Catch Bonesville's exclusive
weekly Internet radio program, BONESVILLE HUDDLE, featuring insightful
give-and-take between columnists Al Myatt, Brian Bailey
and Denny O'Brien. (Posted in Windows Media Format
each Wednesday for streaming on demand.)
I haven’t seen that type of look on people’s faces since the
days of Blue Edwards.
You know the look, when a player skies through the air and
comes down with a thunderous slam.
Or the look when a player breezes past the opposition, and
scoops home an easy lay-up.
That was the look at Williams Arena on Thursday night on
several occasions, and they came after watching a couple of newcomers shine
in East Carolina’s 96-65 victory.
Pirate coach Bill Herrion saw some good things, too.
“We have to learn to play hard for forty minutes every time
out,” said Herrion. “For the most part I think we did that tonight.
“We still have plenty of work to do, but this team comes to
work at every practice."
It was only an exhibition, but Thursday night’s game gave us
a quick glimpse of some great athleticism.
Derrick Wiley came to East Carolina with the reputation of
being an explosive scorer. He averaged just over 20 points per game for
Moberly Community College last year. As a sophomore at Mt. Zion Academy in
Durham, he played with NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady.
On Thursday night, he did a pretty good “McGrady” impression
at times. Wiley scored twelve points and brought the house down with a
couple of rim rocking slam-dunks.
Freshman guard Belton Rivers also turned some heads. He had
at least one breathtaking assist of his six for the night. Rivers had extra
duty in the exhibition opener, as Travis Holcomb-Faye sat out the game with
Holcomb-Faye is battling tendonitis in his Achilles tendon.
He is expected back for Tuesday’s exhibition game against EA Sports.
Rivers was 5-7 from the field on his way to a 13-point
evening on opening night.
Last year, the Pirates didn’t have the services of Gabriel
Mikulas and Moussa Badiane in the early going, because of NCAA red tape.
This year, Gabe and Moose are eligible from the start. They
should provide a nice one-two punch all season long. In the win over the
USMC team, Mikulas led the Pirates with 19 points and 7 rebounds. Moose had
six points, three blocks and five boards.
The guy that benefits the most from these two is Erroyl
Bing. Without the twin towers of Mikulas and Badianne in several games last
year, Bing was absolutely
beaten senseless inside. In contrast, he begins the
2002-2003 season with an outstanding 18-point, 9- rebound outing in the
“I thought all of our guys really played hard,” said Bing.
“Especially the younger guys came in and really gave us a boost by playing
Herrion continued, “I liked the look that I saw tonight. The guys did play
hard for forty minutes, and that’s exactly what it takes to win in
The Pirates are back in action in the preseason on Tuesday
night, hosting EA Sports at 7pm. East Carolina will then have ten days to
get ready for the season opener at Middle Tennessee State on November 22nd.
ECU opens its home slate on Sunday, November 24th, when the
Pirates play host to Ole Miss of the SEC.