Aug 19, 2013
By STEVEN SCHOON
Associate Sports Information Director
Sunday is a day of rest? For the men's basketball team, Sunday was a day of travel and basketball.
The Herd traveled 192 kilometers - that's 119 miles for you in The States - from Windsor to London Sunday morning to play Western University at 3 p.m. and then continued 78 miles to Hamilton, near Toronto. Hamilton will be home for the Herd until it heads home to Huntington Tuesday evening.
Some might wonder what the scenery here in Canada looks like. Well it looks a lot like the Midwest part of the United States, a lot of plains, farmland and even some wind turbines alongside Route 401.
You know the AT&T commercial where the straight faced adult asks the small group of children "What's better, faster or slower?" All of the kids yell "faster!" Well that's how the majority of the human population feels about sports. Fans love the excitement of the stolen base or triple in baseball, watching Usain Bolt effortlessly separate from the field in the 100 and 200 meters and nearly every aspect of watching a football game. Fast is fun, we love fast.
Used to playing with a 35 second shot clock in the NCAA, Marshall is playing all five of its exhibition games this week with the shot clock at 24. The Herd is playing with FIBA rules which makes basketball more fun to watch and quite exhausting to play, especially when playing five consecutive days.
"There is more than meets the eye," said head coach Tom Herrion, of the FIBA rules. "I think a lot that people pick up on is the shot clock at 24 and eight seconds in the backcourt. There are some substitution rules that are unique and different to us in the U.S. The advancement of the ball, like in the NBA, where if you call a timeout in certain situations you can side out further up the floor."
"There was a big basket Friday night where DeVince (Boykins) had a layup and it was halfway in, but the guy from Windsor took it off the rim and you can do that. We're learning and adjusting to some of these FIBA rules. There are some things I like and there are some things I'm not quite sure about. Nonetheless, we came here and we play by their rules."
The quickness of the game can force some sloppy play at times, but overall, I think the 24 second shot clock makes the great game of basketball even greater due to more shots, a faster pace and higher scoring. A coach who has to devise a plan to score points in 24 seconds and keep a fresh lineup on the court might disagree.
Western vs. Marshall; The Day After
For someone who isn't a coach, I thought Sunday's 81-68 win over Western looked an awful lot like Saturday's 84-80 win over Windsor. Both were quality opponents and should finish high in their league. The way the two games played out where similar in the fact that Marshall built its largest lead of 14 against Windsor and 18 against Western near the end of the first half only to have it dwindle down to single digits in the fourth quarter.
That bridge from the second to fourth quarter - yes the third quarter - has been a challenge so far. In the three games in Canada, Marshall has been outscored 60-46 in the third quarter while outscoring opponents 218-156 in every other quarter combined.
In His Words - Canada native JP Kambola
What have the guys said to you about your country? - "It's not what they expected. They expected it to be a bunch of small cities and the diverse culture kind of gave them a culture shock."
How has this trip been for you so far? - "For me it's been fun to be able to come to my country, for my teammates to see where I'm from and we've been playing some good competition lately so it's good for us as a team."
You've been blocking shots like crazy lately, eight on this trip so far - "In high school I used to block shots. So When I went to China that kind of helped me get the bounce back in to my steps, my timing. I didn't get every single block I was trying to get. Coach told me I missed a few chances so that's something I'm still trying to work on."
How much better is American TV compared to Canadian? - "It is actually. I'm from Toronto so they try to get the same channels as we do in America and I didn't know any better growing up. Talking to my sister who still lives in Toronto, she wishes she had certain channels that we have. VH1 and MTV2 are ones that my sister wants.
If you could take the team on a tour of your city where would you go? - "I would take them to the CN Tour and the Rogers Centre. We have the Air Canada Center right next to it where the Raptors play."
Word of the Day
Loonie: The definition isn't as crazy as the word sounds. It's merely what the Canadians call their one-dollar coin. A two-dollar coin is brilliantly called a toonie.
Some asked me before I left if Tom Herrion would sit and relax a little bit since it's an exhibition basketball game and it is mid-August. As most know, the head ball coach shows a lot of emotion on the sideline. Well he started sitting down in the Herd's first game against Algoma, that lasted all of about one minute. Since that opening minute, he's coached the way Herd fans are used to seeing at Cam Henderson Center, like there is a Conference USA title on the line.