Saturday, March 31, 2012

Morris returns to action with Sharks

Former Marshall quarterback Bernard Morris returned to action with the Arena Football League's Jacksonville Sharks last night, emerging from the bench to complete nine passes on 13 attempts for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Despite Morris's strong outing, which also included a rushing TD, Jacksonville fell to the Tampa Bay Storm 71-69.

Marshall Football: Spring practice, day 3

Only one practice report from the first day in pads and it comes from the Charleston Daily Mail's Chuck McGill. Make sure you give it a read, lots of good information including two new starting linebackers, the offenses fast pace, and Travon Van's bent crutch.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Marshall Football: Spring practice, day 2

Spring football practice number two is in the books and Marshall's beat writers have a number of reports on today's action.

In his blog Doug Smock reports that punter Austin Dumas has been impressive and is a strong candidate to replace departed four year starter Kase Whitehead.

Chuck McGill of the Charleston Daily Mail detailed an unusual sight, Tyson Gale actually broke up a fight. The former linebacker was a notorious instigator during his time in green and white. Gale is now serving as a graduate assistant on Doc Holliday's staff, helping coach wide receivers. McGill also has video of Holliday's post practice media gathering.

According to Andrew Ramspacher of the Herald Dispatch, back up quarterback Blake Frohnapfel attempted a few passes during Thursday's practice. Frohnapfel is recovering from shoulder surgery he underwent in December.

C-USA Basketball: Manning hired at Tulsa

Tulsa has hired a new men's basketball coach, Kansas assistant and former Jayhawk star Danny Manning. Manning has spent nine years on the KU staff, the past five as a full time assistant. The Tulsa job will be Manning's first as a head coach.

Manning replaces Doug Wojcik who was fired after leading the Golden Hurricane's for seven seasons, accumulating a 140-92 record.

Read more about Manning's hire here.

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/29/12

The Charleston Gazette

Herd's Hunter hungry to have impact

The Charleston Daily Mail

Dobson will finish eligibility with Herd

The Herald Dispatch

Arrington Lone senior on defense

Chuck Landon: Herd has room to improve on O line

The WV Metro News

Frohnapfel Not Throwing But Improving

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Marshall Football: A look at the Herd’s new walk-ons

A number of walk-ons made their first appearance at Joan C. Edwards Stadium yesterday as the Thundering Herd opened spring practice. Here is a quick look at Marshall’s new additions.

1) Marcin Wrobel, safety, #37, Brooklyn Tech (NY)

Wrobel graduated from Brooklyn Tech last year where he played wide receiver and safety. He is listed at 5’11, 195 pounds.

2) Tyler Williams, kicker/punter, #38, Atlanta Sports Academy (GA)

You can find a few YouTube videos of Williams in action here, here, and here.

3) Jacob Barr, running back, #43, Wayne High School (WV)

Honorable mention Class AA All-State team (WV) in 2010 at running back.

4) Davonte Edwards, offensive lineman, #50, South Charleston High School (WV)

Listed at 6’1, 255 pounds, hails from the same high school as wide receiver Aaron Dobson.

5) Jack Brunoni, linebacker, #54, Parkersburg Catholic (WV)

Joined the team in November last year. Was on the travel squad for Marshall’s game at Memphis.

6) Kevin Rodriguez, running back, #47, Linden High School (NJ)

According to, Rodriguez rushed for 551 yards and eight touchdowns during his senior year in 2011.

7) Stephen Roush, safety, #48, Parkersburg High School (WV)

Spent last year at Mount Union (D-III) as a defensive back. Two star prospect according to Rivals coming out of Parkersburg in 2010.

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/28/12

The Charleston Gazette

The Charleston Daily Mail

MU Sports Blog with Chuck McGill

The Herald Dispatch

The WV Metro News

The Peoria Star

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Marshall Football: Spring practice, day 1

For the first time since their win over FIU in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Doc Holliday's Herd took to the football field Tuesday afternoon. It was the beginning of spring practice at Joan C. Edwards Stadium and we have a full rundown of today's action.

