Monday's Notes 1/14/02

For those ECU fans anticipating 20 and 30-point blowouts at the hands of the Pirates new conference foes may be pleased with their team's league play thus far.

East Carolina athletic director Mike Hamrick certainly thinks so. Says Hamrick, "We're not as far away from competing in this league as I thought we were going to be. I thought it would be really difficult to stay in games. But the last three games, we've been right there with opportunities to win the game. We're just a player or two away from doing it."

For the third consecutive time, ECU's margin of defeat in a Conference-USA contest was 10 points or less in Saturday's 84-75 setback to UNC-Charlotte. Previously, ECU (6-8, 0-3 C-USA) lost to Cincinnati and Alabama-Birmingham by scores of 72-62 and 63-54 respectively.

Against Charlotte (8-6, 2-1 C-USA), sophomore Erroyl Bing was once again the ECU standout with a game-high 24 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Gabriel Mikulas, playing in only his second game of the season finished with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz thinks Saturday's contest is only the first in what he sees as a good rivalry, "I think (the rivalry) is good for both schools," Lutz said. "We are in North Carolina, which is ACC country. This gives us a presence in both the west and the eastern part of the state."

The fans are certainly doing their part to help elevate the long downtrodden ECU basketball program despite a hefty ticket price increase. Over 7300 were in Minges for the Cincinnati contest and almost 6500 turned out for the Charlotte game. When the Louisville Cardinals visit Greenville this Thursday evening look for another packed house and maybe, just maybe a breakthrough win.

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