Herd seeks rebounds, road win
HUNTINGTON -- An identity crisis continues for the Marshall University men's basketball team.
Although Marshall was good defensively Saturday in a 75-71 victory over UCF in Cam Henderson Center, the Thundering Herd was outrebounded for the fifth time in its last six games.
"That's our identity and we're not doing our job," Marshall forward Dennis Tinnon said. "We have to get back to what we're known for."
While UCF won the rebounding battle by plus-12 and still lost the game, rebound margin remains one of the staples of Marshall head coach Tom Herrion's philosophy.
Marshall (10-12 overall and 3-4 Conference USA) has a 2-8 record in games when outrebounded.
The deficiency on Saturday was somewhat misleading because nine of UCF's rebounds were of the dead ball variety when some of Marshall's 14 blocked shots, including nine by center Nigel Spikes, went out of bounds and were whistled dead.
"So it's a little deceiving in that regard although we didn't get it done," Herrion said.
Marshall is ranked sixth in C-USA for rebound margin at plus-2.6 per game while its next opponent, Tulane, is third at plus-5.7.
Tulane (14-8, 2-5) hosts Marshall at 8 p.m., Wednesday in Devlin Fieldhouse, the refurbished New Orleans facility formerly known as Fogleman Arena. The 79-year-old building has new seating, new concession stands, a new ceiling and new lighting along with other cosmetic upgrades.
The Green Wave is led by forward Josh Davis who is tied for 17th in the nation with 9.9 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-8 junior leads C-USA in rebounding and is also second in scoring with a 17.1 average.
Tinnon, a 6-8 senior, is ranked 47th nationally and fifth in C-USA with 9.9 a game. Spikes, a 6-10 senior, is ninth in the conference with 7.5.
Marshall embarks Tuesday morning on a two-game conference swing for games at Tulane and Saturday at UAB seeking its first road win this season.
Tulane is 12-2 at home where it has average attendance of 1,834 in a 3,600-capacity facility.
Tinnon isn't looking forward to spending five days away from his wife and two kids, but accepts the responsibility as a student-athlete.
"It' seems like a century" to me," he said. "Other guys just have themselves so they love to be out.
"But, it's my job. I have to do it."
It's the second extended stay on the road for Marshall in three weeks and players will miss almost one full week of classes.
Herrion said a tutor is going along to have study sessions.
Herd notes: Marshall guard Dre Kane and Chaz Williams of Massachusetts are the only players in the nation averaging at least 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists. Kane averages 14.4 points and 4.3 rebounds. He is sixth in the nation with 7.2 assists per game. ... Spikes has 40 field goals and 20 were dunks. ... Marshall has at least one 3-point field goal in 701 consecutive games dating back to 1989 and believed to be the 11th longest current streak in the nation. .... Herd guard D.D. Scarver has at least one 3-pointer in every game. ...