First and foremost Chuck McGill of the Charleston Daily Mail has a spring football roster.

Woody Woodrum of checks in with his practice report. He breaks down the new additions to Marshall's roster and details offensive coordinator Bill Legg's move to the coaches box in 2012. Legg was one of a few OC's calling plays from the sideline last season.

The Charleston Gazette's Doug Smock focuses on the Thundering Herd's offensive and defensive line.

On his blog Herald Dispatch writer Andrew Ramspacher looks at Tony Petersen's split role as quarterback coach and back up QB. He also drops this little tidbit, junior Billy Mitchell was running with the one's at middle linebacker instead of returning starter Jermaine Holmes.

You can find post practice interviews (video) from Dave Wilson at the WV Metro News here.

Back to McGill, you can find a little bit of every thing in his practice report including a depth chart, info on Marshall's only healthy quarterback Rakeem Cato, and safety D.J Hunter.

C-USA Basketball: UAB hires Jerod Haase

UAB has hired long time assistant Jerod Hasse as their next head basketball coach. Hasse has worked under Roy Williams for the past 13 seasons at Kansas and North Carolina. Besides leading UNC’s junior varsity team the last five years he has no previous head coaching experience.

Hasse replaces Mike Davis who was fired after six seasons at UAB on March 16th.

For more on Hasse’s hire click here.

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/27/12

The Charleston Gazette

The Charleston Daily Mail

The Herald Dispatch

The WV Metro News

The Herd Insider

Monday, March 26, 2012

C-USA/MWC will form new league by June

Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson told Bret McMurphy of CBS Sports that the two leagues will merge by June. Details of what that partnership will look like have yet to be determined but, plans are still full steam ahead. 

Read McMurphy's article here.

Marshall Football: Waiters moved to linebacker

Missed this from earlier, Quincy W.V. native Raheem Waiters has been moved to linebacker. Waiters arrived at Marshall as a wide receiver but was quickly reassigned to safety where he recorded six tackles last year, mostly on special teams.

Plans to dissolve C-USA/MWC could be dead

According to Bret McMurphy of CBS Sports, the Mountain West and Conference USA are no longer considering a plan to dissolve and form a new league. Instead, the two conferences will merge or remain separate but form an agreement for scheduling and television.

Plans to dissolve stalled when conference leaders learned they would not be able to keep NCAA Basketball Tournament units earned in previous years. Teams collect around $250,000 for their league for each round they advance in the tournament and that money is distributed to each member on a rolling six year period.

On a similar front, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News reports that both leagues would forfeit any exit fees from departing members (i.e. – SMU, Houston, SMU, UCF, Memphis) if the two conferences dissolved.

Marshall Football: Trevor Black dismissed & other spring practice notes

Per various Twitter reports, junior defensive end Trevor Black has been dismissed from Marshall’s football team. Black appeared in eight games last year, registering 20 tackles.

Also, running backs Travon Van and Tron Martinez will not be available for spring drills while recovering from surgery. Van and Martinez combined to run for 1,306 yards last season and six touchdowns.

On the quarterback front, redshirt freshman Blake Frohnapfel will be participating on a limited basis but, don’t expect him to throw much. Frohnapfel had surgery on his throwing shoulder in late November. On occasion, quarterbacks coach Tony Peterson will relieve the Herd’s one healthy QB, Rakeem Cato, to protect the sophomores arm.

One last note, Donald Brown has returned to the Thundering Herd on a probationary basis. The safety will be a full participant during spring practice.   

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Marshall Football: spring football roster

Woody Woodrum of the Herd Insider has updated Marshall's football roster in advance of next weeks spring practice, take a look here.

