Basketball

Record-setting season for Herd, Players

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HUNTINGTON — Marshall finished the season with a scoring average of 85.6 points per game, No. 2 in C-USA history behind last season’s Herd (86.0). In C-USA games only, Marshall averaged 85.2 points per game, No. 2 in C-USA history — again, trailing only last year’s Herd (92.0).  The Herd tied the three record at MU, and broke the C-USA tourney record, with 19-of-35 from three. The Herd in 1996-97 hit 19-of-41 against Morehead State at the Cam Henderson Center, the night Keith Veney set a NCAA record with 15 against the Eagles, a mark the Herd tied with a home win over WKU at home.

Danny D’Antoni has coached the Herd for three years and exactly 100 games. His record is 48-52, so he should get on the right side of the wins and losses during Nov. and Dec. next season. Cam Henderson is the leader all-time with 362-160 as the Herd’s coach for 20 years (1935-55), winning 32 games in 1947 when the Herd won what became the NAIA National Championship. Other top coaches include Greg White (115-84, SC North Division title, 2 20-win seasons), Billy Donovan (35-20, SC North Division title), Rick Huckaby (129-59, 3 NCAA Tournaments, 1 NIT, 4 Southern Conference champions), Bob Zuffelato (71-41, first win over WVU), Bob Daniel (71-62, 1 NIT) Carl Tacy (23-4, 1 NCAA), Ellis Johnson (68-80, 2 NIT, 1 Final Four-NIT), and Jule Rivlin (100-88, 1 MAC title, 1 NCAA).

MUBSKB 2016-17 Game 932 March 9, 2017 Win over ODU 64-63, Danny D'Antoni takes in No. 6 Herd upsetting No. 3 ODU, 64-63

Danny D’Antoni coached the 2016-17 Herd to 20 wins and the final of the C-USA Tournament, only the second time in Marshall history. (HI file photo)

The Herd finished this year with 2,997 points, breaking a record set by this team in 2015-16 with 2,838 points. 85.6 points per game are No. 9 in a season; 1,021 field goals made is a new No. 2 all-time, and 2,237 is a new No. 3  for points in a single year. 45.6% shooting is a new No. 25 in a year. Marshall’s 356 threes made is a new No. 1 (again topping last year) and 962 attempts are the new No. 2, while 37.0% from three is a new No. 12. 599 free throws (No. 4 in a year) in 816 attempts (tied for No. 7) gives the Herd 73.4% shooting from the line, a new No. 6 all-time. 1,294 rebounds is a new No. 7, 576 assists is a new No. 2, 211 steals is tied for No. 20 and 140 blocks is a new No. 4 in a single season.

MUBSKB 2016-17 Game 934 win 93-77 vs. LA Tech, Browning celebrated win

Stevie Browning had a sensational two years at Marshall after transferring to the Herd from D-II Fairmont (W.Va.) State in the Mountain East Conference. (HI file photo)

Stevie Browning scored 968 points at Marshall. He finishes No. 16 in Herd history by making 116 career 3-pointers — in two years, while his 313 attempts from three are No. 21 all-time. Browning’s two seasons at Fairmont State (726 points), before he transferred to Marshall, and his total in four years is 1,694 points as a college basketball player. Browning was 68-of-83 at the line (.819), and that is No. 20 in a single season for percentage while his 70 threes this season is No. 12 and his 177 attempts tied teammate Jon Elmore’s first year with the Herd at No. 16, tying him with Ronnie Dawn at No. 20 with a 39.5% shooting from three in a year.

With 116 career threes in just two D-I seasons, fans will see they can compare Browning’s 968 points to the Jr./Sr. totals of other Herd scoring powers: Keith Veney 1,125 (1995-97), Tamar Slay 1,033 (2000-02), current NKU Coach John Brannen 1,008 (1995-97), DeAndre Pitts 917 (2012-14) and JR VanHoose 898 (2000-02). Browning also finished two years with 230 assists, No. 24 in career assists, and he had 73 steals, No. 37th in career steals.

