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BYH, I just moved to Greenville with my lovely wife and two precious children and a dog. I was so happy when the...

Improving Pirates head to New Orleans

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East Carolina guard B.J. Tyson, left, looks to drive against Tulane during a game in Minges Coliseum on Jan. 31, 2018.

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BY NATHAN SUMMERS
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

No one sees a team the way its head coach does, and as Michael Perry watched some of his players during Tuesday afternoon’s shootaround, he said he saw a team that has grown tremendously since going through an early-season coaching change.

The team’s interim head coach, who replaced Jeff Lebo back in December, also said there is a good chance the Pirates (9-14, 3-5 American Athletic Conference) can take a more noticeable step — one that might translate into more consistent winning — before the season ends.

ECU treks to New Orleans tonight for a rematch with Tulane, which finished off the Pirates in overtime in Greenville on Jan. 31.

“We’re scoring the basketball better now clearly. However, we need our defense to get on the same page with our offense,” Perry said of the Pirates, who have only played two game so far in February, a resounding OT win against Memphis at home followed by a 90-73 slugging at the hands of Temple in Philadelphia. “We’ve been a little inconsistent there. We had two pretty good defensive outings at home and we need to be able to duplicate that on the road as well.”

One key to that effort in Perry’s mind is the continued enhancement of defensive looks, including playing a good deal more zone.

While not an easy thing to adapt midseason, Perry said he has been pleased with his team’s zone defense so far and expects it to continue to grow.

“It’s been a difference-maker for us defensively, but again, the more teams see it, the more they’re going to be prepared for it,” Perry said. “That’s going to be the step, getting the defense on the same page as our offense.”

Senior B.J. Tyson is charging toward becoming the leading scorer in American Athletic Conference history. He needs just 14 points against the Green Wave to take over the top spot. The left-hander leads the Pirates in scoring this season at 14.2 points per game.

Behind him are juniors Kentrell Barkley (12.5, team-high 7.5 rebounds per game), junior Isaac Fleming (12.3 ppg.) and freshman Shawn Williams (10.8).

Since beating the Pirates, the Wave (13-11, 4-8) has lost three straight to Temple, Tulsa and Houston, part of a stretch of five losses in six games. Tulane is led in scoring by Melvin Frazier (16.3 ppg.), Cameron Williams (15.6), Samir Sehic (10.5), Jordan Cornish (10.0) and Ray Ona Embo (10.0).

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

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ECU

October 15, 2018

East Carolina did not have a men’s or women’s basketball player lauded by the American Athletic Conference as a preseason all-conference pick.

The AAC released its preseason polls Monday, which had the ECU men 11th out of 12 teams and the Pirate women in eighth place.

UCF led the…

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October 15, 2018

It is the time of year when perspectives can become very contrasting for college football teams depending on where they are in the standings.

Very often, the great teams already have found ways to survive and stay on top, whereas the hard-luck teams often continue to lament coming close but not…

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October 15, 2018

The East Carolina football team is turning to true freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers for this week and with a long-term plan in mind for the 6-foot-3, 236-pound left-hander to be the leader of the ECU offense.

Coach Scottie Montgomery announced Monday during his weekly news conference that Ahlers,…

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October 15, 2018

One thing that stands out with first-year coach Joe Dooley about the East Carolina basketball team’s big men is their potential.

The Pirates are not going to overpower many teams in the post — they’re tallest player is 6-foot-9 freshman Rico Quinton — and they are young, but…

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October 15, 2018

It was easy to think back to East Carolina football’s successful run in Conference USA during Saturday night’s game against Houston at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

The first reminder was Houston being the visiting team. The Cougars occupied the same visiting sideline Dec. 5, 2009, for a…

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October 15, 2018

Things are tightening at the top between N.C. State, Appalachian State and Duke, but no changes again this week.

Here are The Daily Reflector’s updated in-state college football power rankings:

1. N.C. State

Record: 5-0.

Why No. 1? Because the Wolfpack is undefeated. The game many…

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October 14, 2018

East Carolina’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams captured their first wins of the season Saturday, topping William & Mary on the road by a 136-126 score in each division.

Freshman Marek Osina, the latest American Athletic Conference swimmer of the week, led the ECU…

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October 14, 2018

These three questions appeared in the Pirate Gameday section previewing the East Carolina-Houston football game, which ended as a 42-20 win for Houston that could have been more lopsided if not for a few late touchdowns by the Pirates.

Speaking of those touchdowns ... 

1. Which ECU quarterback…

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October 13, 2018

A week-long theme of a possible new-look East Carolina football offense did not come to fruition Saturday night against Houston at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

On a night when ECU had its first announced crowd of less than 30,000 since the finale of the 2005 season, the Pirates used all three of their…

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October 13, 2018

East Carolina’s football offense started too slow and delivered too little again on Saturday night in a 42-20 beating at the hands of visiting Houston.

From third-down miscues to an inability to reach the red zone to a touchdown drought that stretched seven full quarters, ECU (2-4, 0-3…

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