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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Friday, January 24, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Herrion & Company searching for answers

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Early in East Carolina's Wednesday night game with Cincinnati, it became apparent the Pirates' shooting demons were still nipping at their heels.

Right now, Bill Herrion's team is executing well in some aspects of its game, but it just isn't shooting the basketball well enough to win in Conference USA.

"We are playing good defense,” said Herrion. “I would venture to say that we played well enough on defense to win our last two games. But we aren’t shooting the ball well enough on offense to win.”

The Pirates' goal is to hold the opposition under 40 percent from the field. The squad accomplished that feat back-to-back losses to the Bearcats and DePaul, but ECU has barely broken the 30 percent mark in its own offensive efforts.

“Credit Cincinnati’s defense for some of our problems,” said Herrion after UC's 59-53 victory at Williams Arena. “But we do have to shoot the basketball better to win.”

On the positive side, a couple of teams East Carolina had success against early in the season picked up huge wins this week. Ole Miss crushed nationally ranked Alabama, while Virginia Tech whipped up on in-state rival Virginia.

East Carolina will now look to snap its four-game losing streak in a home game with South Florida on Saturday night.

In post-game comments carried over the Pirate Sports Network after succumbing to the Bearcats, Herrion implored Pirate fans to not abandon ship.

“Please, please don’t give up on this basketball team,” Herrion said. “They will continue to work hard and I know we are doing this the right way.”

The problem is there are NO easy nights in this league, and the Pirates may continue to experience that fundamental principle up close and personal the next couple of weeks.

Mother Nature Mazey's first opponent

First-year East Carolina Coach Randy Mazey was scheduled to open his inaugural preseason practice slate this past Saturday. That date was then moved to Tuesday because of the cold weather.

Tuesday brought with it a long, rainy day, and then Thursday featured snow and frigid temperatures.

With the start of the season set for the middle of February, Mazey says the team’s scrimmages will be important in getting ready for the opening weekend.

“We used the Fall to evaluate and now we’ll use the Spring to make some decisions on line-ups and rotations,” Mazey said. "We’ll have to use intra-squad scrimmages to get a lot of work done. We really don’t have a lot of time, so we’ll have to make the most of it."

Add in the inclement weather, and opening day really looms close at hand.

“The weather is always a factor early in the year, but sometimes you have to play in tough conditions,” Mazey said. “We’ll just take what we get.”

Hot Stove no match for cold weather

The 14th Annual Pitt-Greenville Hot Stove League Banquet was snowed out on Thursday night.

Bobby Dews, bench coach for the Atlanta Braves, was the scheduled speaker.

Two former ECU stars were the lone nominees for the amateur player of the year honors. Catcher Clayton McCullough and hurler Sam Narron were the only players on the ballot for that award.

The award winners will now be announced later, probably in conjunction with the annual Jimmy Grimsley Easter Tournament at Guy Smith Stadium.

I haven’t seen the list of winners, but I would venture a guess that this voting was close. For my money, I’d give awards to both players for their outstanding contributions to both East Carolina and to the entire baseball community.

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02/23/2007 01:25:49 AM

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