Pirates in Search of Depth
by Josh Spence

There were several questions leading into the first year of ECU basketball under Ricky Stokes.  One is how will the Pirates score points after the loss of their two leading scorers.  Another big question mark was the shooting, a weakness for the Pirates in years past.  Probably the biggest question however, had to be how the Pirates compete down low.


The ECU coaching staff did a terrific job in the off-season recruiting, and picking up junior college transfers to fill immediate needs.  Guys like Tyronne Beale, and Courtney Captain are expected to pay immediate dividends for this team as far as scoring points and also shooting from the perimeter. 


Here are some stats that show ECU may be better off than people think.  Despite having a decided size advantage against Gardner Webb, ECU still out-rebounded them 33-32, and held a 14-4 advantage on the offensive glass.  In fact, thanks to Corey Rouse ECU has led in the rebound category of every game this year and overall has out-rebounded opponents 105 to 95.


To help the Pirates cause several young players have emerged as well.  Sam Hinnant, a true freshman from Charlotte, is giving the Pirates some much needed scoring in the backcourt.  Hinnant has averaged 13 points through the first 3 games, and is shooting a team best 36 % from three.  JUCO transfer Tyronne Beale has also helped the Pirates averaging 12 points and 4 rebounds thus far this season.


So far at 2-1 the Pirates have surprised some people.  The off-season additions ECU has put together should fill some gaps.  However, the competition will get much tougher as the season rolls on.  With teams like Wake Forest, Memphis, and UTEP on the schedule the pirates will have to play at their best, just to manage a .500 record this season.  Corey Rouse seems to be on his way to a career year, but he’ll need some help from the supporting cast to win games.

Josh Spence