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@HerdMBB Tips Off Against N.C. Central to Begin Season

Ryan Taylor
Nov. 11, 2016

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The Last Meeting
North Carolina Central73
December 14, 2015
Huntington, W.Va.
@HerdMBB Defeats N.C. Central for Third Consecutive Win, 92-73
Junior forward Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) led Marshall men’s basketball (3-6) to its third consecutive victory with a career-high 27 points as the Thundering Herd defeated North Carolina Central (3-6, 1-1 MEAC), 92-73, on Monday night at Cam Henderson Center.

The Marshall Thundering Herd opens up the 2016-17 campaign when it takes on the North Carolina Central Eagles on Saturday, Nov. 12, at noon ET. It will be the second contest between the two sides, with the Herd winning the last contest, 92-73, on Dec. 15, 2015.

The Herd returns 10 letterwinners and four starters to its 2016-17 roster. Additionally, graduate transfer Ot Elmore (Texas Rio Grande Valley) is immediately eligible to play. Marshall will also welcome back Aleksa Nikolic (Pancevo, Serbia) and Noah Frampton (Poca, W.Va.) who sustained injuries early in the 2015-16 campaign and had to sit out for the season. Christian Thieneman is also eligible to play after redshirting his freshman season. Of the 16 players on the roaster, only Wake Forest transfer Rondale Watson (Lewisburg, W.Va.) is not eligible to play for the Herd this season, due to transfer rules. Sophomore guard C.J. Burks is academically ineligible to play in the fall semester after failing to meet the NCAA standards of academic eligibility.



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

Three members and one staff member of the 2016-17 Herd roster hails from the former Yugoslavia.

Ajdin Penava | Freshman F | Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Milan Mijovic | Sophomore F | Belgrade, Serbia  
Aleksa Nikolic | Sophomore G | Pancevo, Serbia
Ivan Vujic | Video Coordinator | Split, Croatia

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. They are:

N.C. Central | Nov. 12 | 2015 NIT team 
at Ohio State | Nov. 25 | 2015 March Madness team/2016 NIT team 
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

This season Jon Elmore is joined by his brother Ot, a Texas Rio Grande Valley transfer. It marks the fi rst time two brothers have played for Marshall since Dan D’Antoni (1967-70) and Mike D’Antoni (1970-73)did so. No set of brothers have played for Marshall at the same time since before 1960 (information not available). The Elmore brothers are the fi rst set of family members to play on the same Herd team together since cousins Tamar Slay (1998-02) and Monty Wright (1999-03) did so. During the beginning of the 2015-16 season junior Jon Elmore had to sit out for the fi rst 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 fi nished 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 its first season.

For all the latest information about Marshall men's basketball, follow @HerdMBB on Twitter and Instagram.

The Herd stays home to take on Morehead State on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. ET. It will be the 98th contest between the two sides, which is the second-longest series the Herd has between another team.