Herd hits the road in league play


Richard Crank | The Parthenon

Jannson Williams, dunking against Western Kentucky University last Saturday.

After opening the Conference USA portion of its schedule with a three-game home stand, the Herd hits the road to take on the Charlotte 49ers (5-9, 1-2 CUSA) on Thursday and the Old Dominion Monarchs (12-3, 3-0 CUSA) on Saturday.

Head Coach Dan D’Antoni said he expects a much different Charlotte team than Marshall has faced in years past after former 49er Head Coach Mark Price was replaced by Interim Head Coach Houston Fancher after the team’s first nine games. In years past, Charlotte, much like Marshall, has been dependent on the three-point shot.

“(They’re) posting up a lot more,” D’Antoni said. “Not coming out and shooting a lot of threes. I think they’re next to last in threes, and they were always up even with us. So, it’s a totally different game in that regard.”

Marshall’s Junior Guard Jon Elmore said facing a new scheme from the 49ers comes with new challenges, but it won’t be unfamiliar territory when they take the court Thursday.

“The coaches have done a great job this week of watching film and breaking stuff down and walking through their sets,” Elmore said. “We think we have a pretty good feel of what they want to do so far, and we’re looking forward to it.”

After Thursday, Marshall can turn its full attention to the Old Dominion Monarchs, winners of its last seven games, and sitting on top of CUSA coming in to this week’s games.

“Two different challenges in a way, but they have gotten more alike now,” D’Antoni said when comparing Charlotte and Old Dominion.

The Herd has taken the win in three of the previous five meetings between the two squads, including a home-home sweep just one year ago.

Luke Creasy can be contacted at [email protected]