FAU to remain in Sun Belt

Reports from Friday indicated that Florida Atlantic University will stay in the Sun Belt Conference. It had been speculated that the Owl's were interested in joining the forthcoming Mountain West/Conference USA merger. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

No updates Friday March 23rd

The Marshall Thundering Blog will not be updated on Friday March 23rd. We will return to regularly scheduled  blogging Monday March 26th.

- The Marshall Thundering Blog

C-USA Basketball: As the coaching carousel turns

A quick look at the three head coaching vacancies in Conference USA basketball:

1) UAB has denied reports that they had offered their head coaching position to Ole Miss’s Andy Kennedy.

2) Tubby Smith refuted reports that he is a candidate for Tulsa’s head coaching vacancy. The current Minnesota coach started his career at Tulsa, leading the Golden Hurricanes from 1991-1995.

Tulsa should start interviewing candidate’s in the next 7 to 10 days, they are expected to meet with Oral Roberts coach Scott Sutton and Valparaiso’s Scott Drew.   

3) According to the Dallas Morning News, SMU is planning to make a run at Marquette head coach Buzz Williams. Williams has deep ties to the lone star state, growing up in Van Alstyne Texas before attending college at Oklahoma City University. Other possible candidates include Duke assistant Jeff Capel and recently fired Nebraska coach Doc Sadler.

Today's Marshall University Athletic's News, 3/22/12

The Charleston Daily Mail

The Herald Dispatch

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

San Jose Mercury News: Details on C-USA/MWC merger within a month

According to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, details on the partnership between Conference USA and the Mountain West should be available within a month. Wilner speculates the two leagues will merge NCAA Basketball Tournament units earned in previous seasons and that additional schools could be added based on their ability to bring in TV revenue.  

Read Wilner’s article here.

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/21/12

The Charleston Gazette

The Charleston Daily Mail

MU Sports Blog with Chuck McGill

The Herald Dispatch

The Washington Post

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Checking in on Tirrell Baines & Johnny Thomas

Quick update on two former Marshall basketball players in the NBA Developmental League:

1) Tirrell Baines, Erie Bayhawks  - The former Marshall forward has played 30 games with Erie the season, starting 19 while averaging 15.4 points and six rebounds.

2) Johnny Thomas, Springfield Armor – Thomas was waived by the Armor in December after suffering a knee injury. It is possible that Thomas might return to the team after he recovers. In nine games with Springfield prior to the injury Thomas averaged 9.2 points and 3.7 rebounds.

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/20/12

Inside Marshall Sports with Doug Smock

The Charleston Daily Mail

The Herald Dispatch

My Fox Houston

Monday, March 19, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Herd commitment comes up short for state championship title

Despite 28 points from Marshall commitment Tamron Manning, Scott County could not overcome number one ranked Trinity High School in last Saturday’s Kentucky Sweet Sixteen championship game, losing 71-53.

For the year Manning averaged about 15 points, six rebounds, three assist, and three steals per game. The 6’3 guard is a finalist for Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball award.

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/19/12

The Charleston Gazette

The Herald Dispatch

Friday, March 16, 2012

Marshall Football: Price officially announced as defensive line coach

Marshall football coach Doc Holliday announced JC Price as the Thundering Herd’s new defensive line coach earlier today. Price has been an assistant at JMU since 2004, coaching the teams defensive lineman while also serving as defensive run-game coordinator.

For the official press release on Price’s hire click here.  

C-USA Basketball: Davis out at UAB

UAB has fired men’s basketball coach Mike Davis. In a six year run with the Blazers he complied a record of 122-72 with three NIT and one NCAA Tournament appearance.

UAB struggled this year to a 15-16 record and 9-7 mark in Conference USA play. The Blazers ended their season with a 64-54 loss to UCF in last weeks C-USA Tournament.

For more on Davis’s dismissal click here.

An open letter to Tom Herrion: Thanks for all your hard work, we have our guy

Coach Herrion,

While the firing of Marshall Hall of Famer and former New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni has thrown certain Huntington writers in a tizzy, I wanted to thank you for a memorable 2011-2012 season.

