teams among the Top 15 in winning percentage.

Pirates Head to Chicago, Take on DePaul

East Carolina has a great chance to get that first road win in Conference USA on Saturday, when the Pirates visit DePaul. The Blue Demons whipped East Carolina in Greenville, but that has been DePaul’s only league win to date.

The Demons have several internal problems and are dealing with a couple of suspensions.

An East Carolina win would give the Pirates a two-game lead over DePaul in that race for one of the top 12 spots in the conference standings. The top dozen teams in the 14-team league advance to postseason play in Cincinnati in the Conference USA Tournament.

Basically, it will be a five-horse race for those two slots. DePaul is 1-8, while East Carolina, Southern Miss and TCU are 2-8. UAB is 3-6.

Hopefully, in a couple of years, we’ll be analyzing the Pirates chances at a Conference USA title and a top seed, instead of a chance to make it into the tournament.

Logan Pleased with Pirate Recruiting

The national signing day is in the books, just in time for spring football at East Carolina.

Iverick Harris is listed as the best player of the signing group by a couple of publications. Harris comes to ECU from pass-happy Burlington Cummings and may get a chance to help out early in his career.

Coach Steve Logan emphasized with this group that he only wanted players who REALLY wanted to be Pirates. That one statement is very important to the Pirate coach. If you don’t REALLY want to play at East Carolina, then Coach Logan wants you to go elsewhere.

Logan’s class includes several outstanding players from Eastern North Carolina, players that I’ve had a chance to cover the last couple of years.

That’s probably the thing I agree with Coach Logan the most on, keeping the local kids at home to play at the local college.

I saw Will Bland play several times at Havelock. He is an outstanding athlete and will certainly help this Pirate football team somewhere.

Kort Shankweiler, the son of ECU offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler, is a drop back passer. The Pirates have a plan for Kort that may take a couple of years. But you can really never get enough talent at the quarterback position.

Richland’s Eric Graham is a monster of a man at 6-6 and 300 pounds. Graham was a part of a very good Wildcats team and also may get a chance to play early on.

Kevin Roach is a “Larry Shannon” clone from Williamston. If Roach gets bigger, he might make an excellent tight end prospect. His high school coach, Harold Robinson, says he’s one of the best downfield blockers he’s ever seen.

Mar’ques Woolford is a tall defensive back from Jacksonville White Oak. Woolford’s size is impressive for the defensive backfield.

Although it is not a nationally-ranked recruiting class, Coach Logan said he thinks some of these players may turn out to be outstanding prospects.

Remember Logan’s theory. The quickest way to get fired is come up with nationally ranked-recruiting classes — and then go 3-8. 

Are you ready for some football? Spring football starts Tuesday!

Are you ready for some baseball? Opening day is Friday!

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 01:22:08 AM
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