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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, May 4, 2005
By Brian Bailey

Cook's exit might not be team's last


One of the first things I told new East Carolina coach Ricky Stokes at his introductory news conference was just how hard of a job he was taking.

It certainly wasn’t meant as a negative, just as an observation. I’ve seen basketball coaches come and go for more then twenty years now.

Stokes smiled. Perhaps in researching the job, he already knew what I was telling him.

His job became that much more difficult in year one with Monday’s news of the departure of leading scorer Mike Cook.

Cook certainly had his faults. Word inside the team was the Cook constantly had attitude issues.

However, Cook was the one player on this team who could create his own shot. Those players at East Carolina have been hard to come by over the years.

Stokes reaction to the media was as follows:

"We certainly support Mike's decision to do what he feels is in his best interest. He wants to be in a situation where he is close to family and friends. We wish him nothing but the best."

The Pirate’s depth at the guard position appears to be taking a real hit. One other player at that position will be lost because of academics. That official announcement should come in the next couple of weeks.

Cook averaged 15 points per game last season. Now, someone has to step up and put some points on the board.

It won’t be easy, but Stokes knew that going in.

Extra-inning loss riled Mazey

ECU Baseball Coach Randy Mazey had to be scratching his head on Saturday night after the Pirate’s 3-2 loss to Cincinnati in ten innings.

In a 2-2 game, the Pirates got the lead-off hitter on in the 8th, 9th and 10th innings.

Each time, the Pirates lost an out in trying to move the runner into scoring position.

Pure baseball strategy suggests that a bunt is in order, moving the runner to second base with just one out. That gives you two shots for that base hit to score the run.

Mazey was especially upset in talking with the media after the loss.

"That's not a game we should ever lose at any time," said Mazey.  "We've got guys on base and we can't drive them in. We get them on and we can't move them over. It was a complete lack of execution, something I can't explain."

When the NCAA tournament field is announced later this year, it might come down to the games the Pirates lost, and not so much the ones they won.

Cincinnati and Charlotte are just two examples of games that somehow got away.

Still, with all of the injuries that this team has endured, the squad still has a shot at an at-large bid. It may turn out to be Mazey’s best coaching job to date.

Kee is "key" to success

The best team on campus this year has been the East Carolina softball team.

Tracey Kee has her best squad. Sunday, she said goodbye to four key seniors that have helped to take her squad to the next level.

One of those seniors, Mandi Nichols, played her career for Kee in her home town of Greenville.

Nichols also helped to lure another former Rose star, Kelli Harrell, to East Carolina. Harrell is one of the top pitchers in C-USA.

Last year, Kee recruited D.H. Conley star Paige Baggett. These three girls are all local products who have mixed well with Kee’s national recruiting philosophy.

The “key” now for Terry Holland may be in keeping Coach Kee, who’s stock is rising in the coaching profession.

Congrats to the young ladies on the smaller diamond who have had an incredible season to date. Here’s hoping the softball squad makes a nice run in the NCAA tournament.

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02/23/2007 01:31:49 AM

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