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From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, October 28, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Barkley brings his A-game to town

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


Replay Monday night's Brian Bailey Show with guest Junior Smith. The show, Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show, airs every Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250-AM and 930-AM.
Replay Show
Pirate Radio Home Page

Other Recent Items

Bailey: Barkley brings his A-game to town
C-USA Standings, Scores, Schedule
BVL: BCS Standings
O'Brien: Harris Poll ballot
BVL: Harris, AP and Coaches Polls
Myatt: Pirates navigating choppy seas
Bradsher: Police blotter eclipses good storylines
Bailey: No stardust in Garrard's eyes
O'Brien: Tangible tributes to legends overdue
Game Center: East Carolina vs. Memphis
Box Score / Statistics
BVL Audio: Replay Skip Holtz post-game
Talk FM Audio: Replay Post-game Call-in Show
O'Brien: Kass adds life to offense
Myatt: Good things come to Kass, Pirates
Monroe: Kevin's Keys to the Game

Royalty paid a visit to the East Carolina basketball program on Saturday. Sir Charles, NBA Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley, was in Greenville to visit his former coach, East Carolina’s Mack McCarthy.

Coach Mac said that he and his staff had several meetings in the off-season about how to drum up interest in the basketball program. He said getting Barkley to Greenville wasn’t really part of the plan. But the two talked a couple of months ago, and Barkley said he’d come.

Barkley was great with the Pirate fans. He took dozens of pictures, signed anything and everything, and then hosted a question and answer session with the fans.

He talked to the media about his relationship with the Pirate coach.

"I was leading the SEC in rebounding, but Mack was on me all the time,” said Barkley. “I didn't appreciate it until later. Great coaches will push your buttons all the time, but a lot of times young kids, myself included, don't understand it.

"I was lazy and fat in college, but I was successful because I was really talented. Then when I got to the NBA, I wasn't better than everybody else."

“I asked Moses Malone why I wasn't getting to play," Barkley continued, "and he said because you are fat and lazy. It was different coming from Moses Malone than it was from these guys. They were right and I was wrong.

"When I started being successful I kept in contact with this guy. Mack, Sonny (Smith) and my high school coach all had a great influence on me and if they call and ask me to do something I'll do it if I can."

Barkley even had words of wisdom to the Pirate players. After the scrimmage he spoke to the entire squad.

He then met with the three Pirate big men, Chad Wynn, Daquan Joyner and Darrius Morrow. He got on them for not getting back on defense. He told them he had seen three instances where a guy didn’t get back on each side, giving up a layup.

Barkley told the team that three layups were six points. He then asked how many games they had lost by six points last year. I’d say the point was made.

He told the big men that most big men just don’t like to run the floor. He shared a story about Tim Duncan, the Wake Forest All-American who owns a couple of NBA championship rings. Barkley told the squad that Duncan probably scores ten points a game just by beating his man down the floor.

The Pirates will be a young team in 2008, but they look like they have once again upgraded the talent.

For years this program just didn’t shoot the basketball very well. Now, Sam Hinnant and James Legan are among the top shooters in Conference-USA.

Some of the youngsters, especially freshman guard Chris Turner, will have to play beyond their years for this team to find success this season. Turner is that rare player who can create his own shot, another area that ECU has had trouble with in the past.

The Pirates open the basketball season on November 14th.

Who turned out the scoreboard?

The scoreboard malfunction at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for the Memphis game certainly showed us all just how important that board is to the flow of a football game.

Coach Skip Holtz revealed on Monday that the players thought he had pulled the plug. Laughing, Holtz said, “Several of the players asked me afterwards if I had turned it off."

"I preach to them all the time not to look at the scoreboard," he explained. "I tell them to forget about the clock, don’t worry about the score, and just play every play as hard as you can. Some of them seriously thought I pulled the plug to get the point across.”

The point was obviously made. The Pirates were able to snap that three-game losing streak with the victory over Memphis.
Hopefully, the scoreboard won’t be a problem the rest of the season.


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10/28/2008 02:59:02 AM


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