Basketball

Marshall Announces 2016-17 Men’s Hoops Schedule 

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HUNTINGTON — Marshall coach Dan D’Antoni announced the Thundering Herd’s 2016-17 men’s basketball schedule today. The out-of-conference schedule is highlighted by seven home games in the Cam Henderson Center and trips to The Ohio State University in the Big Ten Conference, the University of Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference and to the University of Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

For the second straight season, the Thundering Herd will host two exhibition games before opening its 13-game non-conference schedule against two long-time foes from the Division II Mountain East Conference in the Mountain State. This season the Herd will play West Virginia State on Nov. 3 from Institute, with former Herd assistant Brian Poore at the helm, and the University of Charleston (W.Va.) here on Nov. 6, featuring 6-8 transfer from Middle Tennessee Justin Coleman, who averaged 10 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last year for the 16-14 Eagles, and coached by Dwaine Osborne, 56-33 at UC in three seasons.

Marshall has met the Yellow Jackets of WVSU only once before, a regular season game on Dec. 7, 1999 that was a 82-46 Herd win for then Coach Greg White – who had Poore on his staff at MU. On the other hand, Marshall and the Golden Eagles of UC — formerly Morris Harvey College and located in Barboursville, W.Va. until 1935 — have met 122 times since 1907, with the Herd holding a 96-26 edge and the last game coming on Nov. 17 of 2000, a 109-75 Marshall win.

Marshall opens up its regular season schedule at home for the first four games, as the team hosts North Carolina Central (Nov. 12) — one of four games for MU in the Global Sports Invitational, then hosts long-time rival Morehead State (Nov. 15) and gets back to the GSI for the next three games by hosting former Southern Conference foe Western Carolina (Nov. 19) and Jackson State (Nov. 21). The Marshall-Morehead State game will be the 98th all-time meeting, while it will be the 43rd meeting between the Herd and Western Carolina.

Marshall has played against North Carolina Central and Jackson State only once before. The Jaguars were 20-16 and lost to Southern in the SWAC final, going to the College Insider Tournament and and falling to Grand Canyon — who also beat the Herd. WCU won the SoCon regular and post-season title and then nearly knocked off No. 1 Purdue in the NCAA Tournament, a 73-71 loss to the Boilermakers.

The first road contest of the season is the final game in the Global Sports Invitational and comes against Ohio State on Nov. 25 at the Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. The last meeting between the Herd and Buckeyes was during the 1977-78 season. Ohio State went 21-14 (11-7 Big Ten) last season and made it to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). OSU will also host N.C. Central, Western Carolina and Jackson St. in the GSI.

Marshall will then return home for the 101st meeting against long-time rival and two-time Mid-American Conference for the Bobcats of Ohio U. (Nov. 30) before a two-game road trip at Eastern Kentucky (Dec. 3) and at Chattanooga (Dec. 6). Last season the Herd defeated EKU at “The Cam,” 96-72. Austin Loop had 26 points and a career-high eight 3-pointers.

Marshall and EKU has met 40 times all-time, with the Colonels leading the series 22-18. The Herd and the then UT-Chattanooga Mocs met in the regular season and in the post-season in the SoCon, and Chattanooga leads the series 28-19. This will be the 48th meeting and the first since the Mocs won a game back on Nov. 20, 2010, 69-68, and they have won the last four in a row against Marshall.

The Thundering Herd will reunite with two former MAC opponents in December. Marshall hosts the Toledo Rockets on Dec. 10, while visiting Akron on Dec. 17. Akron made the NIT, but was defeated in the first round by Ohio State.

Marshall leads the series with Akron, 12-11, and the two met back on Dec. 30, 2014, with the Zips winning a game at the James A. Rhodes Arena, or JAR, 72-54. The Rockets and the Herd will meet for the 55th time, and Toledo leads the series 33-21, with the last meeting back on Jan. 15 of 2005 in a MAC game won by UT, 83-74.

Division II MEC opponent West Virginia Wesleyan is up next on Dec. 19, a team Marshall competed against in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1922-42, then seven games since then to lead the all-time series 29-13 — the last meeting, however, way back in Jan. of 1965.

Then the Herd closes out its non-conference schedule by traveling to Cincinnati of the American Athletic Conference (AAC) on Dec. 22 and Pittsburgh of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) on Dec. 28. The last meeting against the Bearcats was during the 2012-13 season when Marshall fell to UC at the Charleston Civic Center 72-56, and the Bearcats lead the all-time series 20-12 with some meetings in the Buckeye Conference (1933-39). The Herd is 2-2 in its last four with the Bearcats, 1983-2013.

