Take on Pirate Basketball
From the Anchor Desk
Friday, January 4, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
Ready or Not, Big-time Hoops Challenge
When the Cincinnati Bearcats arrive in Greenville
about four o’clock this afternoon, they will head straight to Minges for a
There may be more talent on the Williams Arena floor
during that two-hour practice session than in the history of the East
Carolina basketball program.
That’s certainly not a slight at the Pirates, but an
acknowledgment of the scale of the undertaking ECU faces as it dives head
first into big-time basketball. In fact, it seems only appropriate that the
Pirates' first Conference USA game will be against the best the league has
Coach Bob Huggins' Cats, led by C-USA Player of the
Year Steve Logan, are loaded.
In this week’s Sagarin men’s basketball rankings
Duke is number one. Cincinnati is number two. East Carolina is 221st.
The Bearcats, on a 12-game winning streak, are
ranked 13th in the Associated Press Poll and 16th in the USA Today/ESPN
In reality, they may be better than that. That’s how
difficult the challenge is going to be for this band of Pirates.
The magnitude of the task is not lost on ECU head
coach Bill Herrion, who acknowledges he's anxious — while leaving no doubt
that he savors the opportunity.
“I probably won’t be able to sleep the night before
the game,” he said. “It’s games like these that brought me to East Carolina.
I can’t wait.”
Saturday night’s tip-off is set for six o’clock.
Conference Opener Comes on the
Heels of Big Win
East Carolina rolled past Lees-McRae 85-44 in the
team’s final pre-conference tune-up.
It was the highest margin of victory in 18 years for
the Pirates. ECU annihilated Christopher Newport 104-47 back in 1984.
Once again, Erroyl Bing was THE man inside, scoring
17 points and hauling down 13 rebounds. Just think how good he can be with
the help around the lane that will come with the return of Gabriel Mikulas
on January 8.
Moussa Badiane blocked seven more shots against the
Bobcats. Moussa is quietly becoming a crowd favorite at Williams Arena. When
Badiane is in the game, there’s a buzz amongst the crowd.
Badiane is a real pleasure to watch. His shot
blocking ability is most rare, as he is usually able to not only block the
shot, but also keep the basketball in play. More often then not, he’s able
to direct the shot to one of his own teammates, starting the fast break for
the Pirate offense.
Pirates Deserve a Sell-out
East Carolina officials have long speculated that
Conference USA teams would make for hot basketball tickets in Greenville,
but word came from the athletic department on Thursday that plenty of
tickets remained for the Cincinnati game on Saturday night.
That’s a shame, because this Pirate team deserves to
see a big crowd against a program of Cincinnati's stature.
Thus far, in the non-conference portion of the
schedule, there have been more empty seats than filled ones, often by a 2-1
margin. Hopefully, that trend will reverse itself dramatically as the
marquee teams of C-USA roll into town.
Think about how hot a ticket ECU-UNC or ECU-N.C.
State would be in Greenville. Someday we hope conference match-ups like
ECU-Cincinnati and ECU-Louisville will bring about the same type of
It’s going to take time, because Eastern North
Carolina has long been a part of ACC country. But it will happen — and in a
big way — when the Pirates start experiencing some success in their new,
It’s the dawning of a new era of ECU basketball.
Make sure you are "in the House” for the Pirates' debut in Conference USA!
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02/23/2007 01:22:18 AM