Monday, March 3, 2014
A member of East Carolina’s men’s basketball team and Pirate fans each earned Conference USA recgonition on Monday.
Caleb White, a 6-foot-7 Buckingham, Va., native, was named C-USA Freshman of the Week for the first time in his career while ECU’s hoops fans, dubbed the Minges Maniacs, took the league’s top honor in a student section competition.
White received his first weekly conference honor after he averaging 18.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in a pair of games last week. He shot 52.1 percent from the field (12-of-23), 50.0 percent behind the 3-point arc (5-of-10) and 88.9 percent (8-of-9) at the free throw line in a home win over Charlotte and a road loss at Marshall.
White scored 23 points against Marshall — his third 20-point game of the season and one shy of tying a career high — and played all 40 minutes, the third time in the last four games the rookie went the distance. He is ECU’s second-leading scorer (12.8 points per game) behind senior Akeem Richmond and ranks fourth in C-USA in 3-point percentage (41.7). White has reached double-figure scoring in six of the last seven games and 24 of 29 outings this season.
The Pirates (16-13, 5-9 C-USA) close out the regular season on Thursday at Old Dominion (14-16, 8-7).
The fan honor, determined through two rounds of public votes combined with input from the Naismith Awards Board of Selectors, amounted to the Minges Maniacs winning $250 that will go toward the institution’s general college fund and bragging rights for the year.
“The students sitting courtside have a huge impact on the game,” said Pirate coach Jeff Lebo, whose team plays its home games in Minges Coliseum. “They have been vital to the success we’ve had at home the last four years. Our players feed off their energy and the atmosphere they help create. The students and fans make this one of the toughest places to play in the country and I’m not saying that just because I’m the coach.”
The Naismith Student Sections of the Year award is presented through a partnership of The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), an affiliate of IMG College, the Atlanta Tipoff Club and administrators of the Naismith Awards.
“College basketball student sections help define a team’s home court advantage with their infectious spirit and energy, and we want to celebrate that,” said Catherine Gammon, Senior Vice President of Brand Development for CLC, the licensing affiliate of IMG College.