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College Sports in the Carolinas


View from the East
Monday, February 24, 2003

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

Flagship 'voice' missing in action

State Line Hoops Report©: Wake solid No. 1, Pirates tumble


A friend who listened to the Internet radio broadcast of the N.C. State-East Carolina baseball game said it just wasn’t the same without Henry Hinton and Jake Jacobs calling the action.

Since agreeing to sell radio stations WCZI-98.3 and WGPM-94.3 during the latter part of the 2002 football season, Hinton has seemingly taken a lower profile around Pirates sports. He still does “Talk of the Town,” a program of community interest that is simulcast on the radio and Greenville cable television channel 7. Hinton retained ownership of the cable TV station, which recently expanded its viewership to about 43,000 homes with its addition to the Cox cable system in Washington, N.C.

Hinton has been involved with radio and ECU sports since before I was working on The Daily News in Washington in the late 1970s. He spent a little time working in Chapel Hill, which some veteran Pirate fans still remind him about.

Hinton, who also controls the long-established web site, owned the radio stations with Harry Land of Durham. The reported price tag on the sale of the 3,000-watt stations was $3 million and the transaction is supposed to be completed on Thursday.

“It sounded like a lot of money,” Hinton said Sunday. “Now that it’s done, and looking at what I’m going to get out of it with taxes and debt service, I hope I made the right decision. I spent 14 years building those stations. It’s not like I’m walking away with ‘Forget it’ money, but it’s enough. The stations weren’t for sale. They approached us.”

The group that bought out Hinton and Land has purchased nine stations in the last five months. Their agreement with Hinton provides that he will do “Talk of the Town” for a year with both parties holding an option on a three-year extension.

Hinton said he has expressed to ECU interests that he would be willing to work with the ECU baseball broadcasts on occasion but ... “The games aren’t on our station and it’s a little awkward anyway,” he said.

Hinton’s status for football, where he has been involved in pregame, game and postgame programming with WCZI — which has for years served as the flagship station for ECU — is “yet to be determined.” Hinton will confer with Jeff Charles, voice of the Pirates and ECU’s director of electronic media regarding his role. His agreement with the sale of the radio stations doesn’t preclude that he could be involved with the Pirate sports network.

“If East Carolina wants me, I’ll be there,” Hinton said.

Hinton reacted with emotion to the dismissal of former football coach and friend Steve Logan.

“I’ve come to terms with it,” Hinton said. “I had met Coach (John) Thompson before he came here when he was at Southern Miss and Memphis. I’ve had him on the show and I’ll do everything I can to support him.

“My reaction to the dismissal of Steve was akin to the dismissal of a brother. We’ve been very close for 14 years. Anyone who expected me not to be emotional with my reaction to that doesn’t know me very well. I saw the issues and problems involved like everybody else — like Steve did. Some things about how it was handled surprised me and I’ll just leave it at that.”

Hinton is intent on expanding the scope of his cable television operation. This season, he added a Conference USA basketball game of the week in an agreement with ESPN. The station will carry the first three rounds of the C-USA men’s basketball tournament from Louisville, Ky., starting on March 12, although the Pirates have some work to do to get there.

Stay tuned. Hopefully, Henry will be back.

Basketball in the short rows

East Carolina went into the Charlotte game on Saturday night needing a victory to keep alive its hopes for a winning season and its goal of making the C-USA Tournament.

The Pirates shot over 40 percent from the field for the first time in 10 games but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 71-66 loss to the 49ers, who were led by Curtis Nash with 21 points. Nash was 1 for 6 from the field in the first half but scored 19 points in the second half as fellow guard Demon Brown was limited by foul trouble.

ECU coach Bill Herrion noted after the game that he had tried to recruit Nash.

The loss dropped ECU to 12-12 on the season after a 10-2 start — that included a win over Marquette — had produced great optimism. ECU is 3-10 in C-USA, a game behind Southern Miss (4-9 C-USA) in terms of qualifying for the league tournament. The Pirates play at Cincinnati on Wednesday night and at Louisville on Saturday (ESPN+, WITN-7), tough places to win, especially since ECU has been on an 0-14 road slide in C-USA.

ECU wraps up the regular season with a home game with Saint Louis at 11 a.m. on March 8. Four tickets to that game are available for $40 in a promotion from the ECU marketing department, similar to the Marquette game earlier this season.

ECU needs to hope that Southern Miss doesn’t win again and that the Pirates can get at least one win over the next two weeks to get into the league tournament. ECU would have the tiebreaker if it has the same league record as Southern Miss as far as getting to Freedom Hall for the C-USA event.

Southern Miss is at Charlotte on Wednesday and hosts South Florida on Saturday before finishing the regular season at Tulane on March 8.

Having reached the league tournament last year, it would be a step back for ECU not to make it this year, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the Pirates are competing at a talent deficit in C-USA. Herrion went recruiting last week after a loss to DePaul. He was in New York on Sunday after the Charlotte game, seeking players to make ECU more competitive. Herrion appears to have moved past frustration with the demise of this year’s team and has come to the realization that bringing in better players is the solution.

“We’re not there yet,” commented ECU athletics director Mike Hamrick after the Charlotte game in terms of ECU’s talent level.

If ECU doesn’t make the C-USA Tournament, the upside is that Coach Herrion and staff would have more time to recruit.