The Herd played Pittsburgh in the 1992-93 season, a 95-81 win at Pitt, and the Panthers lead the all-time series 4-0, with games at Pitt in 1969, 1990 and 1992 and a single game in Huntington in 1991. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh both made it to the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament’s Big Dance last season.

MU then opens Conference USA play on the last night of 2016, with a New Year’s Eve contest at FIU in Miami on Dec. 31, then stays in south Florida to meet Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton on Jan. 2. The first C-USA home games are Jan. 5 and 7 against Old Dominion and Charlotte, respectively.

Marshall finished with a 17-16 (12-6 C-USA) record last season and earned the third seed in the C-USA Tournament, the highest in Herd history. The Thundering Herd defeated sixth-seeded UTEP in the quarterfinals before falling to second-seeded and eventual champions Middle Tennessee in the semifinals. The Herd returns four starters from last season in senior leading returning scorer Ryan Taylor from Indianapolis, senior three-point specialist Austin Loop from nearby South Webster, Ohio, and two Mountain State natives The 304 Boys) in senior shooting guard Stevie Browning from Logan and junior point guard Jon Elmore from Charleston.

The Herd will add new players in Jannson Williams, a 6-8 frosh forward from Newnan, Ga.; Ky’re Allison, a 6-2 guard from nearby Portsmouth, Ohio; Rondale Watson, a 6-4 guard from Lewisburg transferring to MU from the ACC’s Wake Forest University; Ot Elmore, a junior 6-2 guard like his 6-3 brother Jon who both initially went to VMI, who now comes home to West Virginia after a year at Texas Rio Grande Valley; and Phil Bledsoe, a 6-6 freshman forward from Wheeling and Wheeling Park HS.

Season ticket holders can renew their tickets until Sept. 14. Herd fans looking to purchase season tickets can on Sept. 26.

 2016-17 Marshall Men’s Basketball Schedule

Nov. 3 – West Virginia State (Exhibition)

Nov. 6 – University of Charleston (Exhibition)

Nov. 12 – North Carolina Central^

Nov. 15 – Morehead State

Nov. 19 – Western Carolina^

Nov. 21 – Jackson State^

Nov. 25 – at Ohio State,^ Columbus, Ohio

Nov. 30 – Ohio

Dec. 3 – at Eastern Kentucky, Richmond, Ky.

Dec. 6 – at Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Dec. 10 – Toledo

Dec. 17 – at Akron (Ohio)

Dec. 19 – West Virginia Wesleyan

Dec. 22 – at Cincinnati (Ohio)

Dec. 28 – at Pittsburgh (Pa.)

Dec. 31 – at FIU,* Miami, Fla.

Jan. 2 – at Florida Atlantic,* Boca Raton, Fla.

Jan. 5 – Old Dominion*

Jan. 7 – Charlotte*

Jan. 12 – at Middle Tennessee,* Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Jan. 14 – at UAB,* Birmingham, Ala.

Jan. 21 – WKU*

Jan. 26 – UTSA*

Jan. 28 – UTEP*

Feb. 2 – at Southern Miss, * Hattiesburg, Miss.

Feb. 4 – at Louisiana Tech,* Ruston, La.

Feb. 11 – at WKU,* Bowling Green, Ky.

Feb. 16 – UAB*

Feb. 18 – Middle Tennessee*

Feb. 23 – at Old Dominion,* Norfolk, Va.

Feb. 25 – at Charlotte,* N.C.

March 2 – Rice*

March 4 – North Texas*

March 8-11 – C-USA Tournament (at BJCC Arena, Birmingham, Ala.)

 Home Games-BOLD

*Conference USA opponent

^Global Sports Invitational

Game times and television designation will be announced at a later date.

About Woody Woodrum

Senior Editor and columnist/writer for Herd Insider since 2003, with Kindred Communications on radio for Marshall football/men's basketball pregame and postgame shows since 1996 and with First Sentry Bank Sportsline (Also Scott on Sports, Sideline Sports and Herd Insider Sportsline) since 1997. Married to Liz (12-22-1990) and one son, Tre' (11-7-1997). National Sportswriters & Sportscasters West Virginia Broadcaster of the Year winner for radio, 2000; won W.Va. Broadcasters Best Talk Show in 2013 with co-host Paul Swann and W.Va. Broadcasters Best Play-by-Play in 2015 with Jason Toy (Huntington at South Charleston, state AAA semifinals). Member of (College) Football Writers Association of America, (College) Basketball Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Color commentator for Marshall football (1999-2000), for Marshall basketball (2004-2016) and Marshall baseball (2004-2016). Color for high school football at Spring Valley (1999-2008), Cabell Midland (2009-2012) and Huntington (W.Va.) High School (2013-2016).

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