Talking Sports: Former Pam Pack hooper John Whitley talks ECU basketball

Published 5:19 pm Friday, November 10, 2017

GREENVILLE — East Carolina is set to open its basketball season when it hosts Coppin State on Sunday. The Pirates are looking to take a step forward after going 15-18 and 6-12 in the American Athletic Conference last season.

There’s a lot new within the program and around the league, though. B.J. Tyson and Kentrell Barkley will be the team’s upperclassmen leaders. Besides them, transfers will bring a new look to the Pirates.

The already-strong AAC was bolstered by the addition of perennial contender Wichita State. The Shockers will visit Greenville on Jan. 11.

Here’s what former Washington standout and ECU sophomore John Whitley said about the upcoming season:


What he thinks of the freshmen:

“I think all three freshmen are great. K.J. (Davis), Dimitri (Spasojevic) and Justin (Whatley) are all tremendous players. They’re high basketball IQ guys. They’ll definitely help us this year.”


How Tyson and Barkley have been as the team’s leaders:

“I think definitely that they’ve stepped up. On the court, obviously, they’ve been great, but off the court, they’ve been talking more. They’re getting everybody more involved.”


What the mood is like before the season opener:

“We’re ready to go. The first month of the season is just practices and a few scrimmages here and there. Once the lights hit, we’re all ready to go.”


What he’s most eager to see from the first game:

“I just want to see how we work together. We have some concerns this year, but as long as we play together and play hard, like we did at the end of last year, I think we’ll have a good season.”


Which game he’s most looking forward to:

“Wichita because they’re preseason top 10 or top five. That’s going to be cool. It’s here, at home, on ESPN.”


On who is the funniest guy in the locker room:

“Kentrell Barkley, definitely. He’s got the best dance moves, no doubt.”