The hard work of your staff and players lead Marshall to heights not reached since 1998. Many coaches have walked through the Cam Henderson Center over the past 24 years, including two time national champion Billy Donovan, but only one has guided Thundering Herd basketball to a major post-season tournament.

You have embraced us as we have embraced you. Some people at the College of Charleston took your passion as an act  but, we know better. How many university’s are lucky enough to have it’s most intense fan on the sidelines?

Most important, you helped us heal after being jilted by former coach Donnie Jones. We don’t hear excuses about recruiting to Huntington or making bus trips to Memphis from your staff. In fact, you don’t make excuses. Despite playing seven games in ten day’s and suffering the disappointment of not hosting an NIT home game you would not accept those crutches for Marshall’s loss at Middle Tennessee.  

So while some people swoon for other coaches who have never lead an NCAA basketball team and fret over your possible departure, please remember that this fan hopes you stick around for a long time.

Thanks for all your hard work coach.

-The Marshall Thundering Blog

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/16/12

The Herald Dispatch

The WV Metro News

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Marshall HOF D’Antoni resigns as Knicks head coach

Marshall athletics Hall of Famer Mike D’Antoni has resigned as head coach of the New York Knicks. D’Antoni leaves the Knicks with an 18-24 record  after an offseason filled with high expectations. During a 4 ½ year run in New York D’Antoni made one playoff appearance (2011) while accumulating an overall record of 121-167.

Mike’s brother and Knicks assistant Dan D’Antoni, a fellow Marshall Hall of Famer, also resigned.

For more on Mike’s resignation click here.

Curry improves numbers at Marshall Pro Day

According to the Twitter account of WSAZ sportscaster Keith Morehouse, former Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry ran the 40 yard dash in 4.64 seconds during the Thundering Herd’s Pro Day at Joan C. Edwards stadium. Morehouse also reports that Curry completed 28 bench press repetitions and recorded a vertical leap of 35 inches.

Curry did not take part in the bench press during last months NFL Scouting Combine due to an injured wrist. The 4.64 Curry registered in today’s 40 yard dash is a improvement over the 4.98 he ran at the combine.  

Matt Doherty let go by SMU

SMU became the second Conference USA school looking for a new basketball coach yesterday, firing Matt Doherty after six seasons. In his six years with the Mustangs Doherty only complied 80 wins compared to 109 losses. This season SMU finished 13-19 and lost to Marshall in the first round of the C-USA Tournament.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that recently fired Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, Duke assistant Jeff Capel, UT-Arlington head coach Scott Cross, and North Texas’s Johnny Jones are early candidates to replace Doherty.

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/14/12

The Charleston Gazette

The Charleston Daily Mail

The Marshall Sports Blog with Chuck McGill

The Herald Dispatch

The WV Metro News

Marshall Basketball: Herd loses NIT opener at MTSU 86-78

Some things don't change, even after 24 years. Much like it's last NIT appearance in 1988 Marshall lost in the first round Tuesday night, suffering a 86-78 defeat at Middle Tennessee State. 

With the loss three Marshall seniors ended their collegiate careers, guards Damier Pitts, Dago Pena, and Shaquille Johnson. Pitt's lead all scorers with 19 points while junior forward Dennis Tinnon chipped in 18. 

Marshall had trouble containing Sun Belt Conference player of the year LaRon Dendy all night as he scored 18 points and earned 11 foul shots. 

For more on tonight's game follow these links:

2) Game re-cap via the Herald Dispatch. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interest in new league strong from WAC & Sun Belt schools

According to Brett McMurphy of, multiple non-BCS athletic programs are seeking membership in the Mountain West/Conference USA merger. McMurphy writes that every Western Athletic Conference member has expressed interest in joining the yet to be named league. Sun Belt Conference schools Florida Atlantic, Florida International, North Texas and Charlotte, an Atlantic 10 institution, have also reached out to representatives of the new partnership according to McMurphy.

Read the whole article here.

