Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Marshall Football: Chase Litton Commits to Herd

Marshall added another member to its 2015 recruiting class this afternoon when quarterback Chase Litton announced his commitment to the Thundering Herd. Litton was on campus yesterday for the Herd's first day of spring practice.

As a senior at Florida's Wharton High School, Litton passed for 13 touchdowns and almost 2,220 yards. He also rushed for 397 yards and four additional scores.

Chase Litton highlight videos

A three star prospect according to Rivals, Litton committed to South Florida in the summer between his junior and senior year but withdrew the commitment shortly thereafter. He did not sign a letter of intent in February, deciding instead to attend the Atlanta Sports Academy, a prep school in Georgia. Marshall has a number of Atlanta Sports Academy alumni on it's roster including Corey Tindal, Kent Turene, and Deon-Tay McManus. Litton will spend this fall at prep school and enroll at Marshall in January of 2015.

A athletic quarterback, Litton stands 6-foot-6, 190 pounds. He was recently named a All-Second Team basketball selection in Hillsborough County.

For more on Marshall's latest commitment, follow the links below.

Tampa Bay Times

Marshall Football: Herd Opens Spring Practice in the Snow

Marshall kicked off spring football practice yesterday in the snowy confines of Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Including Tuesday, the Thundering Herd will conduct 15 practices culminating with the annual Green and White game on April 26th.

Yesterday's practice marked a significant change for tight end Eric Frohnapfel. It was the first time he did not share the field with twin brother Blake Frohnapfel. After sitting behind all-conference quarterback Rakeem Cato for three years, Blake transferred to Massachusetts in February. Now the lone Frohnapfel on Marshall's roster, Eric is competing against Devon Johnson and newcomer Deon-Tay McManus for the staring tight end spot. 

Granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA, defensive tackle James Rouse is enjoying his sixth and final spring practice at Marshall. Rouse lead the Herd with 14 tackles for loss last season and was named the teams defensive MVP. After yesterdays practice Rouse spoke with Derek Redd of the Charleston Daily Mail about his goals this spring.

Despite yesterday's adverse conditions, Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said his team came out with energy and was focused on the task at-hand.

The Herd returns to the practice field on Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Practice is open to the public.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Marshall Football: Herd Releases Spring Depth Chart

Just over a week away from spring football practice, Marshall released a depth chart on the school's official athletics website today. The full depth chart and additional notes on a few key positional changes are below. 

WR (z) – Craig Wilkins, Angelo Jean-Louis, Demetrius Evans
WR (x) – Davonte Allen, Justin Hunt, Chris Alston Jr.
WR (slot) – Tommy Shuler, Deandre Reaves
LT – Sebastian Johansson, AJ Addison, Chris Huhn
LG – Blake Brooks, Tom Collins, Will Mendoza
C – Chris Jasperse, Cam Dees, Cody Collins
RG – Michael Selby, Trevor Mendelson, x-Tyler Combs
RT – Clint Van Horn, Sandley Jean-Felix, Eric Ansley
TE/H-back – Eric Frohnapfel, Devon Johnson, Joe Woodrum/DeonTay McManus
QB – Rakeem Cato, Gunnar Holcombe, Kevin Anderson
RB – Steward Butler, Remi Watson

DE – Ra’Shawde Myers, Ricardo Williams, Joe Massaquoi
NT – Jarquez Samuel, Josh Brown, Malcolm Strong
DT – James Rouse, Steve Dillon, Marcus Gilchrist
DE (Fox) – Gary Thompson, Arnold Blackmon, Armonze Daniel
OLB (Sam) – D.J. Hunter, Raheem Waiters
MLB (Mike) -- Jermaine Holmes, x-Neville Hewitt, Cortez Carter, x-Kent Turene
ILB (Will) – Evan McKelvey, Stefan Houston
CB – Corey Tindal, Keith Baxter, Donaldven Manning
SS – Tiquan Lang, Taj Letman
FS – A.J. Leggett, Taj Letman, Corie Wilson/Andre Scott
CB – Darryl Roberts, Michael Johnson
Nickel – Corey Tindal, Michael Johnson

PK – Justin Haig, Nick Smith
KO – Amoretto Curraj, Kaare Vedvik
P – Tyler Williams, Nick Smith
LS – Matt Cincotta
H – Tyler Williams
KR – Deandre Reaves, Tiquan Lang
PR – Deandre Reaves, Tommy Shuler
x -- Hewitt, Combs, Turene are expected to miss spring practice while recovering from surgery

