Inside Marshall Sports

Rio Grande game

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I’ll have to say, this doesn’t feel like a Herd home game. … Dago Pena won’t play for the next two weeks, as his shoulder has popped out again. MU coaches will see if heals, or if it will need surgery. He is dressed but not participating in warmups and definitely not lifting his left arm. And then there were nine… Duke Edsall, one of the more familiar officials, will be doing this game. … Deadline is super-tight tonight, so nooooo blogging.

Coach Fello and other items

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Didn’t talk to the new defensive line coach until I was coming out of a high school basketball game (George Washington smacking around Parkersburg, if you care)… He’s excited, as you can imagine — “I feel like it’s Christmas Eve,” he said — and he’s coming to town for good early Tuesday afternoon.

It’s pretty certain Glen Mason put in a good word for Fello with Coach Snyder, but Rick Minter did, too. Fello nearly went to work for Minter at Cincinnati once upon a time, but got another job offer at the last minute from Kansas State (I hope I got that right, I’m flying without a net right now).

He’s been up and down and all around, but he has a solid base of experience. And I think he’s got a pretty good unit to work with, whether it goes 4-3, 3-4 or multiple…

I, too, was amused that somebody tried to explain Marshall’s (lack of) television exposure without talking about the abrupt death of the old Thundering Herd TV Network.

Let’s get this straight: Even if the C-USA deal with CBS College Sports completely precluded local packages (as we’ve learned, it does NOT), the league’s athletic directors would still have to be held accountable for allowing that to happen. Again, Marshall’s reduction in TV exposure is the biggest disappointment of the Bob Marcum era.

(I heard from somebody else that there will be a change of guard during the summer, as I have been suspecting.)

The Herd’s game Saturday against Tulane was the last of the season on any TV outlet, unless something comes up. I find that preposterous.

You may remember me grousing about how WVU’s women’s team gets more airtime in the Charleston end of the TV market. I haven’t rolled out this latest insult: SMU has a local deal with an outfit called Metro Sports, with 14 games on the tube in the Metroplex.

Keep in mind that Marshall would pull *much* better ratings in this market than SMU pulls in Dallas. There is no C-USA team more buried in its market than SMU.

I’m not terribly excited about the Herd playing an NAIA school in mid-February, either, but this should be a well-placed game. The upcoming schedule is not easy: a trip to El Paso on Saturday, followed by a home game against Houston. If you can shake loose to watch the latter, you should — the Cougars and Tom Penders are fun to watch. Of course, the Herd has yet to beat those guys since realignment, much like it hasn’t beaten Memphis.

Live from the Tulane game

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I may cut out early to jump on our first edition deadline, but I’ll blog it for now…

DJ has really shaken it up with his starting lineup. Check this one out: Markel, Chris Lutz, Shaq, Tirrell Baines and … Darryl Merthie. … I guess they’re trying to shake up Damier Pitts a little — he is 2-for-21 over the last two games.

Robinson Louisme is not listed as a starter, which would be the second such time this season. Instead, Kris Richard is starting, giving the Green Wave a three-guard lineup. But… Jon Andersen is starting his first game. He’s a 6-foot-9, 222-pound redshirt freshman. …

This is odd… P.A. man Mike Kirtner introduced Pitts as if he were starting, then announced Merthie as a sixth name. He also referred to Kris Richard as Keith Richard. Does he have the Rolling Stones on the brain?

Herd 6, Tulane 6 at 15:22 … Both teams 3-for-7 and a turnover… The Herd has missed its first four 3-pointer, but had good looks on all. Dago Pena rejected Daniel Puckett nicely, messing up the Green Wave’s last possession.

Tulane 17, Herd 9 at 11:27 … Louisme entered, scoring twice over Markel, but the big blows have been back-to-back 3-pointers by Kevin Sims and Eric Vianney, causing Jones to call a timeout.

Same score at 11:00 … One possession a Tulane foul, and we’re in a TV timeout… Marshall is 4-10, Tulane 7-12 with a plus-3 rebounding margin.

Tulane 22, Herd 9 at 8:12 … Green Wave run up to 13-0 after another Sims 3-pointer. Jones takes his second timeout.

Tulane 24, Herd 11 at 7:29 … Markel’s pull-up ends 15-0 run. Pitts back on the bench after absolutely forcing a drive-and-prayer. It’s just not looking good — Herd is 5-of-16, Tulane is 10-17, including 3-of-4 from looooong range. Is the 3-pointer against Marshall becoming a high-percentage shot, or what?

