Pirates To MEAC Foes: Walk The Plank!
Hampton’s coming out party came last March when they
became only the fourth No. 15 seed to upset a No. 2
seed as they stunned Iowa State 58-57 in Boise
during last year’s NCAA Tournament. Riding high off of that “one shining momemnt” onto the nation’s consciousness, the Pirates are running roughshod through the MEAC this season, determined to let everyone know that they are no flash in the pan.
However, not to be outdone by their March theatrics,
the Pirates jump-started the 2001-02 season with an
improbable 77-69 road win against North Carolina. “It
let everyone know although we were very successful
last year, we’re still a team to be reckoned with,”
said head coach Steve Merfeld. “The confidence we
established with that victory was immeasurable.” Old
Dominion and Akron have been other notable
non-conference foes that the Pirates have lain waste
to, but it is in the MEAC where they have been doing
most of their plundering.
The Pirates remained perfect in conference play (12-0)
after upending Coppin State 78-51 on Monday and are in
the midst of a season-high 10-game winning streak
after beating William & Mary 64-59 on Wednesday.
Led by senior guard Tommy Adams, whose seamless
transtion from shooting guard to point guard – he ran
the point his freshman season, is a big reason for
“At first, it was tough,” Adams said. “I was known as a scorer. I wasn’t sure how much
I would have to sacrifice. But now I’ve found a
balance.” All the 6-3 captain has done is average 19.1
points, almost double his career average, and make
good on 40 percent of his three-point field goals.
Hampton has established themselves as the cream of the
MEAC crop but it’s still a long way to March, as
evidenced by the fact that Pirates finish the season
with 5 of their last 7 games on the road.
But as long as they maintain their focus, Hampton
won’t be sneaking up on anyone come dancing time.
Player of the Week
South Carolina State’s Dexter Hall was named the
MEAC’s player of the week after averaging 14 points
and 9 rebounds. The 6-9 senior forward’s best
performance came in the Bulldogs’ 76-71 loss against
NC A & T when he dropped 19 points and hauled in 10 rebounds.