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Bailey's Take on Pirate Hoops

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, March 5, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9


Huge Week of C-USA and Prep Hoops Is Upon Us


Pirates 'Reaping Rewards' for Effort

I wrote last week that the month of March is a celebration of basketball.

Let the party begin!

East Carolina is in Cincinnati this week for their first-ever Conference USA basketball tournament. The Pirates will conduct their workout at noon today, and play Houston at 3:30 on Wednesday.

Pirate Coach Bill Herrion says this team is reaping the rewards from all of its hard work this season.

“I think we’ve convinced everyone in the program that you can win when you work hard,” said Herrion. “I am so proud of how hard the guys have worked. Last year, we couldn’t go to the postseason tournament in the CAA because we were leaving the league, so it’s good for this team to get back into the postseason.”

Pirate forward Erroyl Bing says that the goals for this team have now changed.

“Our goal was to make the tournament, and we did that,” said Bing. “Now, our goal is to win our first game against Houston. We know that we can do it, but it will take a great effort from all of us.”

The Pirates had a very spirited practice on Monday afternoon before leaving for Cincinnati. You could see it in many of the player’s eyes, that there is still some basketball to be played.

ECU has obviously struggled on the road, but this tournament is on a neutral court. Herrion and company are actually 2-0 on a neutral court this season, beating Rutgers and Northwestern in the BCA Invitational in Raleigh. The only Pirate loss in that tournament came against North Carolina State in the championship game — when the Entertainment and Sports Arena was certainly not a neutral court.

Herrion gave good marks to his team for the season-opening effort in the ESA and pointed out that the two opponents the Pirates defeated have turned out to be not too shabby.

“We played very well in Raleigh on a neutral court,” said Herrion. “I think both Rutgers and Northwestern will play in the postseason somewhere."

This is a basketball team that has played very well down the stretch. Good teams play well in March, and Coach Herrion has his team on the upswing to start this month best known for madness.

“That’s what I’m most pleased about,” said Herrion. “We haven’t played well late in the season in our first two years here. But we are playing well this season — when we certainly need to be.”

Prep Regionals to Rock Williams Arena; C-USA Recruits on Display

This is a great week of hoops, with Greenville and ECU hosting the Eastern Regionals in high school basketball.

Several of the coaches of the teams set to play in the regionals got a change to watch East Carolina's final practice before the Pirates' trip to Cincinnati on Monday.

Kinston will play Thursday night. Future Pirate Corey Rouse will be on display as the Vikings take on Winston-Salem Parkland. Rouse has averaged 23.4 points per game and 9 rebounds per contest.

“He is a very special player,” said Kinston Coach Wells Gulledge. “He has really matured this season and I think East Carolina is getting an outstanding player. In fact, several ACC and Big 12 schools have called recently, and if Rouse hadn’t already signed, well, it might have been tough for Coach Herrion to keep Corey in Greenville.”

The Vikings had four first-team All-Conference Selections, led by Rouse. Dodson Worthington, Herbert Hill and Jeremy Ingram also were on that first team for the Eastern Carolina 3A Conference.

Hill has committed to Providence, while Worthington will most likely play in the Ivy League. Ingram is only a junior, and may be the best of the bunch.

On the other side of that 3A bracket, Dudley takes on White Oak. Dudley features Eric Hines, who averages 30.6 points per game! Hines will play in Conference USA. He’ll be a Bearcat and play for Bob Huggins.

On the 4A ranks, Duke recruit Shavlik Randolph will be making his second straight regional appearance in Greenville. The 4A games historically bring in the biggest crowds of the week, and lots of folks will be out to see Randolph again on Friday night.

This is a great week of basketball at Williams Arena. The enthusiasm the young people bring to the campus is really something special. The sound of the coliseum is like none other you will ever hear.

The collegiate stars of tomorrow will be on display all week long. It’s great basketball, so check out the future standouts this week on ECU home court.

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02/23/2007 01:22:37 AM

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