ECU men’s basketball team speaks about their COVID-19 stoppage, returning to action to win conference opener

“Not being able to hoop is always rough.”
ECU men’s basketball team speaks about their COVID-19 stoppage
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 5:03 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - ECU men’s basketball got back on the court Wednesday night for the first time since December 21st. The Pirates beat Tulane 88-80 in overtime. It’s the first time we have been able to speak to the Pirates since quarantine began.

“It’s miserable. You know we were able to do individual instruction with some of the guys. A couple days we had a player or two in Minges and work those guys out. Then those guys would leave. Bring a new set of guys in a couple times,” says ECU head coach Joe Dooley, “Then look we’re making progress. We played 3 on 3 on Sunday, 4 on 4 on Monday, and played 5 on 5 on Tuesday.”

For the players it’s been a very tough few weeks.

“It was tough for me because I had to quarantine because of contact tracing or whatever. I had to quarantine for that and not hoop or whatever. Not being able to hoop is always rough,” says ECU guard Tristen Newton, “But our team, we always talk in the group chat. So, we were there for each other and so it was alright.”

“It was serious but we got people coming back, we got JJ back, we got people coming back for the next game so we will be fine,” says ECU guard Brandon Suggs, “People, the rest of the people coming back for practice and stuff.”

ECU played their first conference game Wednesday night after all that. The Pirates addressed they were forced to play much smaller during the game, missing three of their bigs. With just 8 players, 4 of them playing over 37 of the 45 minutes, they got their 10th win of the season.

“The biggest thing that always worries us is the conditioning. Guys have been sitting out 4 or 5 days. You say they’ve only been out 4 well that for these guys, the way they train 2 days is a debacle. Sometimes even one day,” says Dooley, “I know we were a little tired I was surprised we were in as good of shape since we haven’t played in so long.”

“That first five minutes I was like gonna die,” says Suggs, “Then I caught a cramp when I took that charge. So I just had to sit there and breathe until it went away but it was good after that.”

“I felt fine,” says Newton.

A game high 32 points, and an amazing effort to help push the Pirates to victory, seems like he did feel fine. Pirates next play Saturday at Temple.

Copyright 2022 WITN. All rights reserved.