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Pirates square off with Bulls

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East Carolina's Kentrell Barkley goes up for a shot during their game against Central Florida on Dec. 31, 2017. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The East Carolina basketball team will head south tonight in attempt to create some American Athletic Conference momentum against South Florida.

The Pirates (6-7 overall) opened league play with consecutive blowout losses to Tulsa on the road and Central Florida at home on Sunday, a game in which ECU totaled 39 points.

Tonight, ECU and interim head coach Michael Perry hope to climb out of the hole against a Bulls team with an identical 0-2 league record in the wake of setbacks against Houston and SMU.

"We have some hurdles in regards to injuries and some other different things, but we have to handle the adversity and continue to move forward," Perry said of his club, which won four of its final five non-conference games.

But turnovers and poor shooting have haunted the team in its early foray into AAC action.

The Pirates continue to be led by their guard trio of senior B.J. Tyson (team-high 15.3 points per game) and juniors Isaac Fleming (13.3) and Kentrell Barkley (12.0). Senior post man Jabari Craig leads to the team with an average output of seven rebounds per outing, closely followed by 6.7 from Barkley.

The most glaring problem for ECU has been the high number of points surrendered off turnovers.

"The killer right now for us and our Achilles heel is taking care of the basketball," Perry said. "Twenty-one turnovers (against UCF) is a losing number on any level and any game. That many turnovers can just kill you.

"We want to look at a lot of film and all those turnovers we had (against UCF) and how so many of those were self-inflicted. Taking care of of the basketball is going to really be a priority.”

The Bulls boast a pair of double-digit scorers in Payton Banks (13.7 ppg) and Stephan Jiggetts (11.2), who also leads USF in assists.

Like ECU, South Florida also scored 39 points in its last outing. It shot 28.0 percent from the field against SMU in Dallas on Sunday, ultimately losing 79-39.

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Humans of Greenville

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ECU

July 22, 2018

CARY — Larry Fedora and Scottie Montgomery both had similar feelings last fall in not liking losing, but having to deal with those outcomes.

It is part of the reason why the football coaches — Fedora for North Carolina and Montgomery for East Carolina — were similar with their…

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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.

First-year East Carolina defensive coordinator David Blackwell has worked on specific details with his players…

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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.

These things have not been kind already to East Carolina, which has posted consecutive 3-9 seasons under coach Scottie Montgomery.

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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