Moss signs deal with 49ers & Legursky tendered by Steelers

1) After taking the 2011 season off, wide receiver Randy Moss has returned to the NFL. The former Marshall star signed a one year contract with the San Francisco 49ers yesterday, financial terms were not disclosed. Read this San Francisco Chronicle article for more details.

2) Former Thundering Herd offensive lineman Doug Legursky was tendered a contract by the Pittsburgh Steelers. By tendering an offer to Legursky, the Steelers reserve the right to retain his services by matching any offer sheet he would sign with another team. More details in this Herald Dispatch story.

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/13/12

The Charleston Gazette

The Charleston Daily Mail

The Herald Dispatch

Monday, March 12, 2012

C-USA Basketball: Tulsa fires Wojcik

On Sunday the University of Tulsa announced that head men’s basketball coach Doug Wojick will not return next year. A graduate of Wheeling Central Catholic High School in Wheeling WV, Wojick had been the coach at Tulsa for seven seasons compiling a record of 140-92.

Tulsa athletic director Ross Parmley cited declining attendance and revenue from the basketball program as reasons for letting Wojick go.

For more on Wojick’s dismissal and Tulsa’s search to replace him click here.

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/12/12

The Charleston Gazette

The Charleston Daily Mail

The Marshall Sports Blog with Chuck McGill

The Herald Dispatch

The WV Metro News

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Herd headed to NIT, will play MTSU

Marshall is headed to the NIT as a five seed, they will play at Middle Tennessee State University on Tuesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:15pm EST, live streaming coverage will be provided on

To see the whole NIT bracket click here.

Marshall Basketball: Herd left out of NCAA Tournament, likely headed to NIT

Marshall was left out of the NCAA Basketball Tournament despite having an outside chance to grab a bid after reaching this Saturday's Conference USA Tournament final. The Herd is likely destined for the NIT, it's selection show will take place later tonight at 9pm EST on ESPNU.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Does Herd deserve NCAA Tournament bid?

Does Marshall deserve an at-large NCAA Tournament bid? That is a question many people have been asking since the Herd fell to Memphis in the Conference USA tournament championship game.

Below, you will find the tournament resumes of eight teams fighting for four at-large spots. Each team is one of ESPN's Joe Lunadri's first four in or first four out of the NCAA Tournament. To eliminate any bias I have removed the name of each school and assigned a letter. Pick the four teams you think most deserve the final four bids.

Record: 20-13
RPI: 48
SOS: 19
Road/Neutral record: 5-7
Vs. RPI top 25: 1-8
Vs. RPI top 50: 4-11
Vs. RPI top 100: 4-11
Good Wins (RPI): Temple (16) Iowa St. x2 (33) K-State (43)
Bad Losses (RPI) Oregon St. (131) Ok St. (121)

Record: 22-12
RPI: 49
SOS: 32
Road/Neutral record: 9-5
Vs. PRI top 25: 0-7
Vs. RPI top 50: 1-8
Vs. RPI top 100: 6-10
Good Wins (RPI): Texas (48) UVA (52) Miami (61)
Bad Losses (RPI) GT (195) Clemson (153)

Record: 21-11
RPI: 74
SOS: 71
Road/Neutral record: 6-8
Vs. RPI top 25: 0-2
Vs. RPI top 50: 2-4
Vs. RPI top 100: 7-9
Good Wins (RPI): Vandy (30) Alabama (35) Mississippi (54)
Bad Losses (RPI) Auburn (142) Arkansas (111)

Record: 20-12
RPI: 67
SOS: 50
Road/Neutral record: 7-9
Vs. RPI top 25: 1-4
Vs. RPI top 50: 3-7
Vs. RPI top 100: 7-9
Good Wins (RPI): Georgetown (13) UCONN (33) VCU (38)
Bad Losses (RPI): DePaul (198) Rutgers (162) Villanova (119)

