Previewing East Carolina

2009 Scouting Report / 2009 Game Plan / 2010 Scouting Report / 2010 Game Plan
2010 Stats
2011 Roster
2011 Schedule

 

ECU Offense 08-09
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 51.5 75
Turnover Rate 17.7 31
Off Reb Rate 30.9 241
FTA/FGA 36.5 178
ECU Offense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 48.6 176
Turnover Rate 24.6 333
Off Reb Rate 34.1 120
FTA/FGA 42.9 62

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Lebo began his head coaching career with the Dammit Dogs in 1998, where he coached 'em up good before moving on to Chattanooga.  Realizing he was still in Tennessee, he quickly segued to Auburn, which sounded more colorful.  There he coached up the Tigers and promptly coached them back down again, which led to his ouster and soft landing at East Carolina.  In 12 seasons, he has two NIT appearances and zero NCAAs to his name, but his experience made him a safe choice for a school with no history, little recent success, and thus no reason whatsover not to pick a riskier up-and-comer type.  If the problem was that the ECU sideline wasn't bald enough, well let me tell you, those days are over.  Nothin's gonna wipe the shine from that dome.  Not two winning seasons in six years at an SEC school, not nothin'.

In Terry Holland's defense, he was so busy writing memos to the "Pirate Nation" chastising them for another battery-related incident that he couldn't be bothered with a coaching search.  You know that guy and his memos.  Besides, Dean Smith's expertise was right there on the speed dial.

Things could be going better for Lebo even though the team is off to a 2-0 start with wins over a non-IA school and Campbell.  Senior point guard Brock Young, also known as the short fast guy who scored 25 points at the RBC Center two years ago, is ECU's all-time assists leader; he had knee surgery in September and missed the Campbell game.  Forwards DaQuan Joyner and Chad Wynn have also been sidelined by injury.  While they were not especially good last season, they were significant parts of the rotation. (Wynn would be a starter if healthy.)  Joyner has a stress fracture in his foot and is a definite no-go on Thursday; Young I would expect to go; Wynn, I'm not sure.

Starters

Brock Young (5-11, 180) / Corvonn Gaines (6-4, 220) -- Young was a game-time decision on Monday; he's practicing but sore, and you'd have to figure that if there is any way he can play against the Pack, he will.  Young was their leading scorer in 2010; he's quick, tough to stay in front of, and gets to the line often. He's also an assist machine, finishing in the top 20 in assist rate each of the last two years.  In '09 he assisted on nearly half of his teammates' made shots while he was on the floor.  But he's not much of a shooter, inside or out, and the 15-16 points he scored every night last season came at a high cost.

If Young is too banged up to play, the point duties fall to Gaines, who didn't make much of an impact as a lightly-used freshman last season.

Jontae Sherrod (6-3, 210) --As a role player two years ago, Sherrod shot pretty well inside and out.  Last season his role increased significantly, in terms of both playing time and workload, and his shooting suffered.  His two- and three-point accuracy tumbled about 8-9 percent, and he continued to turn the ball over quite a bit.  He's leading the team in FGAs and PPG at this early stage--Lebo doesn't have a lot of options--and for whatever it's worth, he is off to a solid start.  It won't last into the tougher competition, but it's important for them right now.  He won't be shy from beyond the arc.

Jamar Abrams (6-6, 205) -- Abrams's story is similar to Sherrod's, but the decline in his shooting accuracy was far less severe, and he remained an efficient scorer.  He's a career 53.8% shooter from two, 37.7% from three, with his attempts split roughly 50/50 inside and out.  He's mistake-prone as well but clearly capable of handling a major role in the offense.

Erin Straughn (6-6, 205) -- Saw decent time off the bench as a freshman last season, and if nothing else, proved a competent three-point shooter.  Decent defensive rebounder for his size, but again with the turnovers.

Darrius Morrow (6-8, 255) -- I almost hate to do this two games in a row.  Still: Free Darrius Morrow! Let the fat man live!  As a freshman in 2009, Morrow made 56% of his twos, grabbed a bunch of offensive rebounds, and led the country in free throw rate, with 160 FTAs to go along with his 169 field goal attempts.  He made 58% of his twos last season and led C-USA in FG%.  He continued to gobble up offensive boards and draw fouls.  What he's never been is a consistent or significant part of the offense.  Maybe ECU's guard-oriented attack is missing an opportunity here.  Maybe he's just really good at scoring put-backs.  Probably wouldn't hurt to give the big guy a few more touches and find out for sure.

Bench:

Chad  Wynn (6-10, 270), Darius Morales (6-8, 205), Wakefield Ellison (6-5, 200), Robert Sampson (6-8, 195), Petar Torlak (6-2, 185).  Tough to figure ECU's rotation at this point; Wynn is a question mark with the injury, while the rest of these guys are averaging double-digit minutes. 

Wynn was a valuable player at the defensive end last year, as he led the team in defensive rebounding percentage and block rate.  He made 55% of his twos as well.  Not necessarily someone they'd lean on to score, but certainly a guy they'd like to have playing big minutes. Morales, Sampson, and Torlak are freshmen.  Ellison played sparingly a year ago, though it does appear he has or thinks he has three-point range.

 

ECU Defense 08-09
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 51.0 254
Turnover Rate 14.5 343
Off Reb Rate 35.6 277
FTA/FGA 34.5 133
ECU Defense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 51.2 276
Turnover Rate 16.8 333
Off Reb Rate 33.6 212
FTA/FGA 35.9 137

 

 

 

 

 

Last year's D was bad, just not as bad as the incompetent '09 unit.  Everything came together so perfectly poorly that theirs was one of the ten worst defenses in college hoops that season.  Last year they were merely in the bottom 70.  If they're going to start a move toward decency, they've at least got to begin grabbing more of their opponents' missed shots.  While they're at it, they might also look into forcing a turnover here and there, and maybe not giving up so many easy looks at the basket.  You know, really get this thing rolling.

If they ever manage to get themselves healthy, the offense could make big strides this season.  Until further notice, it's best to assume this defense is going to limit their overall progress.

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