MUBSKB 2016-17 Game 935 Loss to MTSU 83-72 C-USA Championship 3-11-17, Loop for 3

Austin Loop jacked up more threes than any player in Marshall history, finishing among the top in C-USA and 199th in the history of college basketball. (HI file photo)

Austin Loop finished his career with 293 three-pointers — No. 1 in Herd history, No. 4 in C-USA history and No. 199 in NCAA history. Loop finishes his career with 1,096 points, which puts him at No. 41 on the Herd list, just ahead of Jule Rivlin and just behind his coach for the last three years, Dan D’Antoni. Loop made 112 three-pointers this season, and only Keith Veney has made more in a season for the Thundering Herd (131, 1995-96), while his 254 attempts are third all-time in a single year — his 44.1% from three is fourth-best in a single season.

Loop attempted 784 shots, or which 714 were from three (only 70 shots, 9%, were for 2-points) while just 293-of-337 shots made (13%) were made for two. Loop’s 1,096 points is 41st in Herd history, while his 105 assists are tied for 48th and his 84 steals are No. 35 all-time. His 113 games are tied for No. 14 with Tyler Wilkerson, VanHoose, Derrick Wright, Greg White and Sam Henry.

MUBSKB 2016-17 Game 934 win 93-77 vs. LA Tech, Ryan Taylor (19-11) and Austin Loop (6-of-8 from 3) head up court

Ryan Taylor is one of the top players to play at Marshall, No. 2 in games played, No. 7 in points scored and No. 3 in rebounds pulled in a career. (HI file photo)

Ryan Taylor finishes his career with 1,778 points — No. 7 on the all-time Marshall list, behind Skip Henderson (1984-88), John Taft (1987-91), Walt Walowac (1950-54), Russell Lee (1969-72), JR VanHoose and Tamar Slay (both 1998-2002). Taylor ends with 985 career rebounds — No. 3 on the Marshall career list behind only Charlie Slack (amazing 1,916 boards or 21.8 rebounds per game, 1952-56, plus he scored 1,551 points) and J.R. VanHoose (1,086, 1998-2002). Taylor finishes No. 5 in C-USA history in rebounds and No. 11 in league history in points scored.

Taylor also finishes his career as No. 2 in games played with 128 as well as 9th and tied for 9th (with DeAndre Kane) in field goals made and attempted, respectively (616-of-1,263), and his 48.8 shooting percentage is No. 19. Taylor hit 88-of-303 threes (27th and 21st all-time, respectively) and hit 458-of-683 from the line (No. 4 and No. 2, respectively). Taylor is No. 15 in assists (292), he is tied No. 17 (with Jeff Guthrie) for steals (111) and is No. 7 in blocks (122). His 126 starts, 446 personal fouls, and 302 turnovers will have to be researched but one would guess they are up among the most all-time. His 122 free throws made is No. 23 in a season, while his 190 attempts are No. 12 in a single season and his 53 blocks this year is No. 6 all-time.

MUBSKB 2016-17 Game 934 win 93-77 vs. LA Tech, Elmore finishes with 21 points, record 7 threes

Jon Elmore has become one of the top players for the Herd in just 60 games and hopes to have two years left in his career to smash some of the records of Taylor and Loop among other former Herd players. (HI file photo)

Jon Elmore finished this season with 5.9 assists per game — Louisiana Tech’s DaQuan Bracey finished second with 5.8 per game. Elmore finished with 19.7 points per game — Marcus Evans is at 19.1 (631 in 33 games) as Rice hosts San Francisco in a CBI game Wednesday. In 2003-04, Marquette’s Travis Diener led C-USA in both scoring (18.8) and assists (6.03) averages. Elmore dished out 207 assists this season, joining Mike D’Antoni (2X) and Corny Jackson, who may be a new assistant at Marshall soon, as the only three players in Herd history with 200-or-more in a year. The last Marshall player to lead his league in assists was AW Hamilton, who topped the MAC with 5.5/game in 2002-03.

Elmore, with 60 games under his belt in two years (all starts) is No. 12 in threes made (144) and No. 11 in threes attempted (413), while his 286 free throws made is No. 25 and his 355 attempts (tied with Tyler Wilkerson) is No. 30. His career 352 assists is already 11th, and the Herd hopes to get another year back so Elmore can play two more seasons with the Herd. His 60 steals in 60 games is tied with Robert Goff for No. 15 at this point and his 1,072 points are No. 43 in Herd history, and over those 60 games, he is averaging 17.9 points per game thus far. His 691 points this past season are No. 6 for points in a single-season. Elmore’s 210 made field goals are No. 21 for a single season, while his 508 attempts are No. 8 in a single year.