Record: 21-13
RPI: 42
SOS: 26
Road/Neutral record: 8-8
Vs. RPI top 25: 2-5
Vs. RPI top 50: 4-5
Vs. RPI top 100: 6-10
Good Wins (RPI): Southern Miss x2 (19) Cincinnati (40) Iona (41)
Bad Losses (RPI): ECU (1630 Tulsa (120) UAB (110)

Record: 21-10
RPI: 68
SOS: 87
Road/Neutral record: 6-8
Vs. RPI top 25: 0-2
Vs. RPI top 50: 0-5
Vs. RPI top 100: 4-8
Good Wins (RPI): Oregon (64) Arizona x2 (73)
Bad Losses (RPI): Oregon St (131) UCLA (125)

Record: 19-12
RPI: 61
SOS: 43
Road/Neutral record: 6-9
Vs. RPI top 25: 2-5
Vs. RPI top 50: 2-8
Vs. RPI top 100: 3-11
Good Wins (RPI): Duke (4) FSU (22) UMass (72)
Bad Losses (RPI): Maryland (105)

Record: 27-6
RPI: 66
SOS: 213
Road/Neutral record: 14-6
Vs. RPI top 25: 0-0
Vs. RPI top 50: 1-1
Vs. RPI top 100: 3-3
Good Wins (RPI): VCU (38) George Mason (83) Cleveland St. (86)
Bad Losses (RPI): Delaware (152) Georgia St. (141) Norfolk St. (132)

Now that you have picked your four teams here is the key:

A: Texas
B: N.C State
C: Mississippi State
D: Seton Hall
E: Marshall
F: Washington
G: Miami
H: Drexel

I will go more in-depth later but, I think Marshall clearly has one of the top four, if not the best, resume. The Herd's RPI is the best among all eight teams and their strength of schedule ranks second only behind Texas. Like I said, more to come but chew on this for the mean time.

Marshall Basketball: Herd falls to Memphis in championship 83-61

Marshall put up a valiant effort during the Conference USA basketball tournament but, Memphis proved to be to much, defeating the Herd 83-61 in Saturday's championship game. With the loss, Tom Herrion's crew probably eliminated any chance of earning an NCAA Tournament bid. Marshall looks NIT bound and is in good position to host a home game. ESPNU will broadcast the NIT selection show tomorrow at 9pm.

For more on Marshall's 83-61 loss to Memphis follow these links:

The Herald Dispatch

The MU Sports Blog with Chuck McGill

Friday, March 9, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Herd advances to final, beats Southern Miss 73-62

Here are a few early links on Marshall's 73-62 Conference USA tournament semifinal win over Southern Miss. The Thundering Herd will play either Memphis or UCF in tomorrow's final, tip-off is scheduled for 11:30am EST on CBS.

First a foremost you can find a box score here.

The Herald Dispatch

Herd rolls past So.Miss into C-USA final

The Charleston Daily Mail

Marshall Basketball: Herd advance to C-USA title game

The Hattiesburg American

Marshall knocks off Southern Miss

The Associated Press

Pitts leads Marshall past Southern Miss 73-62

C-USA basketball tournament semi-final schedule

All times eastern, games will be broadcast by the CBS Sports Network:

Marshall (6) vs. Southern Miss (2) 4pm

UCF (4) vs. Memphis (1) 6:30pm

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/3/12

The Charleston Gazette

Inside Marshall Sports with Doug Smock

The Charleston Daily Mail

The Herald Dispatch

The Memphis Commercial Appeal

The Parthenon

The WV Metro News

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Marsball Basketball: Herd takes down Tulsa in triple OT 105-100

It took over three hours but, the Marshall Thundering Herd took down Tulsa 105-100 in triple overtime Thursday, advancing to a semi-final match-up against Southern Miss in the Conference USA basketball tournament.

Sophomore shooting guard DeAndre Kane lead the Herd with 40 points, setting a C-USA tournament and personal single game record. Four of Kane's teammates, Damier Pitts, Robert Goff, Nigel Spikes and Yous Mbao fouled out during the 55 minute slug fest. Overall, 71 total fouls were called in the game, 38 on Marshall and 33 on Tulsa.

