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'Painting 'em Purple'

From the Booth
Thursday, November 28, 2002
By Jeff Charles
Voice of the Pirates

It's that time of year — anything can happen


Listen to FROM THE BOOTH with Jeff Charles live on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. on WCZI 98.3 FM, or play the audio archive the next day on Bonesville Internet Radio.





Whew! What a time we had a weekend ago.

The paint brush came out three times. The Pirates go 3-0.

You couldn’t have written a better script for Pirate athletics.

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 kid.

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 his athleticism.

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 important.

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.

Network notes…

  • 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 Call-In Show.

Till next time, “keep painting’em purple.”

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02/23/2007 10:23:59 AM

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