The Georgia Tech men’s basketball team will get a visit from the American Athletic Conference’s East Carolina Pirates on November 16th.
East Carolina Pirates
Head Coach: Joe Dooley (1st season) – 2017-18 Record: 10-20 (4-14) – AAC
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets may have a tough road game on November 13th against Tennessee scheduled but three days later the Jackets will return home to McCamish Pavillion to take on the East Carolina Pirates. The Pirates are coming off a 10-20 season and are looking for their first winning season since the 2012-13 season.
Head coach Profile:
Joe Dooley has returned to Greensville, North Carolina for a second stint as the head coach of the East Carolina Pirates. The former Florida Gulf-Coast head coach was the head coach of the Pirates from the 1995-96 season to 1998-1999 where he lead the Pirates to a CAA regular season championship in the 1998-99 season. He would go onto be an assistant coach at New Mexico, Wyoming, and Kansas before taking the Florida Gulf Coast prior to the 2013-14 season. As the head coach of the Eagles, Dooley lead FGCU to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, two regular season conference championships, and two conference tournament championships. He now returns to ECU to right the ship for a Pirates program that hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since the 1992-1993 season under head coach Eddie Payne.
A season ago, the East Carolina Pirates had their worst season of the decade when they went 10-21 overall and 4-14 in conference play. The Pirates last year never really got the ball rolling, losing four of their first six games. They would climb above .500 twice within their first 11 games but never would be above .500 again for the remainder of the season.
Out of conference last year, the Pirates most notable opponents was Rutgers. Besides that they played a variety of opponents from mid-major conferences. They went 6-5 in their non-conference schedule.
- Notable Wins: North-Carolina Wilmington, Campbell, Grambling
- Notable Losses: Radford, Rutgers, North Carolina A&T, Charlotte
The American Athletic conference is a rather strong basketball conference and for a weak team like East Carolina, it was a rough time. Collecting a 4-14 record.
- Notable Wins: South Florida (2x), Memphis, Tulane
- Notable Losses: #6 Wichita State, #12 Cincinnati, #23 Houston
Expectations entering 2018-19:
For East Carolina, expectations are not especially high entering the 2018-19 season. It wouldn’t be shocking to see the Pirates once again struggle this season but with Joe Dooley at the helm of the program, the Pirates will be building towards the future with long-term goals in mind more than short-term goals for this season.
Notable players to watch:
The former Hawaii Rainbow Warrior, averaged 12.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game for the Pirates last season.
As a freshman, Williams was one of East Carolina’s best players averaging 12.4 points per game.
Barkley is ECU’s leading returning rebounder, averaging 7.3 rebounds a game last season. He also averaged 12.0 points per game last season as well.
How the Yellow Jackets matchup:
Overall, this is a game that Josh Pastner and his team MUST win. It’s against a team that they should without a doubt beat. It’s a game that based off athleticism and talent alone, the Yellow Jackets should run away with. But as we found out last season more than once, that’s now how it always works. The Yellow Jackets matchup well against the Pirates but we’ll see if that translates to a victory on November 16th.
Past Non-Conference Opponent Previews/Previews Schedule:
To save time, from here on out, we’re going to give each major conference opponent there each post and give the remaining mid-major opponents abbreviated previews that will consist of two teams each.
November 9th: Lamar Cardinals
November 13th: Tennessee Volunteers
Texas Rio Grande Valley and Prairie View A&M – Thursday (11/1)
Northwestern – Friday (11/2)
St. John’s – Saturday (11/3)
Florida A&M and Gardner Webb – Sunday (11/4)
Arkansas – Monday (11/5)
Georgia – Tuesday (11/6)
Kennesaw State and USC Upstate– Wednesday (11/7)