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When Erroyl Bing (Largo) selected East Carolina University to continue his basketball career in 2000, the power forward decided to focus on rebounding.
Now a senior, Bing is second on the school's all-time list for rebounds with 907 entering Saturday's game against South Florida. He also is among the career leaders in points, games played and free throws made.
After posting two straight double-doubles last week in home victories, Bing was chosen Conference USA Player of the Week. He was only the second ECU player to receive the honor since the school joined the league in 2001.
"The conference recognition was a big surprise to me, although I played pretty well in those games," said Bing, 22. "Our team is up against the wall in making it to the conference tournament, so I wanted to step it up. We're running out of games.
"We've been playing some good basketball and have lost some close games to top teams," he said. "They've come down to the wire, but we haven't been able to close them out."
Against Tulane last week, Bing contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds in a 76-66 win. He had 18 points and a season-high 15 rebounds against TCU.
"When I came to college, I decided that most players that are playing at that level were all good scorers in high school," Bing said. "I decided to concentrate on something else, and it was rebounding."
Heart is a key ingredient to successful rebounding, Bing said, and height is overrated. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound player relies on desire.
"I think good rebounding comes down to who wants it more," Bing said. "I'm pretty strong and do some extra weight training, too. Strength certainly helps, but heart plays the key role in my opinion."
Bing, among three team captains, has elected to show his leadership by actions more than words. With his performance demonstrating his leadership, Bing's 1,096 points entering this weekend's game placed him 15th on East Carolina's career scoring list. He's 11th in all-time C-USA rebounding.
"I'm just trying to continue playing hard and maybe turn some heads," Bing said. "I want us to get into the conference tournament again. If we can get into it, anything can happen.
"We've lost some games by four points or less, so nobody's going to want to play us in the tournament. If I just concentrate on the team goal, the individual accolades will come."
Highlights for Bing include a win over Louisville when he was a sophomore and last year's victory against Marquette. Individually, he said, collecting 24 rebounds in an earlier win over South Florida was especially gratifying.
Bing credits his parents, Angelean and Erroyl Sr., for teaching him to be the best at whatever he pursued. Largo High School coach Phil Price, along with Bing's college coaches, pushed him to achieve his best.
"School was always first with my mom, who is a school principal, and both my parents told me to be the best at whatever I was going to do," Bing said. "That's always stuck with me."
MORE BASKETBALL: Florida Atlantic senior guard Earnest Crumbley (Lakewood) set three school records in a 95-80 win over Campbell University last week. Crumbley's 39 points and 11 three-pointers established single-game marks. He raised his scoring total to 1,525 points to become the school's all-time leader.
Embry-Riddle's Nick Miller (Clearwater) picked up his fourth double-double in a 90-84 win over Webber International with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
TENNIS: Shawn Heinchon (Thom Howard/Southwest Louisiana) begins his sixth season as an assistant coach for the Wake Forest men's team.
Miami graduate Joel Berman (Seminole) is in his second season as assistant coach for the University of Pennsylvania men's squad.
Christa Grey (Seminole/Georgia) begins her second season as an assistant coach for the North Carolina State women.
- News for this column may be faxed to Nancy Morgan, 796-5559; e-mailed to email@example.com or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Please include phone number.[Last modified February 29, 2004, 01:15:11]
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