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BOGACZYK: Herd Basketball Majors an Impressive ‘Study’

Nov. 4, 2015

With the basketball season opening within the next two weeks, you’d be correct to surmise the Marshall men’s and women’s teams have been diligently preparing for 2015-16 on the Henderson Center floor.

They’ve also been otherwise occupied – and for good reason. They’ve been hitting the books as well as the court. They don’t have much choice.

No Underwater Basket-Weaving majors here.

A check of the academic majors in Herd basketball – both teams – provides as much challenge as the season schedules … maybe more.

Austin Loop is a redshirt junior returnee for Coach Dan D’Antoni after averaging 11.3 points per game as a perimeter marksman. He also made the six-man Conference USA men’s All-Academic Team in 2014-15.

His 3.61 grade point average is all the more impressive when it’s considered the South Webster, Ohio, native has a triple major of Clinical Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics and Psychology.

He’s far from alone, however.

Coach Matt Daniel’s Herd women entered the fall semester with a team GPA average of 3.19. Eight of the 15 on the roster have a cumulative GPA of 3.45 of better.

Between the two teams, there are five players who have biology as a major with plans to attend medical school or veterinary school. The women’s team has two Nursing majors.

Redshirt senior Leah Scott, a Preseason All-C-USA pick, already has her undergraduate degree (Health Sciences) and is now studying Sport Management. Two former Huntington High stars – redshirt senior Talequia Hamilton and junior Kiana Evans – have impressive academic courses of study.



Hamilton, a transfer from Cincinnati, is finishing Criminal Justice and starting in Health Sciences and Psychology. Evans is in Accounting, with a triple minor of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

Loop said Physics is “much tougher” to figure out than D’Antoni’s “Organized Chaos” offense.

“With exercise physiology, with just your bachelor’s, you can be a strength and conditioning coach, personal training, anything like that,” Loop said when asked about his triple major. “I’m using it and my biomechanics as an undergrad to get me into grad school, into physical therapy school. That’s one of your ways to do that.

“Biomechanics is very similar to exercise physiology, but it’s more focused on the physics of the systems of the body -- how the body works. With psychology, I was going to get a minor there, initially, just taking the psych classes I had.

“Then I realized if I picked up five or six more, I could get it as a major. And I think some of those classes are really interesting … I figure it will help working with individuals in my career as a physical therapist. That side of it might be beneficial.”

Loop said with his Bachelor of Science degree, he would then need three years in physical therapy school to become Dr. Austin Loop. “I’ll take PT school here at Marshall,” Loop said, smiling, “well, as long as I get in.”

Loop, who also won a C-USA Spirit of Service Award for his off-the-court community service work last year, said combining Division I athletics with school work can change an academic profile.

“I can graduate this year but I think I’m going to wait to graduate next year because getting into PT school, with the curriculum, and trying to play basketball at the same time, it’s very difficult,” Loop said. “So, since I got my fifth year of eligibility (2016-17) and since I’m getting three degrees anyway, I’m just going to wait and make it five (years) and go into PT school.

“I’d like to get a jump on PT school, but my advisor and I sat down and with the curriculum, it’s just too much. As much as I’d be missing (with basketball commitments), I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

Here’s an alphabetical look at the 2015-16 Marshall men’s and women’s basketball players and their academic courses of study as provided by Jillian Boys, the basketball advisor in the Buck Harless Student-Athlete Academic Center:

Brett Bowling: Accounting
Stevie Browning: Health Sciences, Psychology minor
CJ Burks: Sport Management
Aleksandar Dozic: Accounting
Justin Edmonds: Health Sciences, Psychology minor
Jon Elmore: Public Communications, Management minor
Noah Frampton: Undecided in College of Business
James Kelly: Health Sciences, Psychology minor
Jacob Kilgore: Biology (Pre-Med), Chemistry minor
Austin Loop: Clinical Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, and Psychology (triple major) (Pre-PT)
Milan Mijovic: International Business
Aleksa Nikolic: Sport Management
Ajdin Penava: Undecided
Ryan Taylor: Sport Management
Christian Thieneman: Undecided in College of Business
Terrence Thompson: Biology (Pre-Med), Chemistry minor

McKenzie Akers: Health Sciences and Psychology (double major)
Ama Arkorful: Undecided
Khadaijia Brooks: Criminal Justice
Enjonae Chambers: Psychology
Tana Driver: Biology (Pre-Med)
Kiana Evans: Accounting, with triple minor in Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship
Logan Fraley: Exercise Science, Psychology minor
Shayna Gore: Athletic Training (Pre-PT)
Talequia Hamilton: Finishing Criminal Justice; starting Health Sciences and Psychology (double major)
Hope Lester: Nursing
Madison Morris: Nursing
Taylor Porter: Biology (Pre-Vet), Chemistry minor
Chelsey Romero: Biology (Pre-Med), Chemistry minor
Leah Scott: Finished Health Sciences (undergraduate degree); started Sport Management
Norrisha Victrum: Management, Sport Studies minor