clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Scouting Report: East Carolina Pirates

The ECU Pirates come into this game riding a four game home winning streak

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 12-15, 5-9 AAC
Head Coach: Jeff Lebo

Kenpom: 197
RPI: 232
BPI: 206

East Carolina is riding a four game home winning streak that includes victories over Cincinnati, UCF, Memphis, and USF.  In their 50-46 win over Cincinnati, the Pirates held the Bearcats to just 35.6% shooting from the field while guard B.J. Tyson scored 18 points off the bench.  Nine days later, with the Memphis Tigers in town, it was Tyson leading the way once again, scoring 23 points in a 64-53 victory.

In the Pirates' first meeting with the Huskies, they were outscored 38-18 in the second half after holding a 34-27 halftime lead.  Despite East Carolina shooting 44.4% from the field and getting 20 points from Tyson, the Pirates could not contain Ryan Boatright, who finished with a game-high 23 points.

Statistically, East Carolina does not do very well on the offensive end, ranking 254th in PPG with 64.3 and 253rd in Field Goal percentage at 42.1%.  However, in conference play, the Pirates have been the best team to shoot the ball from behind the arc in the American.  They rank first in the AAC in 3PT percentage at 38.3%.

East Carolina will go as many as 10 deep and have two players averaging over 30 MPG.

Key Players

#0 Terry Whisnant, Junior, Guard (6-3, 180): A transfer from Florida State who is averaging 12.9 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 31.3 MPG, Whisnant is a pure scorer with shooting range.  He is shooting 41.6% from the field and 39.1% from behind the arc. There were high opes for Whisnant heading into the season and he has produced for Jeff Lebo's squad.  In ECU's first game against the Huskies, Whisnant scored just 6 points on 2-7 shooting.

#21 B.J. Tyson, Freshman, Guard (6-3, 190): The sixth man for Jeff Lebo's squad, Tyson is averaging 12.9 PPG and 4.3 RPG this season.  He is very versatile on the offensive end and can play either point guard or off the ball.  The freshman has been an immediate scorer for the Pirates, something they were looking for heading into the season.  Tyson is shooting 46.3% from the field but just 16-52 from deep on the year.  In the Pirates' first game against the Huskies, he scored 20 points on 8-11 shooting while also pulling down 6 rebounds.

#2 Caleb White, Sophomore, Guard (6-7, 190): Averaging 12.3 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 30 MPG while shooting 43.9% from the field and 41.2% from three.  White is a good shooter, but Lebo wants to see him be more aggressive, especially on the offensive end.  He has all the tools to be a great player but has been too passive in the past according to his coaching staff.  White can play many different positions for the Pirates due to his ball-handling ability as a taller player.  He scored 11 points on 4-9 shooting in their loss to UConn earlier this season.

#13 Michael-Okif Nzege, Sophomore, Forward (6-7, 215): A transfer from the Division II level who has provided much needed depth in the front-court, Nzege is averaging 5.9 PPG and 5.0 RPG while shooting 62.3% from the field.  He is a native of Switzerland with a strong work ethic and excellent rebounding skills.  Nzege scored only 2 points in the loss to UConn earlier this season.

#22 Paris Roberts-Campbell, Senior, Guard (6-3, 185): One of two seniors on the squad who plays quality minutes, Roberts-Campbell  is averaging 5.0 PPG and 2.4 RPG on the season while shooting 36.0% from the field and 19-54 from deep.  The senior has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career but he is a good defender who provides leadership on the court.  He scored 9 points on 3-4 shooting from three in the loss to UConn earlier this season.

#11 Antonio Robinson, Senior, Guard (6-4, 175): The other senior on the team who plays quality minutes, Robinson leads the team in assists at 3.4 per game while also averaging 3.6 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 1.7 SPG.  He is a good passer who does not like to shoot the ball much as he is only 35-102 from the field and 6-18 from three this season.  Robinson was held scoreless against UConn earlier this season while finishing with 3 assists and 3 rebounds.

East Carolina is coached by Jeff Lebo who is in his fifth season with the Pirates, holding a 85-76 record.  He has led East Carolina to two winning seasons, including a 23-12 record in the 2012-13 season that ended with a CIT championship.  Before East Carolina, Lebo coached at Auburn for six years where he went 96-93, but never made the NCAA Tournament.  His first head coaching job was at Tennessee Tech for four seasons where he went 75-43, but again never made the NCAA Tournament.  His overall head coaching record is 296-232 with zero NCAA Tournament appearances. He was a four-year starter at North Carolina, playing for the late Dean Smith. While there he set a school record for consecutive free throws made with 41.