His 83-of-236 from 3-point land are now No. 9 and No. 6, respectively, and his 188-of-233 at the free throw line is No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, and 80.7% is is No. 25. Elmore led the Herd with 40 steals this year, and that is tied with Harold Simmons and John Taft for No. 24. His 188-of-233 free throws are No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in a season. His 80.7% shooting from the line passes his 80.3 % for last season and moved those to No. 25 and No. 26 in a single year.
Remember when fans cringed every time the Herd shot a free throw? Loop (.861), Browning (.819) and Elmore (.807) all hit 80+ percent. CJ Burks (.778) and Adjin Penava (.781) were also at 80% at some point in the tournament but missed a couple to fall just below while 80%. Taylor (.671) and Terrence Thompson (.592) finish out the starters for the Herd who shot free throws pretty well this year.

MUBSKB 2016-17 Game 935 Loss to MTSU 83-72 C-USA Championship 3-11-17, Penava dunk

Adjin Penava played in every Herd game this year, the only player besides Jon Elmore to do that. His play got stronger all season long, and he has two more years for the Herd. (HI file photo)

Marshall was led by Elmore with 691 points (19.7 per game) who also had 207 assists, 109 turnovers and 40 steals, all tops for the Herd. Taylor had 53 blocks, Loop had 112-of-254 threes, Elmore had 210 field goals on 508 shots and 188 free throws on 233 shots. Elmore led in minutes played (1,230) while he and Loop each started all 35 games (Penava played in all 35 contests).

Penava did lead the Herd regulars, hitting 51.7% from the floor, and Milan Mijovic led bench players with 64.3% (18-of-28). Loop led regulars with 44.1% from three, while Phil Bledsoe hit 45.5% (on 5-of-11) and Mijovic was perfect, 1-for-1 from three. Loop led free throw percentage, hitting 86.1%, Taylor led with 268 blocks, 190 on the defensive glass and 66 on the offensive glass.

MUBSKB 2016-17 Game 934 win 93-77 vs. LA Tech, Terrence Thompson (left) and CJ Burks celebrate win

Austin Loop (far left) is gone, but Terrence Thompson (left ) will be a senior in 2017-18, and he is yelling after a Herd win at junior-to-be CJ Burks. These players, along with second row (from left) Aleksa Nikolic, Phil Bledsoe and Christian Thieneman will return in 2017-18. (HI file photo)

Marshall scored 111 points in an overtime win over Toledo. The Herd scored 110 in a win at Charlotte, 106 points twice including a win at North Texas and a loss at Pittsburgh. The Herd’s least amount of points in a win was 64-63 over Old Dominion at the C-USA Tournament, and the least amount in a loss was 57 points in a 69-57 loss at Middle Tennessee. The Herd had four winning streaks of four wins in each, and the longest losing streak was three games in a row (UTEP in Huntington, then at Southern Miss and at LA Tech). The Herd was plus 1.7 in scoring margin, minus 5.2 in rebounding margin and plus 0.8 in turnover margin.

Marshall was 20-15, 10-8 in Conference USA, 13-3 at the Cam Henderson Center (winning 13 or more for the 13th time since the building was opened in 36 seasons ago in 1981. With 93,045 attending games at the House of Cam, the Herd averaged 5,815 this season. The all-time attendance for Marshall men’s games is 2,953,146, so the 2017-18 season will see the attendance pass 3-million this coming season when customer No. 46,854 comes through the doors at about midseason. The next game will be No. 510, and in 509 games, the Herd is now 380-128 in the building, a 74.7 winning percentage and an average of 5,802 fans per game since Army opened the arena on Nov. 27, 1981, with a Herd win, 71-53.

NOTE: Steve Cotton and Marshall Sports Information assisted me with stats for this article, and I appreciate my radio partner, Jason Corriher and Wilbur DeLashmet for all the help covering the Herd this season!

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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