East Carolina opens the 2021-22 basketball season at home tonight at 7 p.m. against South Carolina State.
The Pirates are coming off a COVID-fragmented season which produced an 8-11 overall record and a 2-10 mark in the American Athletic Conference.
ECU was led in scoring (18.3) and rebounding (8.3) last year by Jayden Gardner, who has since transferred to Virginia. Gardner was among nine players who left the program.
J.J. Miles leads the returners with a 9.8 scoring average in 2020-21. Brandon Suggs (9.6), Tristen Newton (8.7) and Tremont Robinson-White (8.1) comprise the scoring punch from the returning nucleus. Big man Ludgy Debaut is back after leading the team in blocked shots.
Pirates coach Joe Dooley has restocked the talent pool with three transfers from Power Five programs and five freshmen recruits.
Guard Wynston Tabbs comes to ECU after averaging 13.3 points at Boston College. The frontcourt will be bolstered by Vance Jackson (Arkansas) and Alanzo Frink (South Carolina).
South Carolina State is coming off a 1-17 season and is looking to rebuild under new coach Tony Madlock, a former Memphis player and assistant. Guard Rashaan Edwards leads the returners for the Bulldogs, who have also sought help through the transfer portal.