Nov. 9, 2012
|East Carolina vs. Washington & Lee
Nov. 10, 2012 | 5 p.m. EST
|Watch | Live Stats | Game Notes | Tickets | Gameday Central|
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
The Pirates will open the 2012-13 campaign Saturday afternoon against NCAA Division III member Washington and Lee inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum (5 p.m./No TV).
This will be the second all-time meeting between the Pirates and Generals. ECU won the lone previous game in 1968 (100-73).
The November 10 date ties the mark for earliest opening game in school history. ECU also opened the 2007-08 campaign on November 10 with a 78-60 win over Limestone.
East Carolina is opening the season at home for the eighth straight season and for the sixth straight against a non-Division I opponent.
The Pirates' roster features five players that started 14 or more games in 2011-12: Miguel Paul (30), Erin Straughn (28), Shamarr Bowden (23), Robert Sampson (18) and Maurice Kemp (14).
Erin Straughn is not expected to play on Saturday due to a leg injury.
ECU has six players on its roster that could experience their first action in a Pirate uniform: junior transfers Ty Armstrong and Akeem Richmond along with freshmen Marshall Guilmette, Peyton Robbins, Prince Williams and Michael Zangari.
East Carolina has won its season-opener each of the last 12 seasons. Its last season-opening loss came on the road against Robert Morris on Nov. 19, 1999 (58-53).
The Pirates are 54-26 all-time in season-openers, including a 30-17 record as a Division I member (1965-66).
ECU has amassed a record of 26-2 when opening the season at home against non-BCS league opponents since joining the ranks of Division I. It's two losses were to St. Peters in 1967 (102-87) and George Washington in 1970 (80-79).
The Pirates have won their home opener for 10 consecutive seasons, which began in 2002 with a 65-58 victory over Ole Miss.
East Carolina has won its first game at Minges Coliseum in 40 of the last 44 years (since 1968), including 21 of the last 22. The Pirates lost two home openers in the 1970s, one in the 80s and one in the 2000s. ECU was a perfect 10-0 in Minges Coliseum debuts in the 1990s.
The Pirates are 16-1 in home openers since the facility was renamed Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum in 1995. ECU earned its first win the refurbished arena on Jan. 6, 1995 with an 80-76 win over East Tennessee State.
Openers Under Lebo
ECU Head Coach Jeff Lebo is 10-4 during his 14-year head coaching career on opening night. He is 7-0 when his team starts its season at home and just 3-4 on the road.
Lebo broke even at both Tennessee Tech (2-2) and Chattanooga (1-1) before going 5-1 at Auburn, which included a road win at Temple in his very first game as the Tigers' coach.
During his third year at Tennessee Tech, Lebo guided the Golden Eagles' to 73-67 win at South Carolina to tip-off the 2000-01 season.
Four In A Row At Home To Start
East Carolina will play its first four games of the 2012-13 season inside the comforts of Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. Its the sixth time since the opening of Minges Coliseum that the Pirates have played each of the first four games at home.
ECU is starting its season with four straight at home for the first time since the 2008-09 season when it played its first five games at home. The only other time the Pirates opened a season with five straight at home was the 1985-86 campaign. ECU also opened with four consecutive homes games in 1967, 1969 and 2007.
Paul Named Preseason All-Conference
Senior Miguel Paul was named Preseason First-Team All-Conference USA by the league's 12 head coaches. Paul led the league in assists as a junior (5.9 apg) and is the second leading-returning scorer in the conference (15.2 ppg).
Paul was named second-team all-conference Lindy's Sports and well as the league's Top Playmaker. He was also named second-team all-conference by collegesportsmadness.com.
Newcomer Akeem Richmond, who sat out the 2011-12 season after transferring from Rhode Island, was named fourth-team all-conference by collegesportsmadeness.com. He averaged 8.9 ppg during his two years with the Rams and was a member of the 2010 Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team.
