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East Carolina's shooting woes continued on Saturday night.
However, a win heals everything.
Pirates coach Bill Herrion wants his team to shoot the
basketball better. With that in mind, he’s developed a different strategy.
“It’s almost like I have to be more like Dr. Phil than Coach
Bill,” Herrion said after the Pirates survived a double-overtime thrill-ride
with visiting South Florida.
Herrion was making reference to the popular syndicated
television show hosted by psychological counseling personality “Dr. Phil.”
I asked him about that comment when we met Monday afternoon.
“Sometimes, you just have to talk to your team,” Herrion
explained. “We as coaches all have to take a step back sometimes and really
talk to the kids, and listen.”
Herrion said he really didn’t expect his team to struggle so
much in shooting the basketball. In fact, he’s very pleased with how this
team is matching up with the rest of the league.
“When we first came into Conference USA, we didn’t know how
we would stack up. I didn’t know if we could play defense in this league. I
didn’t know if we could be as physical as the teams in this league. I didn’t
know if we could run an offense,” Herrion explained. “But the thing is, we
have been able to do all of this. We just have to find a way to get the ball
into the basket.”
That’s where Coach Bill sees the need turn to Dr. Phil's
methods. The key to shooting the basketball is confidence. Shooters need
confidence, and right now that confidence just isn’t there.
“Shooting is all confidence,” Herrion continued. “That’s our
job, to find some confidence for this team.”
The assignment is that much more difficult because the next
three games are all in the league and on the road.
Garrard back in town, ready
to give back
The bachelor is back in town. But he won't be a single guy
David Garrard has returned to Greenville and he'll be
getting married in February.
Garrard was a guest on
my radio show on Monday night. He
came across like he always came across at East Carolina, quietly confident
and always a gentleman.
The thing that I took away most from the interview came near
the end of our hour-long session. Garrard talked about giving back to East
“I’m not a member of the Pirate Club, yet,” said Garrard.
“But I plan on giving back all that I can. I really enjoy coming back to
East Carolina, and I know that it’s because of ECU that I have gotten the
opportunity to play in the NFL.”
Garrard told me he is excited about the upcoming season. The
Jaguars have a new coach in Jack Del Rio, formerly the Panthers' defensive
coordinator. The team’s new offensive coordinator is Bill Musgrave, who
directed Virginia’s highflying attack this past season.
“I think the fans in Jacksonville really like me, and I
think I might get a chance to start,” said Garrard. “Wayne Weaver
(Jacksonville’s Owner) has said that he wants me to start, so we’ll have to
wait and see.”
Garrard was a class act at East Carolina, who never shied
away from a tough question. As one caller pointed out during the show,
Garrard is a great ambassador for East Carolina.
What better way to impress a recruit, especially from
Florida, then to tell him that the starting NFL quarterback for the
Jacksonville Jaguars is a Pirate!
This officially shuts out East Carolina from hosting any of
the state finals, which would have certainly been a bonus for recruiting,
while dividing up the title game hosting opportunities equally among the
state's other four Division I-A schools.
Although NCHSAA boss Charlie Adams didn't mention East
Carolina in making the announcement, you have to wonder if his
organization's strongly stated displeasure with the school's athletic
department administration about circumstances leading up to last Fall's
Friday night football firestorm factored into the decision.
In any event, it's an unfortunate scenario for ECU, which
will now face an additional recruiting disadvantage when it competes with
Duke, Wake Forest, N.C. State and North Carolina for the best in-state prep
"We are really thrilled about this and look forward to
working out the details," said Adams about the new arrangement, which will
annually rotate the title games for the various high school classifications
among the four ACC venues. "Duke should be a great partner in this endeavor,
as our other host institutions have been."
East Carolina's Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium should be in that mix
I just hope that East Carolina can keep the regional basketball tournament
at Williams Arena.