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MU Notebook: Marshall tidbits, past and present

Jul. 21, 2013 @ 10:43 AM

Cleaning out the summer basketball notebook with a DeAndre Kane update, a look back at Marshall's time in the Southern Conference, a look at the new Conference USA and some other Thundering Herd tidbits. ...

DeAndre Kane got his degree from Marshall according to NBCSports.com and other media sources, making him eligible to play immediately at Iowa State. Kane left Marshall following last season and has one year of eligibility.

Iowa State lost its top four guards from last season, so landing Kane was a plus.

Kane, who could be the starting point guard for the Cyclones, is a good fit for coach Fred Hoiberg's uptempo style.

Marshall coach Tom Herrion announced April 23 that Kane was leaving after playing three seasons for the Thundering Herd.

He scored 1,496 points at Marshall.

Former Marshall head coach Bob Zuffelato reunited with old friends this weekend at Kentucky Christian College in Grayson, Ky.

The reunion was for former staff members of a summer youth camp that operated for many years under the names of Camp of Champions, Stu Aberdeen Basketball Camp, Z Camp and The Basketball Camp.

Zuffelato, now retired from coaching, does work as an NBA regional scout for the L.A. Clippers. He coached the Herd four seasons from 1979 to 1983.

Does the name Johnny Taylor ring a bell? It should.

Taylor and the Chattanooga Mocs stopped Marshall's bid for the Southern Conference tournament championship in 1997 at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The SC player of the year missed a late shot, Marshall didn't box out for the rebound and Chris Mims scored to win it in overtime, 71-70.

Well, Taylor is returning to Chattanooga to complete his degree and work as a student assistant coach in 2013-14. Taylor has 26 credits remaining to finish a Criminal Justice degree.

Chattanooga's 1997 team took the automatic berth and made a run to the NCAA Sweet 16.

The 6-foot-9 Taylor was a first round 1997 NBA draft pick by the Orlando Magic. Taylor played four NBA seasons before going overseas where he spent 11 more seasons in italy, Spain, Russia and Bahrain.

Now, he's back in school and that's a good news story if there ever was one.

Conference USA in the 2013-14 season will have six teams that were in the Top 100 of the NCAA.com Rating Percentage Index for last season and nine who were in the Top 150.

Top 150 teams were No. 27 Southern Miss, No. 33 Middle Tennessee State, No. 51 Louisiana Tech, No. 67 East Carolina, No. 81 Charlotte, No. 97 UTEP, No. 116 FIU, No. 124 Tulsa and No. 142 UAB.

Marshall was No. 207.

J.R. VanHoose entered the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. Inductions were held at the State Theater in Elizabethtown, Ky.

VanHoose played for the Herd from 1998 to 2002 and is in the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Paintsville, Ky., native, was one of only a few Kentucky high school players with 3,000 points, 2,000 rebounds and 500 blocked shots. He led the Paintsville Tigers to a state title in 1996 and was honored as Kentucky Mr. Basketball in 1998.

University of Charleston head coach Mark Downey accepted the same position at the University of West Alabama in Livingston, Ala., an NCAA Division II member of the Gulf South Conference.

Downey was part of the Marshall coaching staff in the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons.

His coaching record in nine seasons at Charleston (2010-13), Arkansas Tech (2006-10) and Independence Community College (1999-2001) is 184-92.

Sports editor Rick McCann covers the Marshall men's basketball team for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or hedge@herald-dispatch.com.



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