Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, February 9, 2005
By Brian Bailey
International star rising in
|Replay the audio
archive of Tuesday night's Brian Bailey Show,
with guest George Stackhouse:
LaShawn Merritt is a name that
we may be hearing about quite a bit from East Carolina.
The United States Track
Coaches Association named Merritt as its NCAA Division I Male Athlete of the
Week. That news came early Tuesday.
Later in the day he was
honored by Conference USA, and then he was named as the Athlete of the Week
by USA Track and Field.
Not bad for a freshman!
Merritt turned in the fastest
400 meter dash time in the world so far this season at the Gator
Invitational in Gainesville, FL, this past Sunday.
Merritt's school-record time
of 45.94 is also the fastest indoor performance ever by anyone under the age
Merritt also teamed with B.J.
Henderson, Dominick Richmond and DeAndre Hyman to earn a third-place finish
in the 4x400 meter relay with a time of 3:12.84 to earn provisional
The Pirates will next be in
action at the Tyson Indoor Invitational and the Virginia Tech Challenge on
Look for more big things from
Merritt this spring.
I wonder if he can run a post
In search of consistency
East Carolina let another road
slip away this past weekend at Texas
Christian. Somehow, someway this basketball team must learn how to finish
I think it will happen.
Growing pains are just that, painful. Bill Herrion sees his team make
mistake after mistake, with many of those miscues reflecting a direct
parallel with the team’s youthful status.
The Pirates have six games to
play, enough opportunities for this team to string together some wins and
gain some momentum going into the Conference USA tournament.
The Pirates have always had
success in Greenville against Marquette. Dwyane Wade may be an NBA All-Star,
as announced Tuesday, but he and his teammates struggled at Williams Arena.
In fact, Marquette’s Final Four season two years ago included a
loss to East Carolina in Greenville.
The Golden Eagles have
struggled of late, but the return of Travis Diener will certainly help their
cause. The Pirates have won two in a row at home and hope to add to the
streak on Saturday night.
ECU then hits the road for
games at UAB and South Florida. With losses to both at home all ready this
season, the Pirates will surely be underdogs in both games. Somehow,
someway, the Pirates need to break through with a split. Beating South
Florida may be easier then beating UAB because of the match-ups, but both
will be difficult assignments.
Herrion’s club then returns
home for games with Southern Miss and Houston. Although these won’t be
cakewalks for the Pirates, they are the type of opponents that a young team
could compete with early in the C-USA season. These would have been much
better match-ups then playing at Charlotte or hosting Cincinnati.
Now, the Pirates have to take
care of those two games and then pull together to win on the road at Tulane.
A 4-2 mark to end the year
certainly isn’t out of the questions. In fact, a 6-0 run to end the season
is possible, if this team learns how to put 40 minutes of basketball
The Pirates have proven that
they can play with anyone in spurts.
Putting it together, though,
is the ultimate challenge for Bill Herrion and his Pirates.
Herrion bitten by Black Widow
Coach Bill Herrion was
competing in a different game on Tuesday night in Greenville.
He was a celebrity challenger
to “The Black Widow,” billiard professional Jeanette Lee.
Lee was in town to help
promote the Carolina Women’s Billiard Classic event in Rocky Mount later
this week. That event is one of only seven held by the Women’s Professional
Herrion challenged Lee to a
game of H-O-R-S-E in basketball even before the match began. The coach
recruited a couple of young helpers, but “The Black Widow” had no problem at
all with Herrion.
Lee was recently named the 3rd
Sexiest Female Athlete. It makes me wonder who was one and two!
Welcome aboard Coach Smith
Skip Holtz has made his final
hire for his first coaching staff at East Carolina.
Rick Smith is the new defensive
Coach Smith has six years of
experience as a defensive coordinator at the NCAA Division I-A level and 24
years as a college coach. He has also been a part of five teams that have
gone on to bowl games.
Most recently, Coach Smith
served a one-year stint as a defensive backs coach for the Berlin Thunder in
NFL Europe, where he helped lead the Thunder to a 9-1 record and a 30-24
World Bowl victory over the Frankfurt Galaxy. Ironically, he was on the same
staff with former East Carolina Coach Steve Logan.
Prior to his time in Europe,
Coach Smith spent two seasons as co-defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech.
Before that he was the recruiting coordinator, assistant head coach and
secondary coach at Kentucky for two seasons.
Holtz first coaching staff is
complete and is loaded with experience. Coach Smith joins the likes of
defensive line/assistant head coach Donnie Thompson, offensive
coordinator/line coach Steve Shankweiler, quarterbacks coach Phil Petty,
running backs coach Junior Smith, defensive coordinator Greg Hudson,
linebackers coach Rock Roggeman, wide receivers coach Donnie Kirkpatrick,
tight ends/special teams coach Greg McMahon, and director of football
operations Clifford Snow.
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02/23/2007 01:31:29 AM