HUNTINGTON - Paige Shy and Savannah Wheeler have been around each other for a long time through travel basketball, so the game aspects and chemistry on the court is nothing new.

However, the two incoming Marshall women's basketball freshmen are now living together as they start their journey with the Thundering Herd, so they are continuing to learn about each other every day.

What's one thing they've learned in the short time as roommates?

Simple. It's that they have put up more jumpers than laundry since arriving to prepare for the 2019-20 season.

"Oh my gosh," Shy said. "It's both of us."

"I told her that before we do anything, we are cleaning our room tonight - before we do anything else," Wheeler said with a laugh.

While it remains unknown if the laundry ever got put up, both Shy and Wheeler have continued the routine of putting up plenty of shots during the Thundering Herd's workouts over the last few weeks.

Marshall has to replace its top two 3-point shooters from last season with the graduation of Shayna Gore and Taylor Porter, and with the 3-point shot being a strength of both Shy and Wheeler, it could make for a natural transition into the rotation for head coach Tony Kemper.

Wheeler, who won Kentucky's 2019 Miss Basketball award, finished her career at Boyd County as the sixth-best scorer in Kentucky girls basketball history with 3,621 points - 947 of which came during her senior year. She also has a knack for knocking down 3-pointers, as he showed in 2017-18 when she hit 108 of them in a single season.

On the other side of the equation, Shy has been West Virginia's purest knock-down shooter during her four years for Huntington St. Joe, capping her career by setting an all-classes state championship record with eight 3-pointers in the 2019 Class A Championship, which the Irish won 71-46 over Parkersburg Catholic.

"They are both just such pure shooters," Kemper said. "It adds a dangerous element for our offense."

With many new faces on the team, Kemper is working to find the best combinations for the 2019-20 season. Marshall is coming off a 17-15 campaign which included 10 wins in Conference USA - the most for a Marshall team in its history.

Kemper wants to keep that momentum, so workouts have placed a lot of emphasis on every little detail, which can be a bit overwhelming for the newcomers.

This week, Kemper spent time with each individually, going over defensive positioning and getting through screens with Shy while also going over offensive sets in certain looks with Wheeler. Each listened in intently and then mirrored Kemper as the Herd's head coach looked on.

As Wheeler and Shy take the floor each day, there are going to be growing pains as they learn new terminology to go with the concepts, but they know that as the journey starts, they can work through things together and lean on each other, as they've done for years.

"Having a best friend definitely helps because it's always someone you can go to," Shy said. "I don't think you could picture your freshman year any better than being able to room with your best friend who you've known all throughout high school, AAU and travel. Finally, we get to be on the same team - live together, dorm together, be around each other all the time. It's just awesome."


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