East Carolina Pirates men's basketball
|East Carolina Pirates|
|University||East Carolina University|
|Head coach||Jeff Lebo (8th season)|
|Location||Greenville, North Carolina|
|Arena||Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum
|Student section||Minges Maniacs|
|Colors||Purple and Gold
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|Conference tournament champions|
The East Carolina Pirates men's basketball team represents East Carolina University in NCAA Division I college basketball and competes in the American Athletic Conference. The Pirates are coached by former University of North Carolina player and Auburn coach Jeff Lebo, and play their home games in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
Basketball became the first intercollegiate sport at East Carolina, beginning with the 1931-1932 season. The Pirates appeared in the NAIA National Tournament two years (1953 and 1954), each year losing in the first round. The Pirates combined record in the NAIA was 2–2. The Pirates have also made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament, with the latest appearance occurring in 1993 where they played the North Carolina Tar Heels. East Carolina has had four players to reach the NBA level, Theodore "Blue" Edwards, who was selected by the Utah Jazz with the 21st overall pick of the 1989 NBA Draft, Oliver Mack who was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers as the third pick in the second round of the 1979 NBA Draft, George Maynor, who was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the sixth pick in the fourth round of the 1979 NBA Draft, and Charles Alford, who was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers as the ninth pick in the tenth round of the 1968 NBA Draft. The Pirates opened a new 49,000 square foot, two-story practice facility in 2014 called the Smith-Williams Center, which will be attached to Minges Coliseum, where the Pirates hold home court.
Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum
One of the most intimate, beautiful and fan friendly arenas in all of NCAA Division I is Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, home of East Carolina men's and women's basketball and volleyball. The cozy 8,000-seat arena gives the Pirates a distinct home court advantage. Now in its 45th season of hosting Pirate basketball, the coliseum is connected to the second level of the Murphy Center, the Pirates' state-of-the-art athletic training facility, by an indoor walkway. The floor inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum recently received a fresh look prior to the 2010–11 season with new designs and logos.
Constructed at a cost of $2 million, Minges Coliseum was dedicated on Jan. 27, 1968, in the name of the Minges family of Greenville, N.C. As owners of Pepsi-Cola bottling operations in Greenville, Kinston and New Bern, the Minges family has provided leadership and support of East Carolina University Athletics over the years, going back to the days when the late Dr. Ray Minges served as President of the Century Club (forerunner of the Pirate Club), from 1965–68. After 27 years of basketball, Minges Coliseum underwent a facelift prior to the 1994–95 season. The renovations, totaling almost $12 million, have made the arena one of the finest on-campus basketball facilities on the East Coast.
Williams Arena is named in honor and recognition of Walter and Marie Williams for their support of East Carolina Athletics over the years. As alumni of East Carolina College, Walter and Marie have endowed two Men's Basketball Position scholarships, the Spirit of the East Post-Eligibility Scholarship, and an unrestricted student-athlete scholarship on behalf of the University's athletics program. Further, through Trade Oil Company, the Williams family gave the first $1 million gift ever given to the Educational Foundation in support of ECU Athletics, through the Shared Visions Campaign. In addition to his financial support, Walter Williams has given his time unselfishly in support of the Pirate Club. During 1997–98, Walter served as Executive President of the Educational Foundation.
The Smith-Williams Center, which is structurally connected to Minges Coliseum, is the headquarters for and is devoted exclusively to the men's and women's basketball programs, providing them with a state-of-the-art venue in which to practice, train and condition. The 49,000-square-foot (4,600 m2), multi-level facility features mirror-image practice courts, locker rooms, coaches' offices, meeting rooms, and training rooms for each program, and will also house the Athletics Hall of Fame, which will feature a display of the history of intercollegiate athletics at ECU.
Named in honor of principal donors Harry and Tammy Smith and Walter and Marie Williams, the center has a total project cost of $17 million that was funded entirely through private gifts. The Smith's commitment of $1 million toward the Step Up To The Highest Level Campaign in December 2011, coupled with leadership gifts from the Williams family and contributions of numerous other donors enabled the construction of the facility. Each court is named for donors who contributed significantly to the Step Up To The Highest Level campaign. The floor inside the women's practice gym is called Barnhill Court, in recognition of the financial support of Bob Barnhill of Tarboro. The men's gym floor is named Rogers-Whitaker court, in appreciation of the monetary gifts of Mike and Janet Rogers of Cary, N.C., and Don and Donna Whitaker of Virginia Beach, Va. Whitaker was a two-year ECU basketball letterman for coaches Dave Patton and Larry Gillman.
Division I post season results
The Pirates have appeared in two NCAA Tournaments. Their combined record is 0–2.
|1972||First Round||Villanova||L 70–85|
|1993||First Round||North Carolina||L 65–85|
The Pirates have appeared in three CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournaments (CIT). Their combined record is 5–2 and they were CIT champions in 2013.
|2011||First Round||Jacksonville||L 66–71 OT|
|2014||First Round||Wright State||L 59–73|
The Pirates appeared in one of the only two ever Collegiate Commissioners Association Tournaments. Their record is 0–1.
|East Carolina (Southern Conference) (1965–1977)|
|1971–1972||Tom Quinn||14–15||7–5||3rd||NCAA 1st Round|
|1974–1975||Dave Patton||19–9||11–3||2nd||NCIT quarterfinals|
|East Carolina (Independent) (1977–1981)|
|East Carolina (Colonial Athletic Association) (1981–2001)|
|1992–1993||Eddie Payne||14–16||4–10||7th||NCAA 1st Round|
|East Carolina (Conference USA) (2001–2014)|
|2010–2011||Jeff Lebo||18–16||8–8||T-7th||2011 CIT 1st Round|
|2012–2013||Jeff Lebo||23–12||9–7||T-4th||2013 CIT Champions|
|2013–2014||Jeff Lebo||17–17||5–11||12th||2014 CIT 1st Round|
|East Carolina (American Athletic Conference) (2014–present)|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
- 14 – Sonny Russell 1949–1953
Pirates Drafted by NBA
- Theodore "Blue" Edwards – Utah Jazz (21st overall) 1989
- Oliver Mack – Los Angeles Lakers (third pick in the second round) 1979
- George Maynor – Chicago Bulls (sixth pick in the fourth round) 1979
- Charles Alford – Los Angeles Lakers (ninth pick in the tenth round) 1968
Players in the NBA
- Oliver Mack – 1979–1982
- Theodore "Blues" Edwards – 1989–1999
- Jonathan Kerner – 1998–2001
- Official Colors (PDF). ECU Athletics Style Guidelines. July 14, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- ECU Athletics Media Relations Office (2015-11-05). "EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY 2015-16 Men's Basketball Fact Book" (PDF). The East Carolina University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved 2017-07-29.