Marshall preps for Delaware State
HUNTINGTON — Good at times, bad at times and inconsistent most of the time.
That's been the story so far this season for the Marshall University men's basketball team.
Marshall, 7-6, has its most pre-New Year's Day losses in seven seasons.
And, that's why the Thundering Herd began a series of two-a-day practices Friday leading up to its next game Wednesday against Delaware State.
"A lot to do and time to do it" said head coach Tom Herrion before Friday's morning practice in Gullickson Hall and an afternoon session in Cam Henderson Center.
"We have to maximize it as a staff and as a team. That's my responsibility. My team has been inconsistent for a lot of reasons. There's a long list of them."
The team Marshall has on the court against Delaware State might look different than the last game, an 82-54 defeat Saturday at the University of Kentucky. Herrion said he is opening the competition for playing time because nobody has played well enough.
The main problems are on offense.
Marshall has a 42.3 percent team shooting percentage, a 58.8 free throw throw shooting accuracy mark and is committing too many turnovers with 15.1 per game.
"I've got to do a better job of getting guys in the right positions," Herrion said. "We have to find better ways to score easier."
Herrion's plan for the season, formulated in summer and fall workouts, was disrupted by the academic ineligibility of freshman point guard Kareem Canty, a rash of injuries and a roster addition.
All-CUSA junior guard Dre Kane missed the last three games and is sidelined indefinitely because of a right hand injury. Kane and junior guard D.D. Scaver lead the team with 15.0 scoring averages. Kane is ranked second in the nation with 8.5 assists a game.
Senior forward Rob Goff and junior center Yous Mbao collided Nov. 20 in a practice drill that caused both players significant head injuries. Goff returned to action after missing two games. Mbao is still out.
Redshirt freshman guard DeVince Boykins missed the first seven game because of a knee injury.
Freshman guard Kelvin Amayo joined the team last week after sitting out the first half of the season as an academic non-qualifier. Amayo played for three minutes Saturday in the loss at Kentucky.
"So much of what we've tried to do was based on the summer and fall," Herrion said. "But, so much has changed. Getting Kelvin eligible. Hopefully, getting Kane back in the near future. Yous, we don't know."
Players had a four-day Christmas break following the Kentucky game while Herrion continued to work. The coach said he watched tapes of almost every game searching for fixes.
Marshall completes its non-conference schedule with Delaware State (5-7 with a Saturday game at Maryland) and a Jan. 5 road game at Ohio (8-4, Saturday at Oklahoma).