Where, oh where, can that offensive guru be?

New football coach John Thompson is still searching for the right fit for offensive coordinator. Thompson told a prominent Pirate Club representative on Saturday that he will interview two candidates for the position on Monday. Thompson didn’t reveal their identities. Georgia Tech has hired Buddy Geis as its offensive coordinator.

Carolinas: Wake solid No. 1, Pirates tumble

Clemson moved up and College of Charleston moved down in this week’s Top 10, and for the first time this season, East Carolina — which had been clinging to No. 10 in recent weeks — fell out. Here’s how the shuffling played out, based on the recent results. For the first time, let’s put last week’s ranking in parentheses before the school name so we can get an idea of how the Top 10 has redefined itself for the Division I programs in the Carolinas.


The Top Ten

  1. (1) Wake Forest (19-4, 9-3 ACC) ... The Deacons got 28 points from Josh Howard and 21 from Vytas Danelius as they came back after trailing 68-64 with 3:27 left to top Virginia 75-71 on Sunday night. Wake won for the seventh time in its last eight ACC games and leads the league race by a half-game over Duke and Maryland. The Deacons play at Florida State at 9 p.m. on Wednesday and host Clemson at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
  2. (2) Duke (19-4, 9-4 ACC) ... The Blue Devils won their third straight as Dahntay Jones scored 19 points in a 79-68 win over N.C. State in Durham on Saturday. Jones leads the team with a 16.9 scoring average. Duke visits Georgia Tech at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and plays at St. John’s at noon on Sunday.
  3. (4) N.C. State (14-9, 7-5 ACC) ... The Wolfpack had 24 turnovers which led to 31 points for Duke as State slipped to 1-8 in road games this season. Julius Hodge, who averages 18.2, had 18 points at Duke. The Pack visits North Carolina at 9 p.m. on Tuesday and hosts Maryland at 8 p.m. on Sunday.
  4. (6) Clemson (15-8, 5-7 ACC) ... The Tigers have surged to three straight ACC wins as Ed Scott erupted for 29 points in a 74-60 win over visiting Florida State on Saturday. Clemson visits Maryland at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Wake Forest at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
  5. (8) UNC Wilmington (18-6, 12-3 Colonial) ... The Seahawks have put together a three-game winning streak with a 75-51 win at Towson on Saturday, avenging an earlier loss to George Mason by a 75-55 margin during that span. Brett Blizzard is averaging 21.0 points and Craig Callahan is contributing 16.4 points and 6.6 rebounds. UNCW is at William & Mary at 7 p.m. tonight and hosts Virginia Commonwealth at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
  6. (5) South Carolina (11-12, 4-8 SEC) ... The Gamecocks had a four-game winning streak stopped with a 79-66 loss at Georgia on Saturday despite 15 points from Chris Warren. USC is at Florida at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and hosts Vanderbilt at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
  7. (9) Charlotte (11-13, 6-6 C-USA) ... The 49ers brought an impressive perimeter game to Greenville as guards Curtis Nash and Demon Brown scored 21 and 20 points respectively. Curtis Withers provided some inside punch with 14 in a 71-66 win over East Carolina. Charlotte lost 75-67 less than 48 hours earlier at Marquette but showed little travel fatigue against ECU. The 49ers are home this week to Southern Miss at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and DePaul at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
  8. (7) North Carolina (14-12, 4-8 ACC) ... Four nights after a 93-57 pounding of winless N.C. A&T, the shoe was on the other heel as UNC absorbed a 96-56 thrashing at Maryland. The Tar Heels play better at home where they have N.C. State at 9 p.m. on Tuesday and Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
  9. (3) College of Charleston (21-6, 11-3 Southern) ... The Cougars’ 10-game winning streak ended with a 79-78 overtime loss at Chattanooga on Saturday. Coach Tom Herrion’s club is at Davidson at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and hosts Georgia Southern at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
  10. (12) Davidson (16-8, 10-4 Southern) ... Two road wins this week, 85-76 at Georgia Southern and 94-81 at Appalachian State, vaulted the Wildcats into the Top 10 in the Carolinas. Home games with College of Charleston at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and VMI at 7 p.m. on Saturday complete Davidson’s regular season.
The Not-So-Sweet 17

11. Appalachian State

12. East Carolina (12-12, 3-10 C-USA) ... The Pirates have lost 10 of their last 12 after falling to Charlotte 71-66 on Saturday night. Erroyl Bing had 12 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out on a questionable call with 33.5 seconds left and ECU down 65-63. Derrick Wiley leads ECU with a 13.3 scoring average. Gabriel Mikulas averages 11.5 points and 6.1 rebounds. Travis Holcomb-Faye averages 10.4 points and 4.3 assists. Bing is grabbing a team-high 9.1 rebounds. There are road challenges this week at Cincinnati at 8:05 p.m. on Wednesday and at Louisville at noon on Saturday.

13. Wofford
14. Winthrop
15. South Carolina State
16. Coastal Carolina
17. Charleston Southern
18. Furman
19. UNC Asheville
20. UNC Greensboro
21. Western Carolina
22. Elon
23. Gardner-Webb
24. The Citadel
25. High Point
26. Campbell
27. N.C. A&T.

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02/23/2007 12:40:06 AM

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