Loading...
BYH: To the city of Greenville. You spend dollars promoting uptown Greenville to draw many in. Now you want to drive...

Pirates still in practice mode

121218ECUbasketball-1.JPG
1 of 6

East Carolina's Jayden Gardner, left, and Seth LeDay share a laugh at the start of practice Tuesday in Minges Coliseum.

121218ECUbasketball-3.JPG
121218ECUbasketball-6.JPG
121218ECUbasketball-5.JPG
121218ECUbasketball-4.JPG
121218ECUbasketball-2.JPG
Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

East Carolina basketball forward Jayden Gardner completed the final academic exam of his freshman fall semester on Tuesday, and now he can turn most of his attention to basketball, but that means more practices than games for him and the Pirates.

ECU (6-4) is near the middle of its oddest scheduling month of the season. The Pirates will play at Charlotte on Dec. 18 for their first game since Dec. 2. Their third and final contest of the month is against North Carolina A&T in Minges Coliseum 10 days later on Dec. 28.

The lack of games has created extra time for coaches to travel for recruiting and for the players to spend a lot of time practicing in Minges and the Smith-Williams Center.

“Practices have changed to more skill-based,” said Gardner, ECU’s leading scorer at 19 points per game, of workouts since a 70-47 home victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Dec. 2 in which Gardner scored 22 points and K.J. Davis, Shawn Williams and Seth LeDay each had 10. “It’s for us to keep working on our game and get better and for us to shoot the three-point ball better. We just want to shoot better, in general, and lock in on the plays and the personnel coming up.”

First-year Pirate coach Joe Dooley added that shooting has been a sticking point this week.

“I think the big thing is we’ve been able to spend a lot of time shooting,” he said. “We are young and their bodies have hit the wall a little bit. During the last couple of days we haven’t done a ton of contact stuff, but we’ll get back to being ourselves these next couple days and then get a day off and get back to grinding.”

ECU’s women’s team hasn’t played since Dec. 1 and returns to action Thursday.

The ECU men were 4-4 before wins against Appalachian State and Eastern Shore.

Gardner is the only Pirate who has started all 10 games. He was joined in the most recent starting lineup by Williams, Davis, LeDay and rookie point guard Tae Hardy, who started but played a season-low eight minutes.

Hardy has nine starts. All other players have five or less.

Dooley said player combinations for his squad have been fluid mainly because of the style of play by a lot of opponents thus far and their tendency to play with smaller lineups.

ECU big men Justin Whatley and Rico Quinton, a freshman and the team’s tallest player at 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds, have been limited to three games and two games, respectively, because of injuries. Their health and development are key for the Pirates as they progress toward completing their nonconference schedule on Dec. 28 and then turn to a challenging and more busy American Athletic Conference slate in January.

“I think we’ll be able to tweak some things, and we are still trying to figure out our rotation,” Dooley said. “There hasn’t been much separation (between players). Finally everyone is healthy, so we’ll have the chance to evaluate them during practice. … When we get to league play, we’re going to see a lot more big bodies and will have to get those guys ready.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

August 21, 2019

Many intricacies and focuses for East Carolina football players have changed with Monday's start to the fall semester and the N.C. State game a little more than a week away, but Pirate coach Mike Houston had no plans of intensity dipping with the transition from preseason workouts to in-season and…

082119_gdr_ecufootball-10.jpg

August 20, 2019

No more waiting for Holton Ahlers or the rest of the East Carolina football team or Pirate fans.

With next Saturday’s noon kickoff at N.C. State getting closer and closer, first-year Pirate coach Mike Houston officially announced after Tuesday’s practice that Ahlers will be his…

082119_gdr_ecufootball-8.jpg

August 20, 2019

Quarterback Holton Ahlers led East Carolina’s football team in rushing last season with 592 yards and six touchdowns on 119 carries.

New offensive principles are in place at ECU under a new coaching staff, leading to some intrigue about Ahlers and his run availability. Would this staff, led…

081819_gdr_ecumedia-4.jpg

August 19, 2019

East Carolina first-year football coach Mike Houston described the Pirates' No. 1 center, Branden Pena, as a "tough joker" on Saturday.

The football-centric praise showed how far the relationship has come between Pena and Houston since December.

"Branden Pena is a guy that I didn't know his name…

081819_gdr_ecumedia-6.jpg

August 17, 2019

Moments of reflection Saturday brought East Carolina first-year head football coach Mike Houston back to the spring.

The physicality he saw Saturday during the Pirates' final preseason scrimmage was vastly different from the spring Purple-Gold Game.

Darius Pinnix displayed his punishing rushing…

081819_gdr_ecumedia-10.jpg

August 17, 2019

East Carolina’s football players were asked about their favorite ice cream flavor Saturday and they got the opportunity to pick on teammates, but there also were serious questions pointed their way about the Aug. 31 opener at N.C. State and the rest of an important season for the Pirates…

081819_gdr_ecumedia-15.jpg

August 17, 2019

In an exhibition match defined by defense, Jenna Dages scored the only goal for the East Carolina women’s soccer team to top VCU 1-0 on Friday night inside Johnson Stadium.

Dages’ goal came at the 45:34 mark. From there, goalie Meaghan Haley and ECU's defense helped to maintain the lead.…

082018ECUsoccer-4.jpg

August 17, 2019

Here are five East Carolina football players who have stepped up during preseason camp and will be looking to continue their momentum when the Pirates complete camp with a scrimmage Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium:

1. Xavier Smith, linebacker: Smith has kind of quietly morphed from a tight end…

111818ECUfootball-24.jpg

August 16, 2019

East Carolina’s football practice Friday morning ended with center Branden Pena snapping to quarterback Holton Ahlers in the victory formation, and then the Pirates celebrated. Kicker Jake Verity also made a 57-yard field goal during a late-game sequence.

On the day before an important…

081119_gdr_ecufootball-13.jpg

August 16, 2019

Jayda Hylton-Pelaia has played countless soccer matches in Canada and the United States, impressing plenty of observers with her fluid dribbling and defensive skills.

Her effect on American Athletic Conference coaches was felt Tuesday when she was named AAC preseason defensive player of the year,…

Jayda 6.jpg
171 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 18
        Next Page»   Last Page»