Sept. 29, 2013
The East Carolina Men's Basketball team will begin official preparations for the 2013-14 season on Monday, Sept. 30, when the team takes the floor for the first official practice of the upcoming season inside the Smith-Williams Center.
Previously, men's basketball practice began the Friday closest to Oct. 15. Following an April rule change, the NCAA now allows teams to have 30 days of practice in the 42 days before their first regular-season game. Previously, teams were given 30 days, with 24 practices.
ECU Head Coach Jeff Lebo will begin his fourth season at the helm with just seven returning lettermen, including only one returning starter, as the Pirates play their final season in Conference USA before joining the American Athletic Conference next year.
A year ago, Lebo relied on an experience laden team with four seniors to lead the Pirates to a school-record 23 victories en route to the 2013 CIT championship. He also directed ECU to its first top 4 C-USA finish with a school-best nine league victories, while leading it to eight additional wins over the previous season. Lebo has won more games, 56, in his first three seasons than any other coach in the 81-year history of ECU basketball.
This year he will rely on a roster than features only two players that averaged over 20 minutes per game last season.
Junior Paris Roberts-Campbell, the Pirates' lone returning starter, averaged 25.6 minutes per game and made 30 starts. He ranks second among all returnees in scoring (5.6 ppg), 3-point field goal percentage (.362) and 3-point field goals made (42) behind senior Akeem Richmond.
Richmond, the only returning Pirate to average double figures (10.6 ppg) last season, stroked the nets for an ECU record 105 made 3-pointer field goals, ranking 16th in the nation with 3.0 3-pointers per game. Combined with his two years at Rhode Island, Richmond has made 269 3-pointers which ranks second among all active players for the 2013-14 season. He came off the bench to average 20.6 minutes per game.
Freshmen Greg Alexander, Brandan Stith and Caleb White along with Louisburg College transfer Antonio Robinson are the newest members of the active roster. Additional transfers Keith Armstrong (Robert Morris), Michel-Ofik Nzege (Winston-Salem State) and Terry Whisnant (Florida State) will practice with the team, but are not eligible to compete until the 2014-15 season.
The Pirates open the regular season on Nov. 8 against North Carolina Wesleyan in the first of a 16-game home schedule which also features UNC Wilmington, Georgia State, Old Dominion, Charlotte and UTEP.
Season Tickets are available for purchase online at the ECU Online Ticket Center or by calling (252.737.4500) or stopping by the ECU Athletic Ticket Office located in Old Pirate Club Building behind Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. It is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.