Daniel looks to shake things up
HUNTINGTON -- As head coach Matt Daniel leads the Marshall University women's basketball team into Conference USA play, he is looking for any way to give the Thundering Herd a jumpstart.
Daniel came into his first season at the helm of the Herd with many questions looming.
With the team starting the season's second phase at 8 p.m., Thursday, at Southern Miss (8-5), some of those questions have been answered -- just not to Daniel's liking.
"Oh, we've gotten some answers. They just aren't very good ones," Daniel said. "So, as a team, we have to stay on the grind and find ways to produce different answers than the ones we've gotten."
Marshall goes into the C-USA opener as a loser of consecutive games against Tennessee Tech and Navy.
In both contests Shay Weaver, the Herd's leading scorer at 10 points per game, struggled to get on track and so did the rest of the offense.
In an attempt to shake things up, Daniel confirmed he will bring Weaver off the bench against Southern Miss.
"We're trying to find a deal that's clicking and get everything right," Daniel said. "When you've got 10 kids on roster and essentially play eight significant minutes, there's a demand on everyone. No one can take a night off, and that's just to compete -- not necessarily to succeed.
"We're not in position to try and take care of matchups. We have to do what we feel will give us the best shot to be in it at the end."
As the Herd tries to find its way entering conference play, Daniel knows what it will take to compete not only on a nightly basis, but in conference.
That includes protecting the home court and getting some wins on the road.
Therefore, he isn't that worried about opening up in Hattiesburg, Miss. -- a place the Herd has traditionally struggled since joining C-USA in 2005.
Southern Miss rolls into conference play on a three-game win streak, including one over Central Arkansas -- Daniel's former team.
The Golden Eagles have won six of seven contests at home, including a victory over Mississippi State.
The team is led by one of Conference USA's top players -- Jamierra Faulkner averaging 17.2 points, 6.3 assists and 4.6 steals.
Southern Miss also features 3-point specialist Tanecka Carey, who has matched Faulkner at 17.2 points per game and Jerontae Clemons, who averages 10.9 points and 7.8 rebounds.