Herd men’s basketball prepares for high-octane rematch against Panthers


Richard Crank

Marshall guard Jon Elmore (33) runs the offense during the Herd’s win over FIU at the Cam Henderson Center on January 19, 2019. Elmore was named C-USA Player of the Week on Monday.

As Marshall prepares for its Wednesday night game against FIU inside the Cam Henderson Center, head coach Dan D’Antoni said he expects a high-scoring, fast-paced game.

“We are basically guarding ourselves,” D’Antoni said.

“It was a great game here the first time. (FIU has) explosive guards. They play identical to us offensively and use the pick and rolls as their main thing. They spread the court and try to get up and down as fast as they can,” he said. “It is going to be a fast game.”

The Herd is coming off a wave of momentum, having defeated North Texas on Sunday 85-82 to extend its win streak to three, and D’Antoni said the atmosphere around the team is great.

“(The players) are upbeat.” he said. “I think that we can literally go into the conference tournament and do what we did last year. So, we are looking forward to it. They are fired up.”

D’Antoni said that he hopes to maintain the offensive drive in the upcoming matchup that the team has shown in the past two games.

“The last two games we have backed the type of shooting we thought we would have at the beginning,” he said. “The ball movement was good, and we got the shots we need and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

Despite this, D’Antoni said there is always something the Herd can improve on.

“We can always work on making every shot,” he said. “I think defensively just keep getting better defensively at rebounding and not letting people to rim to score.”

As it stands the Herd is sixth in C-USA but a win will lock Marshall into that seed for the C-USA tournament.

“It’s a good seed,” he said. “Our pod is as dangerous as the first pod and that is just kind of the way the conference ended up this year. We just have to go (into the tournament) and win four more games after that.”

Tipoff between the Thundering Herd and Panthers on Wednesday is slated for 7 p.m.

Millard Stickler can be contacted at [email protected].