Jan. 2, 2006
Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
Tip-Off: 9:06 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Net South (Bob Rathbun and Dan Bonner)
Radio: Pirate Sports Radio Network (Jeff Charles and Si Seymour)
East Carolina will challenge Wake Forest on the basketball court for the first time in nearly 20 years Tuesday night when the Pirates make their first visit to Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum at battle the Demon Deacons. Tip-off is slated for shortly after 9 p.m. and will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Net South.
Both teams enter the game riding a pair of winning streaks. ECU has won each of its last two games while Wake Forest has won three in-a-row after defeating Charleston Southern on Saturday.
The Pirates enter the game on the heels of an 82-69 win over rival UNC Wilmington on Saturday. Five players scored double figures to lead ECU to its first victory over the Seahawks since 2000, snapping a three-game skid against its rival to the south. Freshman Sam Hinnant led all scorers with 18 points, while Courtney Captain added 15 points off the bench. Tyronne Beale, Jeremy Ingram and Corey Rouse each netted 11 points in the victory.
Senior Justin Gray led a quartet of Deacons in double figures in a 40-point win over Charleston Southern, 87-47, at home with 17 points. Shamaine Dukes recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.
Wake Forest leads the all-time series 3-0. The first game in the series was played December 17, 1969 with the Deacons claiming a one-point victory. The two teams met twice during the 1980s with Wake Forest winning by 24 and five.
Pirates Blitz UNCW To Claim Win In Rivalry
Sophomore Jeremy Ingram nailed a trio of threes in the first 3:36 and ECU scored the game's first eight points and blitzed by UNC Wilmington Saturday, 82-69. Holding an 11-5 lead, ECU went on a 19-5 run to take a 20-point lead less than 10 minutes into the game and were never seriously threatened again leading by as many as 25 in the second half.
Charting The Pirates
East Carolina has out-rebounded each of its last five opponents and has out-rebounded nine of 11 foes this season.
The Pirates have held each of its last two opponents to under 40 percent shooting. ECU is 4-0 this season when its opponents shoots less than 40 percent from the field.
A career 52.2 percent free throw shooter, senior Corey Rouse has been getting better from the line. In the last four games, Rouse is 24-of-32 at the charity stripe (75.0 percent).
Rouse has scored double figures in all 11 games.
Sophomore Jeremy Ingram has made 8-of-15 three-point field goals the past two games (53.3 percent).
East Carolina has scored over 80 points in each of its last two games. ECU has won five straight when scoring 80 or more and 16 of its last 17.
Junior Courtney Captain and freshman Sam Hinnant have each made at least one three-pointer in every game this season.
The Pirates have used six different starting lineups this season, but have used the same one the last two games (Beale, Hinnant, Ingram, McNeil, Rouse).
ECU recorded season-highs in free throws made (28), free throw attempts (41), rebounds (40) and assists (18).
The Pirates shot a season-high 50 percent from the three-point line (8-16).
ECU recorded its highest free throw percentage (.683) since the season opener against North Carolina A&T. The Pirates made 27-of-34 free throws against the Aggies (.794).
Had five players score double figures for the first time since putting five in double figures against St. Andrews last season (Jan. 3, 2005).
Recorded a field goal defense percentage of .356, its lowest of the season.
Tied its largest rebounding margin of the season, out-rebounding the Seahawks by nine. The Pirates also out-rebounded Wofford by nine on the road.
Corey Rouse recorded his eighth double-double of the season and 19th of his career.
Sam Hinnant, Jeremy Ingram and Japhet McNeil each grabbed a career-high seven rebounds.
Courtney Captain scored a career-high 15 points, besting his previous career-high of 13 against UNC Greensboro.
Ingram To Face Former Teammates
East Carolina sophomore Jeremy Ingram makes his return to Joel Coliseum Tuesday night after transferring from Wake Forest to ECU at the end of the 2004 fall semester.
