Misery loves company (I write as I can’t use my tap water), and there’s quite a little bit of it in Marshall basketball … but there’s angst in other corners of Conference USA as well.
The Thundering Herd’s next opponent, Texas-El Paso, has been wracked by the dismissal of three players for betting on sporting events. University officials say they didn’t bet on UTEP games, and didn’t participating in point-shaving. They’d better be right. Here’s the state of the Miners’ roster, and summary of their loss to Charlotte.
Down in Birmingham, the message of Garrick McGee’s departure from UAB to Bobby Petrino’s staff delivers a clear message: It’s tough to see hope here. I’m figuring the 62-27 season-ending beatdown by Southern Miss beat McGee down.
An interesting look at candidates to replace McGee. You either need a 30-something with unlimited energy or Houston McNutt. McNutt would be the best advocate of the program against its considerable odds, but here’s the problem: Does the University of Alabama Board of Trustees figure out a way to nix it, a la Jimbo Fisher?
Back to Marshall basketball, where we have another version of The Streak. This isn’t not to be confused with a very positive streak, Rakeem Cato’s run of 32 games with a TD catch (I got that right this time, eh?). Let’s list the 11 away/neutral games and how close the Herd was to winning:
3/2/13 — Houston 103, Marshall 76: Down 16 at half, 32 near end of game. Ta’Shawn Thomas went 25 pts, 14 rebs, 5 assts and 3 blocks.
3/9/13 — East Carolina 86, Marshall 79: Hard-fought game, but Akeem Richmond’s 3-pointer with 1:23 left was followed by a DeAndre Kane missed FT, a Dennis Tinnon missed 3 and 9 FTs by ECU.
3/13/13 at Tulsa — Tulane 66, Marshall 64: Herd up 13 with 12 minutes left, then allowed Tulane to go 12 of 18 from there, with two three-point plays and banked 3-ball by Ricky Tarrant. Ugh.
11/17/13 — Morehead State 102, Marshall 94, OT: Oh, this was a gut-punch. Up 21 points with 1:00 left in first half, up 10 with 7:45 left. Mashed on turnovers (26), second-chance points (20-0).
11/30/13 — East Tennessee State 88, Marshall 78: MU down 16, but does get the ball twice down 3. Splits free throws twice and Bucs pull away.
12/5/13 — Vanderbilt 69, Marshall 67: MU had ball 4 times down the stretch with chances to tie or win. Last ended in turnovers, including the last possession by Kareem Canty.
12/7/13 — Penn State 90, Marshall 77: Herd down 20 late in first half, 26 late in second half. Ugh.
12/14/13 at Charleston — West Virginia 74, Marshall 64: Second come-from ahead loss in the list, as Herd gives up 14-2 run in closing minutes.
12/30/13 — South Carolina 92, Marshall 65: A horrendous second half, plus Herd was 1 of 14 from 3 and 30 of 47 from line. Wait, that latter number is good for this team.
1/2/14 — Akron 59, Marshall 58: It was heartbreaking to see Canty’s layup dance around the rim, but playing from down 11 is not way to live
1/9/14 — Texas-San Antonio 90, Marshall 81: Game tied 13 times, but lowly Roadrunners pull away down the stretch. UTSA shoots 57 percent, second highest against Division foes this year.
11 straight games, 11 different arenas. A total of 2-22 over a season and a half. Depressing.
Here is an item on Terrell Edwards-Maye, the former MU RB who went by the wayside after the coaching change. Nice guy, and it’s good to see he’s doing well.