CHAPMANVILLE – Marshall University basketball coach Tom Herrion was upbeat about the Thundering Herd hoops team when addressing the Logan contingent at the Big Green scholarship luncheon on Wednesday at the Logan Country Club located in Chapmanville.
“We went a little sideways last year,” Herrion said of his program. “We are going to correct that this year.”
Marshall finished 13-19 last season and 9-7 in Conference USA.
Herrion and his staff have revamped the roster.
“We have had tremendous fan support and we want to give them a winning team,” Herrion said. “We appreciate all that they do for us. The kids we are bringing in are talented, plus we have the three that had to sit out last season.”
Marshall filled some of the holes by signing junior college transfers Shawn Smith, Cheikh Sane, Justin Edmonds and Jaylen Brantley, plus the Herd welcomes 2012-13 freshman academic non-qualifiers Ryan Taylor and Kareem Canty for 2013-14.
Players expected to return from last season are Elijah Pittman, Tamron Manning, DeVince Boykins, Yous Mbao and J.P. Kambola. Also, Tyquane Goard becomes eligible after sitting out as an Ohio University transfer.
Goard played at nearby George Washington High School in Charleston. He first attended Ohio University, but then transferred to Marshall.
Several other players have left the program.
“We’re excited,” Herrion said of the roster changes. “We have made a lot of personnel movements. I think this has re-energized our program.”
Herrion told a couple of jokes aimed at himself to start out his talk. He also mentioned his assistant coach Mark Cline, who played at Williamson High School. He said Cline always talks about the great rivalry between Logan and Williamson back in his scholastic days.
Herrion is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Thundering Herd.
Herrion’s teams have a history of rebounding well, as they have ranked in the top 40 in rebounding in all three seasons including a ranking of eight in 2011-12. Marshall has ranked in the top 10 nationally in offensive rebounds per game in the past two seasons, third in 2011-12 and seventh in 2012-13.
In 2012, Herrion led Marshall to its first-ever Conference USA Championship game and first NIT appearance in 24 years. He is confident that the Herd will make great strides this upcoming season.