Ingram played his freshman season at WFU averaging 1.6 points and 0.8 rebounds in eight games.
Rouse Climbing Rebounding Ladder
East Carolina senior Corey Rouse joined the 500-rebound club against Toledo on December 21, grabbing 14 rebounds to become the 19th player in school history to achieve the mark.
He added to his career total with 11 rebounds against UNC Wilmington to bring his career tally to 530, placing him 17th in the school's all-time list.
As a junior he tallied 285 rebounds, sixth highest single season total in school history, and led Conference USA with 10.2 rebounds per game.
Thus far in 2005-06, Rouse has gathered 119 rebounds and again leads Conference USA in rebounding with 10.8 boards per game.
He needs 12 rebounds to move into 16th place on the list.
Attention 3-Point Shooters
After ranking last in Conference USA in three-point field goal percentage and three-pointers made per game last season, ECU has climbed out of the cellar in both categories.
The Pirates rank seventh in the conference in three-point field goal shooting and fifth in three-pointers made per game. ECU is averaging 6.3 made 3s per game compared to 4.28 last season. ECU is also shooting a higher percentage compared to a season ago. The Pirates are connecting on 34.0 percent of its long distance calls (69-of-203), compared to 29.1 percent last season.
In fact, ECU has already made half as many 3s this season (69) as it did the entire 2004-05 campaign (120).
Courtney Captain and Sam Hinnant rank among the top 3-point shooters in Conference USA. Both players are averaging 1.91 per game.
Although Jeremy Ingram hasn't played in enough games to rank among the league leaders yet, Ingram is averaging 3.0 made three points field goals per game.
The Book On The DeaconsWake Forest enters the game on a three-gam e winning streak and with an overall record of 10-2.
The Deacons are ranked among the top 25 in both the latest AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls.
4WFU has three players averaging double figures led by senior Justin Gray (18.5 ppg).
The Deacons have been held under 70 points just twice this season.
Wake Forest has five players averaging four or more rebounds per game led by Trent Strickland (8.3) and Eric Williams (7.9).
Either Justin Gray or Eric Williams has led WFU in scoring in 11 of 12 games.
Wake Forest has out-rebounded 11 of 12 opponents.
ECU Head Coach Ricky Stokes served as an assistant coach at Wake Forest for eight years (1989-97) under former coach Dave Odom.
Odom was the head coach at ECU from 1979-82.
ECU associate head coach Mack McCarthy played WFU in the opening round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament as the head coach at Chattanooga.
ECU assistant coach Larry Dixon once served as an assistant coach at Winston-Salem's Carver High School.
ECU freshman Sam Hinnant and WFU senior Justin Gray are both natives of Charlotte.
ECU freshman Quinton Goods, senior Will O'Neil and WFU freshman Kevin Swinton share the hometown of Greensboro.
WFU senior Chris Ellis and ECU signee Chad Wynn each played high school basketball at Marietta High School.
Ellis and ECU sophomore Tom Hammonds are both the sons of former NBA players, Dale Ellis and Tom Hammonds.
There are a total of 16 players (WFU -9, ECU - 7) from the state of North Carolina.
Former ECU head coach Eddie Payne is a 1972 graduate of Wake Forest.
ECU Director of Athletics Terry Holland compiled a record of 24-12 against WFU as the head coach at Virginia.
Wake Forest has won all three previous meetings with ECU.
Two of the three games have been decided by five points or less.
Neither Ricky Stokes or Skip Prosser has faced its opponent as a head coach.
Stokes is 1-1 against Prosser splitting a pair of games during the 1999-00 season when Stokes was at Virginia Tech and Prosser was at Xavier.
Stokes was 7-3 against Wake Forest as a player at Virginia from 1981-84.
Two Of Next Three Vs. Ranked Foes
East Carolina's schedule doesn't get any easier just because the calendar has. Beginning Tuesday night at 22nd ranked Wake Forest, two of the Pirates' next three games will be against ranked opponents.