Tulane 29, Herd 16 at 3:56 … Merthie commits terrible, ineffective foul on Asim McQueen, allowing 3-point play. Herd 6-of-21 as Lutz clanked to go to 1-of-6 from 3-point range… Tulane is 12-of-19.

Tulane 31, Herd 22 at 3:13 … Hope is breaking out at the HC, as Shaq hits a jumper, steals in the backcourt and feeds Dago Pena for a bucket, forcing a Tulane timeout.

Tulane 39, Herd 26 at the half … The half ends badly when Louisme gets an easy inbounds pass and powers for a layup at the buzzer. The bad thing for the Herd was, O. Spann had done a great job blocking Vianney on a drive.

Herd shooting 40 percent, Tulane at a whopping 65.4 percent, with a plus-5 rebounding margin. The Green Wave is owning the inside, I’m afraid.

Tulane 42, Herd 30 at 15:52 … Marshall is already on the bonus. I’m not kidding. And really, the Green Wave should have eight or nine team fouls. The bad news? Shaq stole a ball, went the length of the court and missed a dunk. BADLY. … Tulane hit another 3-pointer, making them 4-of-5.

Tulane 42, Herd 33 at 15:01 … Lutz beats the shot-clock buzzer with a 3-pointer, then the Herd forces Tulane into a timeout with the press. The officials were about to call 10 seconds when Dave Dickerson screamed for a timeout.

Tulane 47, Herd 42 at 12:10 … There is a pulse — Marshall is on a 9-2 run, with Lutz supplying seven. The latter was a 3 that forced a timeout. Tulane is having lots of trouble with the Herd defense on both ends.

Tulane 50, Herd 45 at 11:43 … Eric Vianney has racked up two “and ones” off the press, drawing a foul on Tirrell Baines in both instances. But Shaq hit a 3-pointer on the high bounce and McQueen committed a foul on the jostling for a rebound. I believe the Herd has 2 FTs coming off the TV timeout. Herd up to 15-of-33, Tulane still 21-of-33 and plus-9 on the board.

Tulane 59, Herd 58 at 7:30 … Kevin Sims will have 1-and-1 off the timeout, but the Herd is scrapping hard. Adam Williams got open for a bucket at the shot-clock buzzer, good pass Markel, and Lutz buried his fourth 3 of the day. Herd is a miss below 50 percent while Tulane is still at 61.5 percent. Shaq has been playing point guard for a very long stretch, as Pitts hasn’t removed his warmup and Merthie hasn’t been much. Other than that missed dunk, Shaq is having a bang-up game. Lutz has 18, Shaq 15… Louisme has 17 for Tulane.

Tulane 69, Herd 64 at 3:55 … Lutz has the Herd’s last nine, but McQuees scored off an inbounds pass and Richard hit two FTs. Herd has the ball coming off a charging call. Baines has four fouls, as does Tulane’s Richard.

Tulane 76, Herd 74 at 1:29 … Lutz hits two more 3s, he has 30. Problem is, Herd can’t stop Louisme at the other end. Both teams have two timeouts.

ALL TIED at 76 with 33.9 … Shaq forced Sims into a fallaway jumper that missed and Lutz scored at the other end on a drive in which he bobbled the ball on the way up. Great recovery. Marshall is up to 54 percent, believe it or not.

We’ve got overtime. … MU forced Louisme to miss, but Shaq got gang-rejected on a buzzer-beating drive.

Herd 83-80 with Shaq on the line….

Herd 85, Tulane 80 at 1:43 … Lutz has four, Shaq has four and the Herd is finally playing a little defense. And I think the Wave is wilting in what has become a pretty noisy building. Tulane has missed two FTs (none involving Kevin Sims, of course) and last FG attempt by Richard was a weak miss.

Herd 86, Tulane 82 at 37.5 … Shaq split two FTs and Richard scored on a semi-contested layup. The foulfest is coming, and not everybody on the visiting side has fouls to give. Pitts finally re-enters.

Herd 86, Tulane 84 at 33.5 … Shaq is called for a charge in the backcourt, then McQueen scores off the inbounds pass. Tulane is out of timeouts.

Herd 86, Tulane 85 at 9.4 … Herd has ball after a sequence I don’t have time to adequately describe.\

Herd 89-86, it’s over… Sims misses 3 at buzzer. take a deep breath.

Ridpath case is settled

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This according to the clerk at the U.S. District Court in Huntington. He received a general settlement order and removed it from the active docket. There will be no trial, as there was scheduled this week.

This six-year case, which outlived its original judge, appears to be over.