Giving And Taking Away
During the 2011-12 season, the Pirates handed out 452 assists as a team, an average of 14.6 (second highest average in C-USA). Miguel Paul led the league with 183 helpers, while four other Pirates handed out over 30 dimes. Their season total was just five shy of the school record of 457 registered by the 1994-95 squad.
ECU finished second in Conference USA with 7.8 steals per game last season, while setting a new Pirate mark with 241 takeaways. Miguel Paul (1.3 spg) and Corvonn Gaines (1.2) each ranked among the top-10 in the league in steals per game.
Utilizing The 3
During coach Jeff Lebo's first two years at ECU, the Pirates have made exceptional use of the 3-point line. They have averaged 7.6 3-pointers per game the last two years with his teams ranking second and third on the school's single season list (2. 258, 2010-11; 3. 236, 2011-12).
The Pirates have ranked either first or second in the league in 3-point field goals made during conference play the last two seasons. ECU led C-USA with 7.4 3s per game last season after ranking second with 7.6 in 2011.
Two Pirates have ranked among the league leaders in each 3-point shooting category each of Lebo's first two years. Departed lettermen Jamar Abrams and Jontae Sherrod were among the conference's leaders in 3-point field goal percentage and 3-pointers per game in 2011 as were returning seniors Shamarr Bowden and Miguel Paul a year ago.
Judgment Mark: 70
The Pirates are 22-6 under coach Jeff Lebo when scoring 70 or more points. ECU compiled an 8-4 record when reaching the mark last season after posting a 14-2 record in 2010-11.
Holding opponents under the 70-point mark has also been a key to the Pirates' success. ECU is 28-9 the last two seasons when limiting its opponent to 69 or fewer points.
East Carolina has two first-time opponents and three other teams in which they haven't played in over 20 years on this season's schedule: Washington & Lee, Methodist, Georgia State, North Carolina and Norfolk State.
When the Pirates open the season against Washington & Lee, it'll be the first meeting between the two schools since 1968. A little more than two weeks later, ECU will face Georgia State for the first time since 1974. ECU won both of the previous meetings against the Generals and Panthers.
ECU and North Carolina will face off on the hardwood for just the third time overall and first since the 1993 NCAA Tournament. The only previous regular season meeting between the two occurred in Greenville in 1953 (UNC won 79-66).
The Pirates have never previously faced Methodist or Norfolk State, which upset No. 2 seed Missouri in the NCAA Tournament last season.
Attendance On The Rise Under Lebo
The average attendance inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum has increased an average of 1,051 since Jeff Lebo's arrival as head coach.
An average of 4,686 patrons have passed through the turnstiles for each home game since 2010-11. The average attendance at home games the year prior to Lebo's arrival was 3,750.
East Carolina had the fifth-highest average attendance in Conference USA last season after having the seventh-highest the previous year.
Pirates Approaching Century Mark
East Carolina begins its 81st season of intercollegiate basketball 12 victories shy of 1,000. The Pirates have amassed 988 wins during the previous 80 years.
The 2012-13 season marks the 20-year anniversary of the Pirates' only Colonial Athletic Association Championship in 1993. It was also the last time ECU went to the NCAA Tournament. The Pirates won the CAA Championship by capturing the tournament title with wins over Old Dominion, UNC Wilmington and James Madison.
For the first time since 2007, ECU will take a flight to play a non-conference road game inside the continental United States. The Pirates will fly to Atlanta to Face Georgia State on Nov. 26 and then embark on a trip to the Northeast to face UMass on Dec. 22. The last time the Pirates played non-conference road game outside of the Carolinas and Virginia was at USF on Nov. 24, 2007.
All totaled, the Pirates will travel 14,424 miles by air this season for eight C-USA road games, two non-conference games and a trip to the C-USA Championship tournament in Tulsa.
The Pirates will return to the court Tuesday to face Methodist College inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum (7 p.m. EST).