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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports



From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

It's Time!


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The theme at East Carolina in basketball this season is, “The time is now.”

Lately, Coach Bill Herrion has shortened it even more. Now, the theme is down to, “It’s Time.”

That slogan, figures Herrion, means this season, not  next.

“This is our fifth year,” he said. “We need to win more games then we lose, that’s a start.”

Herrion enjoyed the attention that his Drexel teams received by getting to the NCAA tournament. He would dearly love to bring that same excitement to East Carolina.

Herrion’s Pirates have a chance for a winning record this year. But somehow, someway, the Pirates have to figure out a way to win on the road in Conference USA.

“That’s the hard part,” said Herrion. “We’ve had good out of conference wins, both at home and on the road. But we haven’t been very good in January and February, and that’s where winning programs rise to the top.”

This year’s schedule does include a couple of teams that the Pirates should handle, but for every UNC Pembroke and Gardner-Webb at home, there is a Cincinnati and Marquette on the road.

In order to win on the road in C-USA, the Pirates are going to have to show that they have some depth.

“It’s funny,” explained Herrion. “This time of year every coach in the country says he has plenty of depth. But a guy gets injured, a guy doesn’t pan out, and then all of a sudden you are left scrambling with seven or eight bodies you can count on. I do like our depth, though, this year.”

Herrion also likes the pieces that he has assembled. We have had two chances to watch this very athletic team play.

Obviously, the opposition wasn’t all that good in either preseason scrimmage. Still, these guys can get up and down the court, and that pleases Herrion to no end.

The Pirates host Campbell at 7 p.m. on Saturday to open the 2003-2004 season. While there are plenty of home games early, January won’t be the same in Pirate Land with just three home games in that month. That means the Pirates will have road games at Ole Miss, at Charlotte, at Houston, at Saint Louis and at Cincinnati to start 2004.

How’s that to start a brand new year!

Pirates heading for new rug in Big Easy

I’ve always hated football that’s played in a dome. My Mom was right. You’re not supposed to play football inside.

Pirate coach John Thompson has seen his share of games at the Super Dome. He’ll take his Pirate team there this week, and he plans on spending some extra time in the indoor facility.

“It’s a different place for sure,” said Thompson. “We didn’t know that they had pulled up the old carpet and put in the new field turf like Army and Cincinnati has until we saw the Saints' highlights on television.

"That will be better. But it’s a difficult place to play because it is so different. We’ll have a much longer walk through on Friday to try and get used to the surroundings.”

James Pinkney will most likely get his first start in a dome at quarterback this week. Desmond Robinson’s high ankle sprain is apparently not responding to treatment.

Also, Marvin Townes may not play because of his injury. In fact, that may work in the Pirates' plans. East Carolina may decided to give Tulane a big dose of VONTA — as in Leach — to try and play ball control and keep the football away from the Tulane offense.

Knowing Vonta, I’m sure he would love a shot at being the featured back again this week. His performance in the loss to South Florida was nothing short of amazing!

East Carolina is once again an underdog this week. But when two teams with losing records play a game late in the season, the winner is usually the team that simply wants it more.

Listening to Coach Thompson, this Pirate team apparently still wants to battle, still wants to win, and still wants to show the Pirate Nation what Pirate football is all about.

Two wins to close out the season would go a long way in the healing process, for sure!

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02/23/2007 01:26:44 AM

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