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Pirates relying on two-pronged point attack

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East Carolina's Shawn Williams (#55) dodges Central Connecticut player during a game Friday, Nov. 17, 2017.

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By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Almost everything about this East Carolina basketball team is new or different than it was a year ago, and some things are even different than they were when the season began a month ago.

One change is in the backcourt where, despite known commodities like senior B.J. Tyson, a big question mark emerged when sophomore point guards Jeremy Sheppard and Raquan Wilkins were suspended indefinitely just before the season began. It forced the emergence of junior transfer Issac Fleming and freshman Shawn Williams, but now the two are even spending some time together on the court.

“They complement each other tremendously,” interim head coach Michael Perry said of Fleming and Williams. “Fleming is a tremendous driver of the ball and he can get into the paint against any team and is very creative. Shawn spaces the floor and it gives him more space ... and he has a feel when Isaac is in there of how to spot him and create shot opportunities for himself.”

Fleming is second on the team in scoring with an average outing of 14.3 points and leads the team with 40 assists. Williams averages 9.0 points and is second on the team with 14 3-pointers made.

Perry said during Friday’s practice that nothing had changed in terms of the status of the suspended Sheppard and Wilkins, meaning the guard pairing will continue to be critical.

According to Fleming, sticking to the plan is the most important thing as the 5-4 Pirates ride a three-game winning streak out of exam break and into Monday’s home clash with a reeling Charlotte club.

“The main focus is keeping the same strategy, the same game plan and the same mindset, and just coming out and attacking it,” Fleming said. “I feel like I’m getting better day by day.” 

Perry and the Pirates are well-rested to say the least, having not played a game since a 69-66 comeback triumph against Campbell on Dec. 4.

“I was a player at one time so I know what they’re going through. You can’t wait to get back on the floor, and this has been an extended exam break that they’ve had and so many days without any type of competition at all, so they’re biting at the bit to get back out there and play,” Perry said of the Pirates’ Monday return.

Contact Nathan Summers at nsummers@reflector.com, 252-329-9595 and follow @NateSumm99 on Twitter.

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

ECU

July 18, 2018

CARY — Duke football coach David Cutcliffe was asked Monday during the Bill Dooley Pigskin Preview about nightmares he has in his profession.

He joked that one involves facing a North Carolina offense and N.C. State defense during the same game. He was sitting next to East Carolina third-year…

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July 16, 2018

CARY — The 16th annual Bill Dooley Pigskin Preview followed tradition Monday and turned into part comedy act by the five coaches involved and part serious football talk.

East Carolina third-year coach Scottie Montgomery and N.C. Central interim coach Granville Eastman were joined by Atlantic…

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July 16, 2018

Speaking engagements and vacation time for college football coaches will turn into full preseason practices in less than a month, but for now there is still some balancing of obligations.

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July 15, 2018

David Blackwell has coached college football at Pittsburgh and South Florida, which is located in Tampa.

He said it was easy to recognize that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL are kings in those cities.

He also is a former East Carolina football player and student…

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July 14, 2018

The Cuba team put together an abundance on runs Saturday for a 15-4 victory over the visiting USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, but USA still finished its summer with a 12-3 record and won all three of its international series.

The Americans featured East Carolina head coach Cliff Godwin as…

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July 12, 2018

The success of a profitable NCAA baseball regional held at Clark-LeClair Stadium in June and positive vibes from fans at recent Pirate Club armada events had officials optimistic at Thursday’s Athletics and Advancement Committee portion of the East Carolina Board of Trustees meeting, but the…

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July 12, 2018

East Carolina standout and Greenville native Bryant Packard went 2-for-4 as the leadoff hitter in Game 1 for the USA Collegiate National Team in the USA vs. Cuba series in Havana, Cuba, on Tuesday night.

Game 2 on Wednesday night saw ECU pitcher Jake Agnos throw four innings with three…

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July 12, 2018

July is a big month for college football fans to soak up preseason hype in the form of magazines, predictions and projections of all kinds.

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The Phil Steele Preview…

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July 11, 2018

A major “wow moment” happened for Blake Taylor before he even teed off last Thursday at The Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., for his PGA Tour debut.

It came Tuesday during a practice round for the East Carolina rising junior while playing with PGA veteran Jim Furyk.…

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July 10, 2018

East Carolina men’s golf coach Andrew Sapp is the president of the Golf Coaches Association of America, and serving in that role put him in Avion, France, last week.

He was there for the Arnold Palmer Classic, which is a Ryder Cup-style event for college golfers, while current Pirate…

Greenbrier Golf
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