By JACK BOGACZYK
HERD INSIDER SENIOR EDITOR
HUNTINGTON – One of the echoing refrains about major college basketball in West Virginia is that not enough scholarship players from the Mountain State are on the team rosters.
Well, Marshall has one, and Coach Tom Herrion says sophomore forward TyQuane Goard is a welcome addition … but not just because the 6-foot-8 Goard helped Charleston’s George Washington High to a Class AAA State Tournament championship in 2011.
Goard is one of the Thundering Herd newcomers, in a way. He sat out game competition last season after transferring from Ohio University, where he played in 29 games (7.2 minutes per game) for the Bobcats’ 2012 NCAA Sweet Sixteen team.
He practiced with the Herd last season, and he and Herrion figure that gives Goard a step ahead on a roster that’s being retooled.
By JACK BOGACZYK
HERD INSIDER SENIOR EDITOR
HUNTINGTON – The recent Conference USA spring meetings were “mostly about basketball issues,” Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick said.
And at those gulfside sessions in Destin, Fla., the men’s basketball coaches in the league ran a fastbreak to what Thundering Herd Coach Tom Herrion called “one thing we thought was very important.”
The hoop coaches pushed to have all 16 teams in the C-USA Tournament next March in El Paso, Texas, where UTEP’s bid for the 2014 event had been based upon the league’s former membership of 12 schools.
The 16-team field got the approval of athletic directors, and the C-USA Board of Directors – university presidents – is expected to approve that among other issues on June 10.
HUNTINGTON – When Marshall fans consider the retooling men’s basketball team and who might handle the scoring load in 2013-14, count on one newcomer.
Ryan Taylor has a shot at being one of those guys … because he really has a shot.
Taylor, one of seven newcomers – to date – on Coach Tom Herrion’s 2013-14 team, sat out at MU this past season to gain his eligibility as a non-qualifier. The Indianapolis native was a big-time prospect in high school and in a prep year at Hargrave Military Academy … and still is.
“I believe in myself and I have confidence in myself that I can come in and have a big impact on the program, said Taylor, who officially joined the Herd program last week. “I know Marshall hasn’t been to the ‘Big Dance’ in a while (1987 NCAA Tournament), and that’s our goal this coming year, to make it there and just put some faith in the doubters that we all have.”
On a team coming off a 13-19 finish with only one returning starter in rising senior forward Elijah Pittman, Herrion will be looking for plenty of contributions from new faces. Taylor – like point guard Kareem Canty and Ohio transfer TyQuane Goard – do know the drill after watching while sitting out for the 2012-13 season.
HUNTINGTON - Head coach Tom Herrion announced Friday that Jaylen Brantley has signed a national letter of intent to join the Marshall men’s basketball team.
Brantley, a 5-foot-10-inch point guard from Fitchburg, Mass. played at Notre Dame Prep last season. ND Prep made it to the national semifinals and lost to eventual national champion Northfield Mount Hermon last season.
"Jaylen is a terrific addition to our basketball program,” Herrion said.
“He has played in very successful programs in high school and AAU.
"He is a talented player and quality individual who we welcome to our basketball family."
HUNTINGTON — If you think Kareem Canty has been only waiting to become an eligible member of Marshall’s basketball team, you’d be wrong.
He’s been waiting, yes, but also longing, battling, observing, lifting, shooting, studying, prospering …
The point guard from Harlem, N.Y., started summer classes this week, through with the academic year (two full semesters) he was ruled out by the NCAA as a non-qualifier.
He is on the team, and the guy nicknamed “NuNu” — he got the nickname from an aunt when he was a baby, and has no idea the roots of its origin — said he feels new.
HUNTINGTON — J.P. Kambola of the Marshall men’s basketball team posted a double-double Tuesday night in the opening game of an eight-game, 18-day tour of China for the Reach USA Cultural Exchange Tour.
The 6-9 junior-to-be from Toronto, Canada recorded 10 points and a team-high 14 rebounds in Reach USA’s 87-81 win over Athletas Lithuania.
He was 5-for-10 from the field.
On Wednesday, the team’s second game, Kambola earned a start and failed to score but nearly led the team in rebounding again with nine, one behind Western Kentucky’s George Fant.
HUNTINGTON — The Marshall women’s basketball program signed two new additions, Enjonae Chambers and Ashley Lambert, this past week, bringing next season’s newcomer total to 10.
Lambert is a 5-foot-11 transfer from the University of Maryland-Baltimore (UMBC) who plays at the guard and forward position.
Chambers, a 5-foot-7 guard, played high school basketball at Conway High West in Conway, Ark.
She scored 1,346 points for the Lady Cats in three years, was all-conference three years and an all-state tournament selection two years.
“We are excited to have Enjonae added to our roster,” head coach Matt Daniel said of Chambers.
“She is known as a sharp shooter and we can definitely add her to our versatile roster. She initially committed to NCAA tournament team Tulsa, but we are glad to have her be a part of our basketball family.”
This past season, Chambers earned 24 points, seven rebounds, three steals, three blocks, and two assists per game.
HUNTINGTON — Junior guard DeAndre Kane will not return to the Marshall men’s basketball team for his senior season, his former head coach announced on Tuesday.
“After meeting with DeAndre, I have decided it is in our program’s and his best interest that he seek opportunities elsewhere,” said Marshall coach Tom Herrion.
“We appreciate his contributions to our team and wish him the best in his future.”
Kane finishes a three-year career as one of the top players in MU history in a number of categories.
He is 15th in scoring with 1,486 points; eighth in assists with 432, despite playing most of his career as a two, or shooting, guard; ninth in field goals attempted with 1,263; tied for tenth with Russell Lee with 337 made free throws and 10th in steals with 129; and is 16th with 111 three-pointers made and 524 field goals made.
Kane appeared in 96 games at Marshall, starting 93, and averaged 34.1 minutes per game in his career.
HUNTINGTON – It’s a very important offseason for Marshall men’s basketball.
Tom Herrion knows that, and he says that.
After the Thundering Herd stunningly slipped to a 13-19 finish in 2012-13, the Marshall coach heads toward his fourth year wanting to reverse more than the ball against a zone defense.
Herrion loses three inside players in 2012-12 seniors Nigel Spikes, Dennis Tinnon and Robert Goff, but Herrion thinks his 2013-14 Herd can play “big” in other ways.
The way he looks at it, what became a season-long shuffle of sports started when the NCAA denied freshman point guard Kareem Canty initial eligibility, and Canty had to sit out the season, as did forward Ryan Taylor as an academic non-qualifier.
That began Herrion’s season of musical chairs and rotation upheaval.
The Herd landed two more junior college transfers last week, appearing to complete a three-man signing class for ’13-14.
HUNTINGTON — Matt Daniel is smiling a lot more today.
The second-year coach’s building project in Marshall women’s basketball has found a cornerstone he said was crucial, after landing the first recruit in the spring signing period for 2013-14.
Leah Scott, a 5-foot-11 versatile wing player from Iowa Western Community College, is the first MU “get” of the spring.
She was a National Junior College All-America second team selection this season, averaging 13.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
“I didn’t commit ahead of time,” Scott said yesterday from the IWCC campus when told Daniel was kind of sweating the arrival of her faxed letter.
“Coach Daniel didn’t have any idea what I was going to do until I called him five minutes before we sent in the papers.
“I picked Marshall because I fell in love with what Coach Daniel is about, his style of coaching, the way his team plays and how he wants to build there.