Aug 18, 2013
By STEVEN SCHOON
Associate Sports Information Director
After playing a 7 p.m. game against Windsor Saturday night, Marshall hit the road to London where it will play Western University at 3 p.m. and then it's onward to Hamilton for two games.
Marshall wasn't the only show in town as Windsor is playing host to the International Children's Games. It is an International Olympic Committee-sanctioned event held every year where children from cities around the world and between the ages of 12 and 15 participate in a variety of sports. Windsor head coach Chris Oliver invited many of the participants to Saturday's game, creating more of a basketball atmosphere than Friday night.
It goes without saying that Canadians wouldn't know where Marshall, Huntington or West Virginia is located. Believe it or not, in the two years I've spent traveling with the Herd through airport terminals, "where is Marshall?" or "where is Huntington?" is a common question asked to the team.
There was one guy I met on Friday that knew Huntington is a city in the States. "Oh Andrew Wiggins went there," said the young man. Yes, the one thing that links Canada to Huntington, W.Va. is the top-ranked player in the 2013 recruiting class who signed with Kansas last spring. The Herd gets a little closer Wiggins' hometown of Toronto Sunday night when it rolls into Hamilton.
Windsor vs. Marshall; The Day After
It was a fun one to watch. Marshall held the lead for most of the game, but seven of the eight lead changes occurred in the third quarter where Windsor, a much better team than Algoma, outscored the Herd 24-19. Like its first game against Algoma on Friday, Marshall threw down some impressive dunks, much to the delight of the 300 or so in attendance. The highlight of the game, a lob alley-oop that left the hands of Kareem Canty along the top of the key and ended in Elijah Pittman's outstretched arms for a rim-rattling dunk. Speaking of, Ryan Taylor had some more impressive dunks, contributing to his second consecutive double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
As Herrion said in postgame, the game got a little sloppy towards the end. Marshall had 18 turnovers, four from Pittman who played better than on Friday, but still forced some shots. Throughout this trip, Marshall is playing games with FIBA rules, more about this in Monday's blog. The pace of the game is quicker than the NCAA product we see in the U.S. mainly due to the 24 second shot clock. Fatigue was a factor Saturday and the Herd dug deep to get the win.
In His Words - Ryan Taylor
How does it feel to finally play in a game at Marshall - "It's a like a weight lifted off my shoulders. It feels good to be a part of the team because last year I really wasn't a part of it."
How has this trip been for you so far? - "It's been good. It's a different experience, especially playing FIBA rules. It's fast pace, different pace. Yesterday it confused the team when the big kid took DeVince's shot off the rim."
Are you tired yet? - "I'm a little drained physically, but I'm trying to get my rest."
You've thrown down some impressive dunks, are you the best dunker on the team? - "I wouldn't say that. It's either Elijah or TyQuane (Goard). I'd rank myself third.
Coaches and Starbucks
I'm a young guy in this Sports Information business having worked with two coaches, Kerry Rupp at Louisiana Tech and Tom Herrion. One thing they both have in common is a liking for Starbucks coffee. Nearly every hotel I've ever been at on the road has either a Starbucks in the hotel or within walking distance.
One might think the trend would end in Canada, as ESPN's Lee Corso would say, "not so fast my friend." Herrion got his coffee fix, short walk down the street on a beautiful morning in Windsor.
Word of the Day
Bunny Hug: Term used in Saskatchewan that is a hooded sweatshirt with or without a zipper that has a pocket in the front. What we Americans simply call a hoody.
Canadians Really are Nice
Marshall has been treated to some nice Canadian hospitality on the trip. Everyone just seems more friendly here than in the U.S. At the convenience store on Friday, I passed someone in the aisle that that person said "oh sorry." Just because the person made me change my walk slightly, he thought he was being inconvenient.
I must give special recognition to Ian Shalapata, Online Editor of the local newspaper, The Windsor Square. Photography, especially sports photography is not a strength of mine. Ian came up to me at Saturday's game and asked "do you want some shots?" Ian sent me five complementary photos, including the one seen in this blog entry. Thanks Ian!