Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
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Herrion won't bow to ECU hoops
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Sometimes I really wonder if the East Carolina Pirate
basketball program is jinxed. How else do you explain the uncanny tendency
for bad breaks to scuttle the best laid plans?
How else do you explain losing a senior starter to a broken
arm during the last practice before a nationally televised game?
How else do you explain a decent team's
0-18 road record in C-USA over the
last two-plus years?
How else do you explain the lack of winning seasons through
coaches Harrison, Steele, Payne, Dooley and Herrion? The ECU coaching
position may very well be the toughest job in basketball today.
Nobody works harder the Bill Herrion. Nobody is as
frustrated; no one cares more than the coach.
I think the supporters of the program are lucky that Herrion
is as tough as he is. A coach with less character would have packed it in a
long time ago.
With any kind of breaks at all, the Pirates would be 2-2 in
league play heading into road games at Saint Louis and Cincinnati.
Without those breaks, the Pirates are looking dead ahead at
an 0-6 start in the conference, before hosting DePaul to finish up January.
Saint Louis will be a tough enough assignment on the road.
It’s a place where the Pirates have experienced very little success.
Cincinnati is a monumental task. The Bearcats are ranked
sixth in this week’s Associated Press Top 25. The Bearcats also picked up
two first place votes in the balloting.
One of these days, Bill Herrion and company will win on the
road. The monkey — or the huge ape at this point — will finally be off the
program’s back. I guarantee you that once that first win on the road
happens, several more will follow. This program is just not that far away.
Thompson upbeat on recruiting
ECU football coach John Thompson watched the J.H. Rose
basketball team beat Havelock on Tuesday night.
With superstar running back Andre Brown set to make his
official announcement on Wednesday night’s “Countdown to Signing Day” Show
on Fox Sports Net South, perhaps the coach had one last chance to sway Brown
towards East Carolina.
Nothing is official until the national signing day on
February 4th. All indications from the folks at Rose, though, is that Brown
will be choosing North Carolina State on that show later tonight.
Brown was at best a long shot for East Carolina.
Still, Coach Thompson was smiling about his current
recruiting class. He indicated that if all of the verbal commitments do
sign, then he’ll be more than satisfied with the group.
“We’re very pleased with our recruiting so far,” said
Tailgate shindig for recruiting buffs
Several Pirate fans are planning a lunchtime tailgate on
Wednesday, February 4th for the national signing day.
The group will gather around lunchtime and cook out. Several
of the assistant coaches and Coach Thompson may stop in to update the group
on signings during the day.
Coach Thompson will also have his own signing party later in
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