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Rick McCann: Marshall recruit's team is unbeaten

Feb. 27, 2013 @ 12:04 AM

Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball recruit Shawn Smith is having a good season on a very good team.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Smith is a guard from Sacramento, Calif., averaging 11.0 points, 4.6 rebounds for City College of San Francisco. He's shooting 53.6 percent from the field, 62.8 percent on free throws (59 of 94) and 24.3 percent on 3-point attempts (9-for-37). He has 30 assists, 22 steals and 12 blocked shots after 28 games.

City College of San Francisco completed a 28-0 regular season, won the Coast Conference North Division title with a 12-0 record, is ranked No. 1 in the state and is top-seeded for the Northern California Regional of the California Community College Athletic Association playoffs.

The Rams are seeking their second CCCAA state championship in three seasons.

Smith signed with Marshall in November 2012.

ALL TIED UP: Houston can pull even with Marshall in the Conference USA standings with a Wednesday win at UTEP. And, if UAB loses at Tulane it creates a three-way logjam for eighth place.

Computers for RealTimeRPI.com and Sagarin.com don't think much about Marshall's chances of getting out of that mess.

RealTimeRPI.com and Sagarin.com both project Marshall losing its final three games of the regular season.

The Thundering Herd goal is a strong finish to get in the top five and receive a first-round C-USA tournament bye, which is still possible despite what the computers say.

Marshall (12-16, 5-8 conference) plays Saturday at Houston, hosts a Tuesday game with Southern Miss and closes March 9 at East Carolina.

STILL PLAYING: Marshall has numerous players in the NBA Development League and other professional leagues.

NBA D League players are Tyler Wilkerson with the Austin Toros (San Antonio Spurs affiliate), Hassan Whiteside with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets) and Tirrell Baines with the Erie BayHawks (New York Knicks).

Still playing overseas are Markel Humprey (France), Chris Ross (Philippines), Damier Pitts (Iceland), Shaq Johnson (Finland), Chris Lutz (Philippines), Antonio Haymon (Saudi Arabia) and Dago Pena (Dominican Republic).

Aundra Williams is with the Fort Lauderdale Sharks of the American Basketball League.

SOME BAD TV: In the TV sports world where all networks fight to keep up with ESPN, you'd think some of them would try harder.

When Comcast Sports Southeast did a Feb. 2 telecast of the UCF-Marshall game the announcers didn't know about the Knights being ineligible for the postseason because of NCAA sanctions for recruiting violations. And, they didn't know UCF head coach Donnie Jones might get booed by the crowd in his return to Marshall.

Fox Sports Network joined the uninformed crowd Saturday during the Southern Miss-Memphis game. A graphic was shown listing Memphis, Southern Miss and UCF as the teams from C-USA in contention for NCAA tournament berths.

STREAK SURVIVES: Marshall's streak of 707 games with making at least one 3-point shot almost didn't get there. The Herd missed its first 15 attempts Saturday against UAB before Elijah Pittman connected with 15:57 left.

The streak dates back to 1989 and Marshall's sports information office believes it to be the 11th-longest in the nation.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: An early birthday shout-out to No. 0, Herd guard Chris Martin who turns 20 on Monday.

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

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