East Carolina is not exactly a school known for their basketball prowess. The Greenville, North Carolina school has been through their fair share of washed up coaches who couldn't make any noise on the Pee Dee. There was Bill Herrion then former Virginia Tech coach Ricky Stokes, then former VCU Ram Mac McCarthy. Now the purple and gold are set for one last year at the mid-major level and seem to have found their man in former Auburn coach Jeff Lebo.
ECU has not been to the NCAA tournament since 1993 and there hasn't been much to cheer about for the Conference USA school since. Lebo has changed that and is coming off a 23-12 season and a CIT championship. But can the Pirates take control of a depleted Conference USA before venturing into some stiffer competition in the American Athletic Conference?
The Pirates lose some standouts after last year, notably star guard Miguel Paul, but Lebo has talent coming in with Brandan Stith, Caleb White, Greg Alexander, and JUCO transfer Antonio Robinson. Lebo also received a huge commitment today in Florida State transfer Terry Whisnant, arguably one of the best pure shooters available this year. Whisnant can't contribute in 2013-14, but he could be the boost he Pirates need moving into the AAC.
Lebo likely isn't done shopping this year and could piece together a team that can compete in a makeshift Conference USA without its prized possession Memphis. But as the Pirates continue on, can Lebo continue to help make a traditional football school into an impressive basketball program? Only time will tell.