Take on Pirate Hoops
From the Anchor Desk
Friday, March 1, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
Big Question Mark Removed
About ECU Hoops
Event for ECU
The month of March
is a celebration of basketball, so what better way to tip off the month then
with a look back at East Carolina's own “March Madness.”
Tuesday night’s win
over 9th ranked Marquette answered so many questions for this
Pirate basketball program.
Bill Herrion may
have never doubted himself as a coach, but he certainly had to wonder just
what he was getting into at ECU. In fact, everyone who follows the program
wondered just how long it would take the coach to make the Pirates
competitive in their new conference.
You can stop
wondering, because it’s now official. The Pirates can compete in one
of the nation’s top basketball leagues.
This first year in
Conference USA has had its ups and downs, but the season’s ups have
certainly outweighed the downs.
The win over
Marquette proved that East Carolina more than belonged.
“I think they are a
good basketball team that really played hard,” said Marquette Coach Tom
Crean. “I think Bill (Herrion) has done a great job and this team has a
chance to do very well in this league over the next couple of years.”
The Pirates' victory
was the first in school history over a Top 10 opponent. That’s another
reason that you play in a great league if you get the chance. You just can’t
beat a Top 10 team if you don’t play one year in and year out.
Sure, the CAA had
very good teams. Richmond had a couple of great runs in the NCAA Tournament.
But the Colonial Athletic Association will never compete with Conference
C-USA has featured
two Top 10 teams for most of the season. The Pirates beat Marquette at home,
and played the Golden Eagles tough on the road.
Cincinnati tough at home in their very first game in Conference USA.
“I’m just really
proud of this team,” said Herrion. “When we took over, some said that it
might take five years to be competitive. I thought, ‘It’s not going to take
five years.’ This was a big win in so many ways, but now we want more.”
could come in the Conference USA tournament in Cincinnati. The Pirates could
be paired against a Saint Louis
team that ECU has already beaten, or a struggling
Houston team that
has also already lost to the Pirates.
“When you get to a
conference tournament on a neutral site, anything can happen,” noted
Herrion. “I’m just thrilled that these kids are getting a chance to play in
the post season tournament.”
ESPN Butchers Pirate
East Carolina’s upset
over Marquette made national news, though some of the coverage lacked a
little in the pronunciation department.
Several of the ESPN announcers on
SportsCenter butchered several of the Pirate’s names.
Gabriel Mikulas was
pronounced mih-KULE-as and mih-KULL-as. Travis Holcomb-Faye was first Travis
Holcomb, then Travis Holcomb-Frye. Kenyatta Brown became ka-NATTA and Moussa
Badiane became MOOSE-AY ba-DEE-an or MOOSE-AY BAD-ee-AHN.
Give ESPN News some
credit though. Their pronunciations were pretty much on the money. Of
course, they decided to stick with Holcomb-Faye and Brown as a part of their
story, to make it easier.
When you think about
it, though, Moussa Badiane’s name has gone through a transformation since
his arrival. When I asked Moussa just how his name was pronounced, he said
it was MOOSE-ah. He took off before giving me his last name — on purpose.
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