  • After playing guard last season,  Sebastian Johansson is penciled in to take over at left tackle.
  • Blake Brooks slides in at left guard, taking the spot vacated by Johansson's move to tackle.
  • Although he has participated in the team off-season conditioning program, running back Kevin Grooms is not yet an official member of the Herd. Marshall head coach Doc Holliday spoke about Grooms status on, “Grooms isn’t back as an official member of the team yet,” Holliday said. “He still needs to earn back the trust of his teammates and the coaches before he’s a part of the team again. We’ll decide when that’s going to be.”
  • Marshall has plenty of depth at tight end with Devon Johnson and Eric Frohnapfel returning, but watch out for redshirt freshman DeonTay McManus. The one time WVU commitment was a four star recruit out of Baltimore in 2012.
  • The most experienced of Marshall's backup quarterbacks, Gunnar Holcombe is listed directly behind Rakeem Cato on the Herd's depth chart
  • Ra'Shawde Myers is shown as the starter at defensive end but expect him to be pushed by Miami transfer Ricardo Williams.
  • DJ Hunter is back at linebacker and expected to start. He lost his starting safety spot to Tiquan Lang midway through last season.
  • After missing the entire 2013 season due to injury, Keith Baxter is back for spring practice.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Marshall Basketball: Potential List of Candidates to Replace Tom Herrion

As Marshall searches for its next men's basketball coach, rumors are already swirling on potential replacements for Tom Herrion. Here are a few names that could make athletic director Mike Hamrick's short list.

Blaine Taylor - Taylor lead Old Dominion's basketball program for almost 19 seasons. During that time the Monarchs won 20 games eleven times and qualified for six NCAA Tournaments. He was fired at the tail end of the 2012-2013 season when ODU had a record of 2-20.

John Pelphrey - A Marshall assistant under Billy Donovan, Pelphrey has served as head coach at South Alabama and most recently Arkansas. In 2008 he lead the Razorbacks to the NCAA Tournament during his first year as head coach. Declining results the next three seasons including two 14 win campaigns contributed to his dismissal in 2011. He is currently an assistant coach at Florida.

Jeff Boals - Although he has never been a head coach, Boals might be an intriguing option. He spent five seasons on Marshall's bench under Greg White. Since then, Boals has served as an assistant coach at Charleston, Robert Morris, Akron, and most recently Ohio State. During his time with the Buckeyes, Ohio State has won three Big Ten regular season titles and appeared in the 2012 Final Four.

Mike D'Antoni - Would the former New York Knicks and current Los Angeles Lakers head coach be interested in returning home to West Virginia and leading his alma mater? According to ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith, D'Antoni won't be brought back to the Lakers next year. Keep in mind D'Antoni has never coached in college basketball, even as an assistant. But the real question is, what would it take to bring him back to the Mountain State? D'Antoni has been involved with the athletic department recently, co-chairing Marshall's vision campaign with Chad Pennington.

Dan D'Antoni - Mike's older brother, Dan is a former Marshall point guard and member of the schools athletics Hall of Fame. After a brief stint on the Herd's coaching staff in the early 1970's, Dan spent 30 years as a high school coach in South Carolina. Since 2005, he has served as an assistant coach under Mike at the Phoenix Suns, Knicks, and Lakers.

Jeff Capel III - While Shaka Smart has taken VCU to new heights, you could argue that Capel put them on the map. From 2002-2006, Capel won 79 games and made a NCAA Tournament appearance with the Rams. Capel left for Oklahoma in 2009 and took the Sooners to the Elite Eight in his first season as head coach. He was fired two years later after consecutive sub 15 win seasons. Capel's a assistant coach at Duke.

Bruce Pearl - Now an ESPN analyst, Pearl is best know for his six seasons at Tennessee. During those six years, Pearl never failed to make the NCAA Tournament and never won less than 19 games. He was fired in 2011 amid an NCAA investigation into the recruiting of Aaron Craft. As a result of the investigation, Pearl was hit with a three year show-cause penalty that runs through this August.

Seth Greenberg - Another ESPN analyst, Greenberg coached at Virginia Tech from 2004 to 2012. Often the bridesmaid, the Hokies qualified for five NIT's during Greenberg's tenure and only one NCAA Tournament. That being said, his overall record at Virginia Tech was 167-117. He was also named the 2007-2008 ACC coach of the year.

Steve Henson - Could Hamrick turn to an old friends staff for Marshall's next coach? Hamrick hired Lon Kruger at UNLV in 2004 and was rewarded with four NCAA Tournament appearances. Now the head coach at Oklahoma, Henson is Kruger's top assistant.

John Brannen - A 1997 Marshall graduate, Brannen played two seasons with the Herd after transferring from Morehead State . He's held assistant coaching positions at Charleston, Eastern Kentucky, St. Bonaventure, VCU, and now Alabama. Crimson Tide head coach Anthony Grant promoted Brannen to associate head coach before the 2013-2014 season.

