Coming into the season the Pirate men's basketball team had high expectations for themselves. They started the 2012-2013 season off on a high note with a five-game winning streak; with their first loss coming at the hands of UNC-Charlotte on Dec 1.
Since that loss, the Pirates have been 3-2 in their last five games; their most significant loss coming at UNC Chapel Hill. The Pirates only lost to the Tar Heels by 6 points and scored the most points in a single half(61) ever allowed by a Roy Williams team. Even though it was a loss, the game at UNC Chapel Hill did wonders for the publicity of Pirate men's basketball.
This season the Pirates have been averaging 78 points a game while holding opponents to an average of 67 points. Scoring for the Pirates has come from some familiar faces; along with addition of some fresh new talent.
Senior forward Maurice Kemp leads the team in points, averaging 18 a game, improving from his average of 10.5 last season. Miguel Paul, who joined the Pirates a couple of games into the season, has also produced; averaging 12 pts a game. One of the big story lines of this season has been the play of Robert Sampson who has been averaging close to a double-double a game (10pts, 9 rebounds).
Freshmen Center Marshall Guilmette has shown a lot of promise for the Pirates; he leads the team with a 54% field goal percentage. Akeem Richmond has virtually been the only threat from behind the arc for the Pirates this season, proving that three-point production is going to be something to keep an eye on moving forward.
The Pirates are a perfect 7-0 at home and will look to string together some more home wins in the next two games before starting Conference USA play on the road against Memphis Jan 9.
Women's Hoops Starts a Similar 9-3
The Women's Pirate basketball team came into the season looking to respond after being eliminated from the Conference USA Tournament by Tulane last year for the third straight season. The Pirates ended the season 12-19 overall and 5-11 in conference, both records they should eclipse this season.
This season has been a different story; the lady Pirates have started 9-3 overall with a 6-1 home record. Their losses have come to UNC Chapel Hill, Navy, and College of Charleston; the team has one road game before opening their conference play against Rice at home Jan 10.
As far as scoring goes, this season the lady Pirates average 67 points a game to their opponents 52. The Edward twins, rising seniors Britny and Whitny, have been the "bread and butter" for this team both averaging close to 12 pts. a game. Another scoring threat for the lady Pirates has been Kristine Mial, who led the team in three-pointers made last season, and currently has a 45% 3pt field goal percentage in her first two games since returning to the team.
Final Thoughts This has been the best start to a season for both Pirate men's and women's basketball in recent history. Both teams now have the opportunity to prove to the Pirate Nation that they can win in conference, something that has proved to be a challenge in recent years. Minges Coliseum has been a safe place to play for both teams thus far; but learning how to get road wins is something they'll have to do if they want to continue their winning ways. Inside ECU Sports will be keeping the Pirate Nation up to date as the basketball season progresses.
vs. Campbell at home 1/2/13.
at George Mason 1/2/13.