Besides Kane's record breaking performance, Shaquille Johnson chipped in 25 points while forward Dennis Tinnon recorded a double-double scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

The Thundering Herd will tip off against C-USA's second seed, Southern Miss at 4pm EST tomorrow, coverage will be available on the CBS Sports Network.

For more on Marshall's triple overtime win over Tulsa follow these links:

1) Game re-cap from the Associated Press.

2) Box score.

3) Video, Tom Herrion's post game press conference via Charleston Daily Mail reporter Chuck McGill.

C-USA Basketball Tournament: Quarterfinal match-ups & times

Schedule and times for today’s Conference USA basketball tournament quarterfinal round:

Southern Miss (2) vs. ECU (10) 1pm EST (CBS Sports Network)
Tulsa (3) vs. Marshall (6) 3:30pm EST (CBS Sports Network)
Memphis (1) vs. UTEP (8) 7:30pm EST (CBS Sports Network)
UCF (4) vs. UAB (5) 10pm EST (CBS Sports Network)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Herd downs SMU 74-56 in first round tournament game

Marshall got it's first win of the Conference USA basketball tournament Wednesday afternoon, beating SMU 74-56 in Memphis's FedEx Forum. With the win, the Thundering Herd advances to a quarterfinal match-up against Tulsa at 3:30pm EST tomorrow.

Second team all C-USA selection DeAndre Kane lead the Herd with 18 points and three steals. Despite an early knee injury, senior point guard Damier Pitts recovered with an impressive second half in route to 16 points. On the glass Marshall out-rebounded SMU 43-31, lead by Dennis Tinnon's 15 boards.

For more on Marshall's first round tournament win follow these links:

1) Game re-cap from the Associated Press.

2) Box score.

3) Video: post game interviews with Tom Herrion, Pitts, and Kane. Provided by Chuck McGill's MU Sports Blog.

Today’s C-USA basketball tournament first round match-ups

Games to be broadcast via CSS, all times eastern:

(7) Rice vs. (10) East Carolina, 1pm
(6) Marshall vs. (11) SMU, 3:30pm
(8) UTEP vs. (9) Houston, 7:30pm
(12) Tulane vs. (5) UAB, 9pm

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/7/12

The Charleston Gazette

Call it the Herd’s “Curse of Fulse”

QB Graham booted from Marshall football team

The Charleston Daily Mail

Marshall Basketball: Defense to be key in C-USA tournament opener against Mustangs

Marshall Football: Thundering Herd boots QB Graham for off the field issue

Marshall Sports Blog with Chuck McGill

We talkin’ bout practice

The Herald Dispatch

Tourney chance thrills Tinnon

A.J Graham is gone

MU women golfers 4th in Kentucky tournament

Tinnon is defensive all C-USA

MU women ready for SMU

Chuck Landon: Pitts gets game back in time for tournament

Rick McCann: Marshall’s strength of schedule holds up

The Spartanburg Herald Journal

Fond memories of SoCon tournament in 1987

USA Today

Report: Moss “looking like the old Randy” in Saints workout

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Marshall football: A.J Graham dismissed from team

Per the Twitter account of WSAZ sportscaster Keith Morehouse, Marshall quarterback A.J Graham has been dismissed from the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules. A rising redshirt junior Graham started four games last year, completing 62 passes on 95 attempts for 671 yards and seven touchdowns to four interceptions. Graham hurt his right shoulder during Marshall’s 59-17 loss at Tulsa, an injury that eventually required season ending surgery.

Marshall Basketball: Hassan Whiteside has breakout NBA performance

Sacramento Kings center Hassan Whiteside had the best game of his two year NBA career Monday night, recording five points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots in just over 14 minutes of play. Despite Whiteside’s effort Sacramento lost in overtime to the Denver Nuggets 119-116.

