@HerdMBB Set for Exhibition Games at Henderson Center
Marshall to tune-up against West Virginia State and Charleston (W.Va.)
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall men’s basketball will tip off the 2016-17 season with a pair of exhibition games held at Cam Henderson Center this weekend. The Herd will host the West Virginia State Yellow Jackets on Thursday at 6 p.m. before taking on the Charleston (W.Va.) Golden Eagles on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Fans can follow the action through the men’s basketball Twitter account, @HerdMBB.
CONFERENCE USA PRESEASON PICKS
Senior forward Ryan Taylor and junior guard Jon Elmore were named to the 2016-17 Preseason All-Conference USA team. It is Ryan Taylor’s second straight year of receiving the recognition. It was the first time two Herd Players were named to the preseason team since DeAndre Kane and Dennis Tinnon did so in 2012. Marshall was also picked to finish fourth in C-USA.
For the first time since the 1986-87 season, Marshall will begin its basketball season with six straight home games. It will last from Nov. 3 through Nov. 21. The Herd will open up its regular season and head coach Dan D’Antoni’s third season on Nov. 12 when it takes on the N.C. Central Eagles.
STATE AT PLAY
10 members of the Herd call the Mountain State home, including head coach Dan D’Antoni (Mullens) and assistant Mark Cline (Williamson). Among the group are the two of the last three Evans Award winners for the West Virginia boys basketball player of the year in Jacob Kilgore (2015) and Jon Elmore (2014). Cline won the award in 1983, and the Elmore’s father, Gay, did in 1982. Other notable Evans Award winners include Randy Moss (1994, 1995), Tamar Slay (1998), O.J. Mayo (2007) and Aaron Dobson (2009).
Phil Bledsoe | Freshman F/G | Wheeling
Stevie Browning | Senior G | Logan
C.J. Burks | Sophomore G | Martinsburg
Jon Elmore | Junior G | Charleston
Ot Elmore | Junior G | Charleston
Noah Frampton | R-Freshman G | Poca
Jacob Kilgore | Freshman F | Huntington
Rondale Watson | Junior G | Lewisburg
Marshall’s 2016-17 non-conference schedule features some impressive competition, as the Herd will face four schools that have made it to March Madness and two schools that have made it to the National Invitational Tournament within the last two years.
N.C. Central | Nov. 12 | 2015 NIT team
at Ohio State | Nov. 25 | 2015 March Madness team/2016 NIT
at Chattanooga| Dec. 6 | 2016 March Madness team
at Akron| Dec. 17 | 2016 NIT team
at Cincinnati | Dec. 22 | 2015 & 2016 March Madness team
at Pittsburgh | Dec. 28 | 2016 March Madness team
Junior forward Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) is the sixth player in Marshall history to record at least 1,300 points/700 rebounds for his career. The Herd’s list of players with that combination includes Charlie Slack, Hal Greer, George Stone, Russell Lee and J.R. VanHoose. Taylor has 1,304 points and 710 rebounds as of March 11. At the 7:32 mark in the second half against No. 20 West Virginia (Dec. 17, 2015), Taylor hit two free throws to record his 1,000th career point. He is the 50th player in school history to hit four digits, which ranks No. 16 among Division I men’s basketball programs. Taylor ranks 23rd in Marshall history with 1,317 career points. Taylor passed coach Dan D’Antoni’s career total of 1,109 points at Charlotte (Jan. 21). He passed Coach D’Antoni’s brother, Mike D’Antoni (1,227 career points), against Old Dominion (Feb. 20). Both D’Antoni brothers are members of the Marshall Hall of Fame. Taylor leads Conference USA with 27 career double-doubles. He had six last season.
Senior guard Austin Loop (South Webster, Ohio) is seventh in Marshall history with 181 career made triples. He needs four to reach No. 6 John Taft (1987-91). He sunk a career-high eight threes en route to a dominant 96-72 win for Marshall over Eastern Kentucky on Dec. 12 at Cam Henderson Center. Loop shot a blistering 80 percent from long range (8-of-10) and ended the night 9-of-13 from the field for a career high 26 points. He is the first player from Marshall to sink eight or more 3-pointers since Elijah Pittman had eight against UNC Wilmington on Nov. 23, 2013.
ROAD WOES NO MORE
In the 2015-16 season, The Herd had seven wins when playing away from Huntington last season, after winning six total over the last three years. Marshall’s wins at North Texas (Jan. 14) and Rice (Jan. 16) marked the first time the Herd had won back-to-back road games since Jan. 7 and 11, 2012, at Rice (63-61) and UAB (61-59), respectively. The Herd’s 96-93 win at WKU (Feb. 13) was its first in overtime in a true road game since Nov. 25, 2011, at Cincinnati (73-69 OT).
This season Jon Elmore is joined by his brother Ot, a Texas Rio Grande Valley transfer. They are the first set of family members to play on the same team at Marshall since Tamar Slay (1998-02) and his cousin Monty Wright (1999-03) did so from 1999-02. During the beginning of the 2015-16 season junior Jon Elmore had to sit out for the first eight games of the season due to transfer rules. In that span, Marshall went 2-6 to begin the season. When he was cleared by the NCAA the Herd finished 15-10 for the season. Jon is the team’s main assist man with 6.6 assists a game. He is also Marshall’s main returning scorer, having averaged 15.2 points a game. Ot averaged 2.7 points in 14.7 minutes over 20 games at Texas Rio Grande Valley. The Edinburgh, Texas-based Vaqueros of the Western Athletic Conference went 8-22 in their first season.
The Herd will begin its 104th season of men’s basketball at home against North Carolina Central on Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Cam Henderson Center. For all the latest information about Marshall men’s basketball, follow @HerdMBB on Twitter.