Take on C-USA Basketball
From the Anchor Desk
Friday, January 18, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
Crowd Not Only Showed Up, but Pitched In
It Doesnít Get Better Than This
This was exactly
what was advertised when East Carolina joined Conference USA. A big game, a
big crowd and a huge Pirate win.
in the future we'll all look back at Wednesday night's battle as the night
when it all began. Rick Pitino brought his Louisville Cardinals to town to
play East Carolina,
and the Pirates won ó and were on their way.
There will be bigger
games in the future. There will be games with national rankings on the line.
There will be games with NCAA tournament bids on the line. Thatís what you
get with a major conference.
particular season Louisville isnít the program it once was. But the
Cardinals own a pair of national championship banners, and Pitino is one of
the best known and highest paid coaches in the country.
The atmosphere for U
of L's invasion of Williams Arena was electric. In the last week Iíve seen
games at Cameron Indoor for Duke, the ESA for N.C. State, and at Minges
Coliseum for East Carolina.
Duke has more
tradition. State has a nicer place to play. But the game and the atmosphere
that I enjoyed most were at Williams Arena, where
The crowd didnít
just show up in numbers, it came to the coliseum willing to help this team
win. Time outs were filled with loud music and seven thousand fans on their
feet, all making as much noise as they could.
I know how hard this
team has worked. I know how hard Bill Herrion and his staff have worked. I
know that Coach Herrion really wasnít certain that his team could stay on
the floor with these Conference USA teams.
though, these Pirates could be 4-0 in league play, and thatís not a stretch.
ECU has had a chance to win all four games late, including the Cincinnati
game. The Bearcats, by the way, currently own the nationís longest winning
streak at 16 victories in a row.
If the Pirates had
shot the basketball well, then ECU would have another win or two in their
new league. On Wednesday night Travis Holcomb-Faye and Brandon Hawkins
simply didnít miss.
Think about it. The
Pirates won with their best player, Erroyl Bing, scoring only seven points.
Bing was in foul trouble and never really got into the offensive flow. He
and Gabriel Mikulas, though, have shown that the Pirates have a great 1-2
punch down low ó a punch which will have an effect in this league.
What a night at
Williams Arena! Hopefully, the 7,432 fans will come back. This team deserves
Bring Back the CAA Officials
I never thought that
I would say that, but come on. These Conference USA officials truly leave a
lot to be desired.
At least with the
CAA officials we knew these guys. And on nights when the ACC didnít have
many games, the officiating was pretty good.
These guys must be
paid by the foul. East Carolina and Louisville combined for 56
transgressions on Wednesday night.
Bing was whistled
for two fouls before he left the locker room! And Mikulas sat on the bench
so much because of foul trouble he was never able to sustain his momentum
for more than a handful of minutes at a time.
The game took 2 and
a half hours to play. There really wasnít an offensive flow, because these
guys called so many fouls off the ball.
Every time a player
drove to the basket there was a block, a charge, a hand-check or something!
Fifty-six fouls in
40 minutes of basketball. Do the math, but that has to be too many!
Bing Exemplifies Work Ethic
On Tuesday, I was
scheduled to interview Coach Herrion and a player or two at 3:15, just
before the start of practice, to preview the Louisville game.
I picked up my son,
Ryne, from school at 2:15
and headed on over to the coliseum. I thought we would get there early, and
let the little guy shoot some hoops.
When we arrived at
2:30, there was one player already working out. Erroyl Bing was firing up
shot after shot, using a new practice apparatus called ďThe Gun.Ē
ďThe GunĒ is a
device that fires passes out with a little zip. There is a big net around
the basket that forces a player to put more are on his shot. The net gobbles
any misses up, and then both makes and misses are sent to the player in
We watched as Bing
worked and worked. He must have taken 200 shots in the 45 minutes before
Bing finally came
over for a short interview, drenched in sweat. After the interview and a
quick shot of water, Bing was then ready for practice.
I had preached to my
children that great players donít just go to practice ó they outwork
everyone. My youngest got a first hand look, and most likely will have a
better work ethic of his own because of the experience.
After the interview,
Bing rubbed Ryne on the head and went back to work. The smile and the
experience for my young son was one that Iíll never forget.
Erroyl Bing is just
one class act on a team of very good people, both on and off the court.
They were rewarded
for their hard work with the victory over Louisville. What a night!
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02/23/2007 01:22:22 AM