It’s full speed ahead for Pirates

Published 5:44 am Thursday, October 11, 2007

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — East Carolina’s new associate head coach Mack McCarthy hopes his new squad will play in the same manner he gives his press conferences: Fast, entertaining and to the point.
McCarthy addressed the media on Wednesday and said that he and his team have put the Ricky Stokes debacle behind them and are ready to play some basketball.
The Pirates will need it, as ECU finished the 2006-07 campaign with a 6-24 record, with an abysmal Conference USA standing of 1-15.
The good news is McCarthy comes in with an established resume, winning 66 percent of his games and has a lifetime record of 309-177 as a head coach.
McCarthy looks to bring an up-tempo approach to his team in an effort to boost a lowly Pirate offense that finished the year averaging less than 60 points per game.
The Pirates’ skipper said added depth will allow him to substitute his players more frequently, which will in turn enable them to play faster throughout the game.
Pirates senior point guard and last season’s Conference USA leader in assists (5.5) Darrell Jenkins said McCarthy’s style is better suited for the team.
Back court mate Brandon Evans was also pleased with the direction McCarthy is steering the Pirates.
McCarthy feels that extended use of the fast-break will help the Pirates not have to work so hard to put points on the scoreboard.
While McCarthy appeared very optimistic about his team, he was cautious when describing what he expects out of his players in terms of progress and wins and losses.
The Pirates will have to overcome the loss of Courtney Captain, as well as Jeremy Ingram, which they will try to do with some new blood.
McCarthy was excited about his new players and hopes they and the rest of the team will be ready when ECU tips off its season at home on Nov. 10 against Limestone.