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Louisville - East Carolina: Game Preview

#15 Louisville takes on East Carolina in C-USA action tonight in Greenville, NC. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 at 9:00. NOTE: Jay is filling in for ITV regular Scott Stepro. Many thanks to Jay. <body> <p><b><font size="2"><a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/teams/laq/">(Internet game broadcast)</a></font></b></p> </body>

Louisville vs. East Carolina: Game Preview 


Date: Thursday, January 16th, 2003

Time: 9:00 PM

Location: Greenville, North Carollina

Venue: Williams Arena (8,000)

Television: ESPN2(The Deuce)

Radio: WHAS (840 AM)

Series History: Tied 1-1(Louisville lost at ECU last year 87-77 and won at Freedom Hall 75-42)

National Rankings: East Carolina, unranked in all major polls; Louisville is ranked 18th in USA Today/ESPN ; 15th in AP; 3rd in Sagarin Ratings; 9th in RPI rankings 

            TEAM STATISTICS 

                        East Carolina   Opponents

PPG                        74.4              63.1

FG %                     47.2%           38.4%

3 PT. FG%             29.5%          31.7%

REBOUNDS          38.3             34.8

Assist/Turnovers  173/167          146/200

Steals                       78                 74

Blocks                      60                 28

FT %                     69.8%           72.2% 


Coach: Bill Herrion

Returning Starters: 4

2001-02 Record: 12-18

2001-02 CUSA Record: 5-11

Web Site Address: www.ecupirates.com 

Probable Starting Line-up 

G Derrick Wiley(#31)  6'4  Jr.  14.0 PPG

G Travis Holcomb-Faye(#42) 6'1  Sr.  10.1 PPG

Belton Rivers(#01)  6'3  Fr.  10.0 PPG

F Gabriel Mikulas(#51)  6'8  Jr.  12.7 PPG

F Erroyl Bing(#33)   6'6  Jr.  8.9 PPG 


This game is a huge payback game for the Cards. The Cards 87-77 defeat in Greenville last year contributed heavily to their exclusion from the NCAA Tournament due to ECU's low RPI ranking. It was obvious from the start that coach Pitino was not happy with the officiating and received a couple of technicals towards the end of the contest and was abruptly ejected from the game. I don*t think the Cards and Coach P will forget the ECU fans storming the court after their upset. Regardless of how much they may play it down, I believe the Cards want to win this game big. 

On his radio show Monday night, Pitino said that the officials working the game Thursday night were veteran officials and didn't expect them to be intimidated by the Pirates hostile crowd. ECU has shot 184 free throws at Williams Arena to just 98 for the visiting teams. It will be interesting to see if such a disparity exists against the Cards. 

Louisville needs to get off to a better start than they have in recent games against Ohio State and St. Louis. They need to start playing better for 40 minutes to beat some of the tougher teams coming up on the schedule. ECU returns 4 of the 5 starters from the team that beat the Cards last year. Multi-talented forward Gabriel Mikulas teamed with guard Terry Holcomb-Faye last year to give the Cards fits. Make no mistake, this team does have talent. They just need to learn how to win on the road. 

I think the Cards will be ready for this game. They will definitely not take ECU for granted like they may have done last year. I look for a very closely contested first half with the Cards depth making the difference in the second half. Kendall Dartez and Taquan Dean will have big games off the bench as the Cards win 82-73.  









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