Bobby Lutz - From 1999 to 2005 few coaches were more successful in Conference USA than Lutz. Before the 49ers departed for the Atlantic 10 in 2006, Lutz won a C-USA title and appeared in four NCAA Tournaments. Fired by Charlotte following the 2010 season, he is now an assistant at NC State.

Jeff Neubauer - After taking Eastern Kentucky to the NCAA Tournament for the second time, Neubauer's name will be bantered about for a number of openings this off-season. A former West Virginia assistant, Neubauer has lead the Colonels for nine seasons, accumulating a record of 167-121.

Kevin Keatts - One year removed from a national championship, Keatts has been a assistant under Rick Pittio at Louisville since 2011. Prior to that, he served as head coach at Hargrave Military Academy for eight seasons. In July of 2013 Jeff Goodman of named Keatts the third most respected/feared assistant in college basketball after surveying over 200 collegiate coaches.

Marshall Basketball: Herrion to Part Ways with Herd

Marshall ended its men's basketball season on Wednesday with a Conference USA Tournament loss to ODU. Less than 48 hours later, it appears Tom Herrion's tenure as head coach is also coming to a end.

At 1:45 p.m. today Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick will hold a press conference to discuss the future of the basketball program. Multiple reports indicate Herrion's dismissal will be announced at the event.

The Herd just completed a 11-22 campaign, only the fourth 20 loss season in Marshall men's basketball history. Over four seasons Herrion compiled a 67-67 record. During that time he was well under .500 in league play, ending his Marshall career with a 28-36 mark against Conference USA competition.

In his first year on the job, Herrion pushed the Herd to 22 wins and a Tournament bid. He followed that up with a NIT appearance in 2012, Marshall's first in 24 years.

Heading into the 2012-2013 season, Marshall was selected to finish second in C-USA and two players were placed on the preseason all conference team. The lofty expectations turned out to be a burden as the Herd finished 13-19.

This off-season Herrion took the dramatic step of dismissing DeAndre Kane from the team. In three seasons at Marshall Kane became the schools 15th all time leading scorer and 8th in all time assist. Now at Iowa State, Kane was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year after averaging 17.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assist per game this year.

Attrition was a constant issue with Herrion's Herd. Over the past four years nine players left Marshall's basketball program without completing their eligibility

Discipline was another problem. In a Sports Illustrated report this February Herrion's own players accused their coach of failing to reprimand Kane despite a laundry list of problems including tardiness, physical altercations with teammates, and verbal abuse of staff members.

The Herald Dispatch is reporting that Herrion's contract includes a $525,000 buyout which has been raised through private sources.

We will have more on this story as it develops throughout the day.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Marshall Basketball: Old Dominion Ends Herd's Season in El Paso

From the Associated Press.

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Aaron Bacote scored 25 points and sixth-seeded Old Dominion pulled away in the second half to defeat 14th-seeded Marshall 73-58 on Wednesday in the second round of the Conference USA tournament.

The Monarchs (16-16) advanced to play third-seeded Middle Tennessee in a Thursday quarterfinal.
Bacote, who also had eight rebounds, finished three points shy of his career high. He made 13 of 18 free throws with the Monarchs sinking 23 of 32 from the line. Dimitri Batten added 13 points and seven boards for ODU, which outrebounded Marshall 39-26.

Kareem Canty scored 17 points for Marshall (11-22), but was scoreless in the first half and made only 1 of 8 3-point attempts. Shawn Smith added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Leading by two at halftime, ODU never trailed in the second half. The Monarchs outscored the Thundering Herd 19-8 over a 6-minute stretch to lead 62-46 with 3:57 left.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Marshall in the NFL: Herd Alums Stay Put

The first shots were fired across the NFL's offseason bow yesterday as free agency got under way. While players across the league were busy switching teams, a number of Marshall alumni singed new contracts with their current clubs.

A special teams standout, linebacker Albert McClellan signed a new two year contract with the Baltimore Ravens. McClellan lead Baltimore with 12 special teams tackles last season while also providing depth at inside and outside linebacker. Although full terms of his deal were not disclosed, the 2006 Conference USA defensive player of the year reportedly received a $400,000 signing bonus.

The Ravens also kept fellow former Marshall standout Omar Brown off the free agent market by tendering him a contract. Brown spent eight weeks on Baltimore's practice squad last year before being promoted to the active roster.

