The paint brush came out three times. The Pirates go 3-0.
You couldn’t have written a better script for Pirate
Going into last weekend it would have been tough to forecast
a sweep. The basketball team had a 17-game road losing streak; the football
team had to play the 22nd ranked team in the country, a juggernaut that had
won eight in a row; then, the basketball team had to play an SEC opponent
that had been to the NCAA tournament five of the last six years.
Somehow the Pirates prevailed in all three games.
Here are some observations from a special weekend.
Bill Herrion has his most talented team. He is beginning to
develop some very nice pieces.
Travis Holcomb-Faye is the senior point guard who’s been
through the wars. He’s not flashy but he knows how to play.
Erroyl Bing is the ultimate warrior. The work horse in the
paint who brings his hard hat everyday.
Gabriel Mikulas is the clever, deceptive, consummate
basketball player. He’s toughening up in the low post at the defensive end.
Moussa Badiane has unlimited potential. He’s only going to
get better. Herrion and his coaches will do a great job with this special
Belton Rivers is a whole 'notch above' from a pure talent
standpoint. He has a chance to be a very special player. He’s the kind of
kid the Pirates need to recruit to be a contender in Conference USA.
Recruiting is so competitive it’s really tough to get a guy like Rivers at
East Carolina right now. He is a recruiting coup.
Derrick Wiley is the athletic slasher. He does things you
can’t coach. He can be terrific at both ends of the floor based purely on
Those guys are the top six.
Don’t count out Jonathan Moore. He’s as talented as any of
them. The Raleigh native just has to find a way to be consistent.
Luke MacKay, we don’t know about yet. He’s been brought in
to be an outside shooter.
Corey Rouse is a young pup with a big upside down the road.
Devin Boddie, Garth Grindley and Barrett Twitty provide depth.
Basketball is a long season with a lot of hurdles along the
way. Injuries can be devastating. You must stay healthy, and chemistry is so
There’s only one ball and everyone likes to touch it and
shoot it. As the Pirates get more players and better talent, distribution of
the basketball and playing time will be more of a challenge for the coaches.
The way this thing is headed, that’s going to be a nice challenge.
What more can you say about the football win over Texas
Christian on Saturday. It was vintage Pirate football. A throwback to the
glory years. Everyone connected with the program feels a lot better after
that one. It was a lesson in perseverance.
The way it is in football today, with a 12-game schedule,
and only six wins needed to become bowl eligible, you get a lot of chances.
Saturday's game in Hattiesburg now becomes the biggest of
the season. Southern Miss is already bowl eligible at 6-5. Nothing much
changes when these two teams match up.
It seems like Steve Logan and Jeff Bower have been going at
each other forever. Bower holds the edge. He’s 7-3 vs. Logan. The Golden
Eagles have dominated the series, which began in 1951, with 20 wins against
only 7 losses.
Everyone needs to buckle up for this one. The players tell
me it’s the most intense game they play all year.
Both teams have had turnover problems. The Pirates come in
at minus nine in turnover margin, which ranks 95th. USM comes in at minus
four, which ranks seventy-sixth.
But who knows? TCU last week was plus thirteen and the
Horned Frogs turned it over seven times. That’s why you play the game.
That’s why we all keep watching. You never know what’s going to happen.
There will be no television coverage of the game anywhere
this week. We’ll have radio network coverage beginning at 2:10 p.m.
The football game will be part one of a doubleheader. ECU
plays William & Mary Saturday night at Minges Coliseum's Williams Arena,
with air time at 6:30 p.m. Get ready for a “double dip” again this
weekend. Isn’t life fun this time of year?
The Steve Logan Television Show is Sunday at 12 noon on
WITN Channel 7 and at 1:00 p.m. on WRPX Channel 47 in Raleigh.
Logan joins me Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. for the Radio