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Early in East Carolina's Wednesday night game with
Cincinnati, it became apparent the Pirates' shooting demons were still
nipping at their heels.
Right now, Bill Herrion's team is executing well in some
aspects of its game, but it just isn't shooting the basketball well enough
to win in Conference USA.
"We are playing good defense,” said Herrion. “I would
venture to say that we played well enough on defense to win our last two
games. But we aren’t shooting the ball well enough on offense to win.”
The Pirates' goal is to hold the opposition under 40 percent
from the field. The squad accomplished that feat back-to-back losses to the
Bearcats and DePaul, but ECU has barely broken the 30 percent mark in its
own offensive efforts.
“Credit Cincinnati’s defense for some of our problems,” said
Herrion after UC's 59-53 victory at Williams Arena. “But we do have to shoot
the basketball better to win.”
On the positive side, a couple of teams East Carolina had
success against early in the season picked up huge wins this week. Ole Miss
crushed nationally ranked Alabama, while Virginia Tech whipped up on
in-state rival Virginia.
East Carolina will now look to snap its four-game losing
streak in a home game with South Florida on Saturday night.
In post-game comments carried over the Pirate Sports Network
after succumbing to the Bearcats, Herrion implored Pirate fans to not
“Please, please don’t give up on this basketball team,”
Herrion said. “They will continue to work hard and I know we are doing this
the right way.”
The problem is there are NO easy nights in this league, and
the Pirates may continue to experience that fundamental principle up close
and personal the next couple of weeks.
Nature Mazey's first opponent
First-year East Carolina Coach Randy Mazey was scheduled to
open his inaugural preseason practice slate this past Saturday. That date
was then moved to Tuesday because of the cold weather.
Tuesday brought with it a long, rainy day, and then Thursday
featured snow and frigid temperatures.
With the start of the season set for the middle of February,
Mazey says the team’s scrimmages will be important in getting ready for the
“We used the Fall to evaluate and now we’ll use the Spring
to make some decisions on line-ups and rotations,” Mazey said. "We’ll have
to use intra-squad scrimmages to get a lot of work done. We really don’t
have a lot of time, so we’ll have to make the most of it."
Add in the inclement weather, and opening day really looms
close at hand.
“The weather is always a factor early in the year, but
sometimes you have to play in tough conditions,” Mazey said. “We’ll just
take what we get.”
Hot Stove no match for cold
The 14th Annual Pitt-Greenville Hot Stove League Banquet was
snowed out on Thursday night.
Bobby Dews, bench coach for the Atlanta Braves, was the
Two former ECU stars were the lone nominees for the amateur
player of the year honors. Catcher Clayton McCullough and hurler Sam Narron
were the only players on the ballot for that award.
The award winners will now be announced later, probably in
conjunction with the annual Jimmy Grimsley Easter Tournament at Guy Smith
I haven’t seen the list of winners, but I would venture a
guess that this voting was close. For my money, I’d give awards to both
players for their outstanding contributions to both East Carolina and to the
entire baseball community.