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East Carolina’s basketball programs were the topic of
conversation on Monday as the school hosted its annual media day.
While neither team is expected to battle for the Conference
USA title, both teams are expecting to show improvement.
Bill Herrion isn’t ready to say that his team can make it to
post season, but that will always be the goal.
“That’s the best part about this league,” Herrion said. “You
don’t have to win the conference tournament to make it to post season. You
have to win and finish high in the regular season, but this league hopes to
put several teams in the NCAA tournament each year.”
Next season, the league will do away with the two-division
look and go to a 14-team league race. Herrion says he likes the idea.
“For this to truly be a power conference in the country we
need to get more then four teams into the NCAA tournament,” Herrion said.
“If the league thinks we have a better chance going to 14 teams, then I’m
all for it.”
In fact, getting ECU out of the American Division of the
league will have to help matters. No longer will the Pirates have to play
Cincinnati, Louisville and Marquette twice each season. ECU will have
“mirror” games, but things will at least be a little easier with the new
“From a selfish standpoint, it should help,” Herrion said.
“Those are difficult games. But, this new format should be a benefit.”
Baldwin renovating women's
First-year women’s coach Sharon Baldwin is looking forward
to her debut at East Carolina.
Baldwin has only one senior on the team. But she has the
inner confidence to build a program fairly quickly.
At Mercer, Baldwin took over a team that had gone 6-23 in
the season before her arrival. Last year, Mercer went 16-13 in her only
season with the school.
This year, Baldwin takes over a Lady Pirates team that went
6-21 last season. ECU was just 3-11 in Conference USA.
Baldwin is ready for the challenge.
“This team is really working hard, but with just one senior,
we are doing a lot of teaching,” said Baldwin. “Tali Robich is our only
senior, and even she is sort of learning like a freshman.”
You kind of feel sorry for Coach Baldwin. This is a
difficult enough assignment as it is. Throw in an opening night opponent
like Duke, and things really get tough.
“Maybe someone didn’t like me even before I got the job,”
It’s hard not to like her though. She’s soft spoken and she
sports a thick southern accent. She’s got the look of a winner, and that may
be her biggest asset in this new assignment.
Gridiron Pirates look for road win
The only thing worse then a losing football season is a
losing football season that goes on forever.
The Pirates still have five games to go in an unusually long
regular season that goes all the way through the first week of December.
But, if the Pirates can right the ship somewhat, and win a
couple of road games, this could be a November to remember.
I know that it can happen. I just don’t know if it will
happen. Someday down the line, this team will once again play winning
“You can yell at the egg all you want,” quipped Coach Steve
Logan. “But the thing’s not going to hatch until it is ready.”
HATCH!!! AND QUICKLY!!!
ECU is a point and a half underdog to Houston this week.
I’ll have more on that match-up coming up on Friday.