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East Carolina basketball 2013-14 season preview

Overall Record

Head coach

Tenure at East Carolina: Fourth season

Career coaching record: 267-200

Home court: Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum

Starters: C Marshall Guilmette, F Michael Zangari, G Paris Roberts-Campbell, G Akeem Richmond, G Prince Williams

Overview: Last year, the Pirates recorded a program-record 23 wins and won the 32-team CollegeInsider.com Postseason tournament against Weber St. with a buzzer-beater 3-point shot from guard Akeem Richmond. Richmond is back for his senior year with 261 career 3-pointers made, but much of last year’s team is gone. Leading rebounder and forward Robert Sampson transferred to Georgia Tech in the offseason, and last season’s two leading scorers, guard Miguel Paul and forward Maurice Kemp, both graduated after playing two seasons for East Carolina. Unexpectedly, the Pirates also lost their fourth-leading scorer from last year’s squad when forward Ty Armstrong—the only player to start all 35 games for East Carolina last year—decided not to return to play his senior season for personal reasons.

Having lost 70 percent of his team's scoring and 79 percent of its rebounding production, head coach Jeff Lebo will have a difficult time trying to improve upon the 2013 season. Lebo has three transfers waiting in the wings—including Terry Whisnant from Florida State—but they must sit out the 2013-14 season to comply with NCAA transfer rules. The Pirates will benefit from the addition of junior college transfer Antonio Robinson. The 6-foot-5 point guard will split time with sophomore Prince Williams, who only spent 5.0 minutes a game on the court last year.

One thing that needs to go right: If Lebo can work out the kinks of an entirely new lineup early, the Pirates could have a strong final season in Conference USA before heading to the American Athletic Conference in 2014.

One thing that could go wrong: With just two experienced players coming back, East Carolina might struggle to get to .500.

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