ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
By Brian Bailey
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It’s a very important week
ahead for the East Carolina basketball team.
The Pirates have two winnable
games this week, hosting Marshall on Wednesday night and then Central
Florida on Saturday.
East Carolina opened
Conference USA play with that
big loss at second-ranked Memphis. I
don’t put a lot of stock in that game. The Tigers of John Calipari look to
be primed for a run at a national title. They are almost a lock for a number
one seed in the NCAA tournament.
Mack McCarthy and crew have to
take care of business at home. Essentially it’s the same for all of college
basketball. If you win your home games in the league, the rest will take
care of itself.
The Pirates most likely won’t
be favored in a road game in Conference USA all season. A struggling Rice
team could prove to be the exception, but winning on the road for this team
won’t be easy.
For that matter winning at
home certainly won’t be a cakewalk either. It’s been that kind of roller
coaster ride to date. The highlights were the wins over
George Mason and
N.C. State, while the obvious low
was the loss to NAIA member Lee University.
I stand by my stance on giving
this job to Coach McCarthy full time. I believe the Pirates played the game
against Lee with an attitude of trying not to lose. That usually spells
disaster and it certainly did in this case.
I haven’t talked with Pirate
athletics director Terry Holland about the situation. Maybe it is early, but
I still say Coach Mack deserves a full shot after the improvement this team
has already shown. Word has it that Holland has pretty much been mum on the
Marshall comes to Greenville
with a record of 9-5 on the season. The Thundering Herd upset Winthrop in OT
at home 67-62, but lost at home to Lipscomb 72-62. Lipscomb is a member of
the Atlantic Sun and is currently 11-7 on the season.
Marshall lost at home to No. 2
Memphis 68-45 this weekend, so both the Herd and the Pirates come into this
game with a bellyful of Memphis to try to work off.
The Pirates lost 99-58 to the
Tigers on Wednesday. East Carolina then took this past weekend off, and
should be plenty rested for the Herd tomorrow night.
UCF will have this week off
before traveling to Greenville on Saturday night.
The Golden Knights are led by
this week’s C-USA player of the week, Jermaine Taylor. Taylor scored 28
points in UCF’s triple overtime win over Tulsa this past weekend.
UCF will come into Saturday
night’s game with a 9-7 record and a perfect 2-0 mark in Conference USA. The
Knights beat Southern Miss in their league opener.
The Pirates certainly need the
home crowd for both games this week. Saturday night should feature a bit of
a buzz, with the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Champs being honored at halftime.
Both games are key to a
successful season for the Pirates, and for the job status of acting
Coach Mack McCarthy.
It’s great to see this team
focused again on playing winning basketball. The Pirates won’t make the
postseason, but a winning season is not out of the question.
Last season's 6-24 showing
already seems light years away…
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04/21/2008 07:04:47 PM