Despite a neck injury that cut his season short, the Indianapolis Colts brought Ahmad Bradshaw back on a one year contract yesterday. In three games last year Bradshaw rushed for 186 yards on 41 attempts with two touchdowns. The Thundering Herds fifth all time leading rusher, Bradshaw will embark on his eighth NFL season in 2014.

Of Marshall's ten alumni to play in the NFL last season, only safety Chris Crocker remains a free agent.

Marshall Basketball: Herd Downs FAU, Advances in C-USA Championships

From Marshall University's Sports Information Office.

EL PASO, Texas – Sophomore guard Chris Thomas (Denver) scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds as No. 14 seed Marshall topped 11th-seeded Florida Atlantic 63-59 in a first round game of the Conference USA tournament Tuesday night.
Freshman point guard Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) added 12 points for Marshall (11-21, 5-12 C-USA), which will face sixth-seeded Old Dominion on Wednesday.
The Thundering Herd overcame a poor shooting performance (24-of-63 from the field and 5-of-20 from 3-point range) by forcing 15 FAU turnovers and grabbing 14 offensive rebounds.
Marshall took a 36-29 lead into halftime and 3-pointers by Canty and Thomas pushed the Thundering Herd's lead to 11 with 8:32 remaining.
The Owls used a 9-0 run to pull within two, 55-53, with 3:52 to play but would get no closer.
Thomas and Tamron Manning each made a pair of free throws in the final minute to hold off Florida Atlantic (10-22).
Marquan Botley scored 26 and Pablo Bertone added 21 for the Owls.
Marshall will now play No. 6 Old Dominion on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. ET inside the Don Haskins Center with a chance to advance to play No. 3 Middle Tennessee, Thursday afternoon.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Marshall Basketball: Canty Named All C-USA

Voted on by the leagues players and coaches, Marshall's Kareem Cany was named to the Conference USA All-Third team earlier today.

Canty leads the Thundering Herd in minutes (36.6), points (16.4), and assist (5.7) per game. Outside of Canty, only one other freshman was named all-conference. UTEP forward and second team selection Vince Hunter. 

Marshall continues its season on Tuesday in a first round C-USA Tournament game against FAU. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso Texas.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Marshall Basketball: Herd Seeded 14th in C-USA Tournament

After finishing the regular season with a conference record of 4-12, Marshall earned the 14th seed in next weeks Conference USA tournament.

Held in the Don Haskins Center on the campus of UTEP, the Herd will face 11th seed FAU on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. The winner earns the right to play Old Dominion, who received a first round bye as the tournaments 6th seed, at 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.

In their lone meeting this season Marshall fell to Florida Atlantic at home 65-57. Last week Owl's head coach Mike Jarvis announced his resignation which will commence once FAU's season ends .

To view a complete C-USA Tournament bracket click here.

Marshall Football: Herd Adds Barclay as New Running Backs Coach

According to multiple reports Marshall has hired Chris Barclay as its new running backs coach. Barclay comes to the Herd from William & Mary where he held the same position.

A familiar name to Wake Forest fans, Barclay was named 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year after rushing for 1,127 yards and ten touchdowns for the Demon Deacons. When his collegiate career ended, Barclay spent parts of three NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, and Atlanta Falcons.

Barclay's served two seasons as running backs coach at William & Mary. This year the Tribe ranked 77th out of 122 Football Championship Subdivision teams after averaging 148.9 rushing yards per game. He recruited central Virginia, western North Carolina, and a number of southwestern states for William & Mary.

Barclay replaces Thomas Brown who left Marshall to become the running backs coach at Wisconsin.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Marshall Soccer: Crew Cuts Withrow

Marshall lost its lone Major League Soccer representative yesterday as the Columbus Crew cut goalie Daniel Withrow.

Conference USA's 2012 co-defensive player of the year, Withrow was selected by Columbus in the second round of the MLS supplemental draft last year. Serving as the Crews third goalkeeper in 2013, Withrow appeared in three reserve league matches and played 40 minutes in the teams exhibition game against Wigan Athletic. 

Withrow was the third former Marshall soccer player drafted into MLS, joining Jeremy Ashe (Chicago Fire 2006) and Byron Carmichael (Sporting Kansas City 2003).

Saturday, March 1, 2014

C-USA Basketball: Jarvis to Resign at Seasons End

Conference USA's basketball coaching fraternity suffered its first causality of 2014 on Friday when Florida Atlantic's Mike Jarvis announced he will resign at the seasons conclusion.

Jarvis piloted the Owls basketball program for six seasons, only finishing one of them with a winning record. Overall, the former George Washington and Saint John's head coach accumulated a record of 77-109 at FAU.

The Owls have two regular season games remaining and the C-USA tournament. They currently rank 13th in the 16 team league with a conference record of 5-9.