The former Marshall player scored his first two NBA points March 1st in a 108-100 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Today's Marshall University Athletics News, 3/6/12

The Charleston Gazette

SMU rides momentum into C-USA battle with Herd

Kane named to All-Conference second team, Pitts third team pick

Inside Marshall Sports with Doug Smock

Daring NIT projection

The Charleston Daily Mail

Marshall basketball: Herd in “one game season mode” at C-USA tourney

MU Sports Blog with Chuck McGill

Westbound and down…

The Herald Dispatch

SMU: a tale of two teams

Chuck Landon: MU losses coin flip, but wins draw

Kane, Pitts named to all C-USA team

Memphis’s Jasmine Lee is C-USA player of the year

The WV Metro News

Herd Got Back to Basics in Win

Monday, March 5, 2012

C-USA and the NIT

Unless a team other than Memphis or Southern Mississippi walks off the FedEx Forum floor this Saturday as Conference USA champion the league will only have two representatives in the NCAA Tournament. That would leave four other schools, Tulsa, UCF, UAB, and Marshall fighting for precious few spots in the NIT.

Despite a strong resume Marshall was left out of last years NIT, most likely because of it’s sixth place finish in C-USA’s regular season standings. In fact, only one of the Thundering Herd’s conference mates, UTEP, received an NIT bid in 2011.

For arguments sake lets say C-USA is relegated to one NIT bid again. Below I have listed the tournament resumes of Tulsa, UCF, UAB, and Marshall. To remove any bias this is blind list, each team will be designated by a letter. In your opinion, which school deserves an NIT bid?

*Note, overall record only reflects games against division 1 competition.

Team A
Record: 17-12
RPI: 66
SOS: 30
Vs. RPI top 25: 1-4
Vs. RPI top 50: 2-5
Vs. RPI top 100: 5-9
Best Wins (RPI): Southern Miss (17), Iona (42), Belmont (61)
Worst Losses (RPI): ECU (169), Tulsa (115), UAB (109)
Road / Neutral court record: 5-8

Team B
Record: 19-9
RPI: 64
SOS: 94
Vs. RPI top 25: 1-4
Vs. RPI top 50: 2-5
Vs. RPI top 100: 3-6
Best Wins (RPI): Memphis (18), UCONN (34), Marshall (66)
Worst Losses (RPI): ULL (186), Rice (161), Tulsa (115)
Road / Neutral court record: 5-8

Team C
Record: 17-13
RPI: 115
SOS: 99
Vs. RPI top 25: 0-4
Vs. RPI top 50: 0-5
Vs. RIP top 100: 4-6
Best Wins (RPI): UCF (64), Marshall (66), UT-Arlington (96)
Worst Losses: ASU (248), SMU (207), Houston (199)
Road / Neutral court record: 7-8

Team D
Record: 14-15
RPI: 109
SOS: 48
Vs. RPI top 25: 1-6
Vs. PRI top 50: 1-8
Vs. RPI top 100: 3-11
Best Wins (RPI): Southern Miss (17), MTSU (59), Marshall (66)
Worst Losses (RPI): UT-Martin (326), ECU (169), South Alabama (167)
Road / Neutral court record: 6-8

It should be pretty obvious by now but, team A is Marshall, team B is UCF, team C is Tulsa, and team D is UAB.

You can throw out Tulsa and UAB almost immediately. The Golden Hurricanes have an RPI above 100 and they racked up several bad losses. UAB is in a very precarious position with an overall record of below .500.

What you are left with is two very even teams in UCF and Marshall. So even that both teams hold a win over each other. Marshall does have a superior strength of schedule but, the Knights finish three spots better than the Herd, third, in C-USA.

I don’t see the Thundering Herd jumping over UCF if the NIT only gives C-USA one bid. That could change if MU makes a deeper run than the Knights in this weeks tournament but, Tom Herrion’s group needs to take care of business against SMU and Tulsa.