GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina men’s basketball team will tip off the Michael Schwartz era and its 91st season of intercollegiate basketball on Tuesday, Nov. 8, when the Pirates welcome Mercer inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

The game will be streamed on ESPN+ with Patrick Johnson and Si Seymour on the call.

The contest marks the first of three straight non-conference matchups at home for ECU before the team heads south to Estero, Fla. to compete in the Gulf Coast Showcase Nov. 21-23.

Most anticipated games of the ECU basketball season

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The Pirates are coming off a 15-15 campaign in 2021-22, including a 6-11 mark in conference play.

ECU returns six players from last year’s team, led in experience by Ludgy Debaut, who started in 18 of the 28 games he played in and averaged 0.9 blocks per game. RJ Felton is the Pirates’ top returning scorer after averaging 5.1 points per game a year ago and Brandon Johnson returns as the top rebounder after averaging over five rebounds a game. Javon Small, Wynston Tabbs and David Kasanganay round out the Pirates’ returners.

Schwartz welcomes 10 newcomers to the roster including seven freshmen and a trio of transfers in Quentin Diboundje (Tennessee), Jaden Walker (Iowa State) and Benjamin Bayela (South Plains).

Series History
Mercer currently leads the series 3-2 and Tuesday’s contest will be the first time the teams have met in nearly seven years. The two programs last faced off on Nov. 27, 2016, when the Bears edged the Pirates 70-66 in the 2016 Savannah Invitational.

In Season Openers
East Carolina holds a 65-25 record in season openers dating back to a 23-17 victory over the Greenville All Stars in its first-ever contest in 1931. The Pirates have won a remarkable 22-straight campaign openers, last losing in the first game of the 1999-2000 campaign – a 58-53 setback to Robert Morris.

Ninth Season in The American
East Carolina is in its ninth men’s basketball season as a member of the American Athletic Conference after spending 13 years as part of Conference USA. The Pirates look to eclipse last year’s six-win mark in league play.

Against the SoCon
The Pirates are 104-67 all-time against teams from the Southern Conference. Mercer is the lone SoCon opponent that the Pirates will face this season.

On This Date
ECU is 1-1 in games played on Nov. 8. The Pirates fell to Navy on the road in 2017 and won at home in 2013 versus NC Wesleyan.