After its game against the Demon Deacons, ECU will return home to face Division II St. Paul's on January 7.
Then, the Pirates will open Conference USA play by hosting fourth-ranked Memphis on January 11. The Tigers hold a 3-0 all-time series lead and defeated the Pirates in their lone visit to Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on February 11, 2004 (79-73).
Seeing Double Figures
East Carolina senior forward Corey Rouse has recorded eight double-doubles to start the season and is averaging a double-double through 11 games with 14.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
The Kinston, N.C. native has led ECU in rebounding in all 11 games and tallied double digit rebounds eight times. Rouse is the only Pirate to score double figures in all 11 games.
As a junior he ended the season by averaging a double-double with over 10 points and 10 rebounds per game. He tallied 11 double-doubles during the year. Rouse currently has 19 career double-doubles.
Only Erroyl Bing has posted more double-doubles during his career at ECU over the past 20 years, 24.
Giveth And Taketh Away
Junior point guard Japhet McNeil currently leads Conference USA with a 6.45 assists per game average. He has handed out double digit assists three times this season and four times in his career. He has recorded 5+ assists in seven of 11 games. His assist/turnover ratio (1.69) also ranks as seventh best in the league.
He currently occupies fourth place on the school's all-time lists for assists and third on the steals chart.
McNeil has accumulated 290 helpers during his career and needs 10 to become the fourth player in school history to dish out 300 assists..
He distributed double-digit assists in each of the first two games of the year, including a career-high 11 against Gardner-Webb.
Against UNC Wilmington, McNeil recorded two steals to brings his career total to 122. He is one of just five players in school history to record 100 steals. McNeil ranks fourth in the league in steals with 2.56 per game.
Junior college transfer Courtney Captain has quickly shown why he was one of the most sought after JUCO guards from Texas last season. He currently ranks third on the team in scoring, while leading the squad in three-point field goals made (21) and free throw percentage (.828).
Captain has made a three in every game and ranks sixth in Conference USA in three-point field goals per game (1.91).
He has scored double figures in five of the last eight games.
Defense truly is the key to winning. ECU has held four opponents to under 40 percent shooting this season and owns a record of 4-0 in those games.
Sam I Am
Freshman guard Sam Hinnant has wasted little time demonstrating his shooting ability this season. He is shooting 35.0 percent from three-point range and ranks among the league leaders in 3s per game. The Charlotte native is averaging 1.91 made 3s per contest and shooting 70.3 percent at the charity stripe.
Through 11 games this season, he is averaging 12.1 points per game and has topped 15 points on five occasions. Hinnant has made at least one three every game he's played and made multiple 3s in seven games, including three in each of the first two games of his career.
Hinnant has also displayed his ability to get his teammates involved, distributing eight assists against UNC Greensboro.
Dunk You Very Much
Senior Corey Rouse has gotten his final season off on the right foot and sometimes the left and other times both. Rouse leads C-USA in rebounds per game (10.8) and field goal percentage (.581), while ranking sixth in the conference in scoring (14.9).
The 6-8 Rouse is shooting 58.1 percent from the field, bolstered by 14 dunks. Six of those 14 occurred during his 35-point performance against North Carolina A&T.
He also ranks among the league leaders in blocks (8th) and steals (12th).
The Mark Is 80
East Carolina recorded its fifth consecutive victory when scoring 80 or more points on Saturday against UNC Wilmington. The Pirates have lost just once in their last 17 games when scoring 80 or more points. That loss was a 96-90 overtime loss at home to Charlotte on February 7, 2004.
Twice this season has a player scored 20 points in a half for the Pirates. Senior Corey Rouse poured 21 second half points in the senior opener against North Carolina A&T en route to a 35-point performance.
Fellow Kinston, N.C. native Jeremy Ingram torched the nets for 23 first half points against Limestone and finished with a career-high 25 points in his ECU home debut.