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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Coach Bill morphs into Dr. Phil

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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 much longer.

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 Carolina.

“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!

ECU odd man out as NCHSAA football host site

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has come to terms with Duke University, and now the "Big Four" will collectively provide the venues for the eight games of the state football championships.

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 players.

"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 somewhere, too.

I just hope that East Carolina can keep the regional basketball tournament at Williams Arena.

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02/23/2007 01:25:50 AM

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