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Insights and Observations

Henry's Highlights
Thursday, January 22, 2004

By Henry Hinton
Broadcaster & Owner of Greenville Cable 7

'It's Time' for Seabiscuit encore


AUDIO ARDHIVE: Replay Midweek Tip-Off with Henry Hinton, Mike Steele & guests Gene Keady & Monte Towe: Select clip...

Here we are again. Mid-season for Pirate basketball and it is already looking like Bill Herrion’s team will limp to the end of the year. I think we’ve seen this movie before.

You have to feel for Herrion. The guy has put his blood, sweat and tears into the program and, by his own admission, felt when the season began that “Its Time.” That theme may come back to haunt him by season’s end.

The Pirates had a promising start, but a tough home loss two weeks ago to UAB followed by the loss of Gabriel Mikulas to a career-ending broken arm have suddenly made ECU look to be in real trouble in a league that is unforgiving.

The national television game with Louisville was exciting and at times the Pirates looked like they could play with the high flying Cards, in spite of the fact they never really were a threat to win it.

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Saturday’s loss at Houston seems to have taken another bite out of Herrion and his team. That was a tough one. You have to think that Mikulas was missed and could have had an impact against the Cougars.

“It’s an unforgiving league. It really is,” says Herrion. “Every time you step on the floor you face talented teams with talented players. Everyone is well coached. If you’re not on top of your game and ready to play you’re going to lose.”

The continued lack of a conference road win is eating Herrion alive at this point. This weekend’s game with Saint Louis at the Savvis Center does not seem to be the likely stopping point for the skid.

“This will be a very tough grind-it-out type of basketball game,” Herrion says of Saturday’s matchup with the Billikens. “Their home record over the years in that arena has been amazing. A lot of people have trouble playing in that place.”

Saint Louis has won six of its last seven games and holds a 3-1 conference record with wins over Texas Christian, Southern Miss and South Florida. Only a two point road loss to Marquette two weeks ago mars its league mark. SLU is 10-5 overall.

Meanwhile, the Pirates are 8-6 overall but a five-game losing streak has marred their conference start and leaves them with an 0-4 record.

In a year when Herrion and supporters were hoping to see some real strides of progress, it appears make or break time is nigh.

Greg Vacek: Daily Web Headlines Roundup - 01.22
Henry Hinton: Henry's Highlights - 01.22
'It's Time' for Seabiscuit encore
Bonesville: Pirates raid Daytona for talent - 01.22
Bonesville: Updated Recruiting Thumbnails - 01.22
Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.22
Pirate Radio 1250 Audio: From The Booth with Jeff Charles - 01.22
Guests Nick Floyd, Brad Soderburg & Chuck Machock
Cable 7 Audio: Midweek Tip-Off with Henry Hinton - 01.22
With Mike Steele & guests Gene Keady & Monte Towe

Brian Bailey: From the Anchor Desk - 01.21
Herrion won't bow to ECU hoops hex
Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.21
Bonesville Bytes: Brian Bailey 1-on-1 with Japhet McNeil - 01.21

Denny O'Brien: Pirate Notebook No. 171 - 01.20
Fans hold key to hoops success
Bonesville: Updated Recruiting Thumbnails - 01.20
Bonesville: Updated AP Basketball Poll - 01.20
Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.20
Pirate Radio 1250 Audio: Press Box with Troy Dreyfus - 01.20
Panelists Brian Bailey, Jody Jones & Jim Gentry
Pirate Radio 1250 Audio: Locker Room with Kevin Monroe - 01.20
With Sean Farmer & guests Matt Graves & Courtney Willis
Cable 7 Audio: Brian Bailey Show - 01.20

Al Myatt: View from the East - 01.19
ECU football looks to Gators for 'strength'
Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.19
Bonesville: C-USA Standings & Scoreboard - 01.19
Keith LeClair: From The Dugout - 01.18

Pitch for pitch with Nick Schnabel
Bonesville: Cougs add chapter to Pirates' road hex - 01.18

Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.18

There is hope. Dim yes, but still, hope.

In spite of the league start and the tough upcoming schedule, this team doesn’t seem to be afflicted with a propensity to quit. The Pirates play hard for the most part and make up for the talent gap with a lot of heart.

Perhaps they can get a surge going and turn the season around before its too late.

Seabiscuit did it. Remember in the movie there were those who gave up on that horse and those who believed he could still win.

Pirate fans need to dig down deep right now and continue to support the cause.

It may not look particularly good at this moment, but just like the horse in the movie this team needs some believers.

Otherwise, the movie we’re about to watch is just a re-run.

It’s called 'Pirates Crash and Burn in February.'

Send an e-mail message to Henry Hinton.

Click here to dig into Henry Hinton's archives.

02/23/2007 10:13:07 AM

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