2013-14 Season Preview

Fresh off a school-record 23 wins last season and a CollegeInsider.com Tournament championship there is plenty of excitement surrounding the East Carolina program this season. The Pirates opened the $17 million Smith-Williams Center, which houses a practice gym, coaches' offices, locker rooms, player lounges and athletic training room in August. Things have never been more positive surrounding East Carolina basketball.

The realization of a practice facility shows that the school is committed to improving its basketball profile and not a moment too soon with its impending move the American Athletic Conference next season. For now, fourth-year head coach Jeff Lebo must find a way to replace more than 70 percent of the team's scoring and 79 percent of its rebounds.

ECU lost leading scorer Maurice Kemp (18.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and two-time C-USA assist leader Miguel Paul (13.3 ppg, 7.2 apg) to graduation. Forward Robert Sampson (9.1 ppg, 9.2 rpg) transferred to Georgia Tech during the summer and Ty Armstrong (9.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg) left school just days before the official start of practice.

That leaves junior Paris Roberts-Campbell as the Pirates' lone returning starter. He made 30 starts last season averaging 5.6 points and 1.8 assists per contest and is expected to share more of the scoring load this season with senior Akeem Richmond.

The hero of the CIT championship, Richmond enters his final season eligibility with 261 career 3s, second most among all active players. He is the Pirates' leading returning scorer, averaging 10.9 points per game despite coming off the bench in all 35 games. Richmond is sure to get most of the opponent's attention when he's in the game, so the more inexperienced post players must develop to combat perimeter defenses.

Sophomores Marshall Guilmette and Michael Zangari look to help fill the void left by Armstrong, Kemp and Sampson down low. The duo combined to average 5.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. Other than Roberts-Campbell and Richmond, no returning player averaged more than Guilmette's 13.3 minutes per game.

Waiting in the wings are three transfers: Keith Armstrong (Robert Morris), Michel Nzege (Winston-Salem State) and Terry Whisnant (Florida State), who must all sit out this season in compliance with NCAA rules, but who are certain to push their teammates in practice everyday along with walk-ons Francis Edosomwan and Petyon Robbins.

Sophomore Prince Williams, who ranks fourth behind Guilmette in minutes played among the returning player with 5.0 per game, will man the point guard spot alongside junior college transfer Antonio Robinson. At 6-foot-5, Williams gives the Pirates a big point guard with a more physical style than his predecessor. Robinson, a junior college All-American, was named his region's Player-of-the-Year last season. He is a classic pass-first point guard who the coaches would like to see become more aggressive at creating his own offense. Senior Petar Torlak will also add depth to the position.

The Pirates' trio of Virginia freshmen are likely to offer assistance both in the post and on the perimeter. Brandan Stith is already regarded as one of the team's top rebounders and should help with the inside scoring - the 6-7 forward averaged 19.3 points and 10.1 rebounds last season at Brunswick High School, leading his team to its third consecutive state title. Rookie Caleb White offers the Pirates some versatility as a small forward and has an impressive upside for the future. Greg Alexander has an eye for the basket and gives ECU another shooter from the perimeter.

Waiting in the wings are three transfers: Keith Armstrong (Robert Morris), Michel Nzege (Winston-Salem State) and Terry Whisnant, who must all sit out this season in compliance with NCAA rules, but who are certain to push their teammates in practice everyday along with walk-ons Francis Edosomwan and Petyon Robbins.

returning players

Marshall Guilmette Marshall Guilmette
Played in the first 31 games before being sidelined for the final four games of the season due to injury ... Averaged 4.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 13.3 minutes per game ... Shot 51.6 percent from the floor and 61.0 percent at the free throw line ... Was the first player off the bench in 18 games ... Scored double figures in three games with a season-high 13 in the season opener against Washington & Lee.

Akeem Richmond Akeem Richmond
The Pirates' leading returning scorer (10.9 ppg) ... Scored 1,010 points during his three-year collegiate career and made more than 260 3-pointers ... Over 78 percent of his career made field goals (333) are 3-point field goals (261) ... Shot 37.8 percent behind the arc and 37.5 percent overall ... Averaged 2.5 3-pointers per game ... Led Conference USA in 3-point field goals per game (3.0), ranking 16th in the nation last season ... Finished 24th in the country in 3-point shooting (.420) ... Averaged a league-best 3.6 3s per game during C-USA play, while shooting 46.8 percent (58-124) ... Set the ECU single-season record with 105 3-pointers, becoming the 12th player in C-USA history to make 100 3s in a year.

Paris Roberts-Campbell Paris Roberts-Campbell
Is the lone returning starter on the team ... Started 30 of 35 games played as a sophomore ... Averaged 5.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 25.6 minutes per game ... Over 66 percent (.667) of his made field goals (63) were 3-point field goals (42) ... Shot 36.3 percent behind the arc (42-116) ... Shot 40.4 percent outside the 3-point line in league play, ranking sixth in Conference USA.

Petar Torlak Petar Torlak
Only player on the team to have been at ECU each of coach Jeff Lebo's first four years ... Played in 40 games in his first three seasons, averaging 1.7 points and 5.7 minutes per game ... Only saw action in four games as a junior due to injury ... Averaged 5.3 points and 9.0 minutes in those games.

Michael Zangari Michael Zangari
Appeared in 27 games as a freshman in 2012-13, averaging 0.9 points, 0.9 rebounds and 4.1 minutes per game ... Played double digit minutes in three games with a season-best 14 at Charlotte ... Shot 45.8 percent from the floor (11-24) ... Scored two points in two minutes in his ECU debut against Washington & Lee, grabbing one rebound ... Scored six points against St. Andrews ... Ten of his 24 rebounds during the season came in back-to-back games against Charlotte and St. Andrews, grabbing five boards in each game ... Netted five points against Rice, going 2-of-2 from the floor and 1-of-2 at the free throw line.

Prince Williams Prince Williams
Came off the bench to play in 22 games as a freshman ... Averaged 1.2 points in 5.0 minutes per game ... Shot 44.4 percent from the field and 68.8 percent at the free throw line ... Saw double digit playing time in three games ... Played in 12 C-USA games after playing in only four non-conference games ... Led the Pirates in assists (5) and steals (3) at SMU, playing a season-best 14 minutes ... Posted season-highs for points (8) and rebounds (7) against Rider in 13 minutes ... Scored four points on 2-of-2 shooting in the CIT Championship Game versus Weber State.


2012-13 stats

Team Statistics
SCORING 2679 2484
Points per game 76.5 71.0
Scoring margin +5.6 -
FIELD GOALS-ATT 922-2039 922-2142
Field goal pct .452 .430
3 POINT FG-ATT 274-784 189-577
3-point FG pct .349 .328
3-pt FG made per game 7.8 5.4
FREE THROWS-ATT 561-784 451-674
Free throw pct .716 .669
F-Throws made per game 16.0 12.9
REBOUNDS 1256 1316
Rebounds per game 35.9 37.6
Rebounding margin -1.7 -
ASSISTS 603 541
Assists per game 17.2 15.5
Turnovers per game 12.7 13.6
Turnover margin +0.9 -
Assist/turnover ratio 1.4 1.1
STEALS 279 223
Steals per game 8.0 6.4
BLOCKS 156 117
Blocks per game 8.0 6.4
Home win streak 6 -
ATTENDANCE 97838 93585
Home games-Avg/Game 21-4659 13-6657
Neutral site-Avg/Game - 1-7050