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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports


From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, April 1, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

'Clark Kent' upstages Pitino, Huggins; Troth blooms


For the first time in the league’s eight-year history, Conference USA has a team in the Final Four.

No, it’s not Louisville. The Cards suffered one of those “Cinderella” losses in that game with Butler.

It’s not Cincinnati. The Bearcats were merely a blip on the radar screen in this NCAA tournament. Yes, Cincy has Final Four experience, but not since the launch of Conference USA back in 1996.

The first league member to advance to college basketball’s promised land is Marquette.

Coach Tom Crean looks like Clark Kent. Golden Eagles star Dwyane Wade plays like Superman. It’s an outstanding combination.

The Golden Eagles took the game right to Kentucky last Saturday, and the Wildcats never knew what hit them. The ‘Cats were the top seed in the entire tournament, but were no match for the C-USA champs.

Marquette will face Kansas in the first semifinal in New Orleans on Saturday afternoon. The Jayhawks are the early favorite, but Marquette has reveled in the role of underdog.

It’s hard to believe that back on December 30th, East Carolina beat this same Marquette team. In fact, the Pirates have beaten the Golden Eagles at home each of the last two seasons.

It makes you wonder if Roy Williams might just give Bill Herrion a call this week.

Troth blooms, Leach bowls 'em over

Those thinking that Paul Troth might be on his way to the ECU bench next season may need to think again.

Through two scrimmages, Troth is by far the best option the Pirates have at the position. He had another very solid effort on Saturday in the team’s second scrimmage of the spring.

“Paul was struggling a bit with an injury,” said first year coach John Thompson. “But he battled through it and did a nice job. Paul has had a nice spring.”

Vonta Leach has also had a nice spring. The move to fulltime fullback seems to agree with Leach as well. He had a nice run in this past Saturday’s scrimmage game.

To me, there is nothing more exciting then seeing a big, bruising fullback break through the line of scrimmage with the football, looking to run over a defensive back.

Leach had a run just like that on Saturday. It was a bruising run for a touchdown, putting a broad smile on the bruiser’s face.

“I think we’ve had a good time this spring,” said Leach. “Everyone is fired up and we’re getting a lot of work done.”

Discreet meeting

Officially, the Board of Trustees at East Carolina discussed the contract of athletic director Mike Hamrick last Friday. Chancellor William Muse said only that the contract was talked about, and that there were no changes made.

Considering published reports and commentary in advance of the meeting, including articles which appeared on, "mum" is certainly the word from those who were in on the session. No one who attended is saying anything about the substance of the discussions.

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02/23/2007 01:25:07 AM

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