Herd prepares to take on Monarchs


Richard Crank

DaVince Boykins goes for a shot against Florida Atlantic University Saturday at the Cam Henderson Center.

Marshall University’s men’s basketball team won seven of its last 10 games and takes on Old Dominion University 8 p.m. Thursday at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia.

Earlier this season, the Herd (11-18, 7-9) lost to the Monarchs (22-6, 11-5) 72-51 at the Cam Henderson Center. However, since the teams’ last meeting, Marshall has turned things around.

Justin Edmonds, junior guard for the Herd, said Marshall is not the same team it was when it faced Old Dominion in January.

“We’re playing with a certain confidence in our game now,” Edmonds said. “That confidence just wasn’t there earlier in the year. We’re starting to pick up on the little things that coach D’Antoni emphasizes, whether it’s running the court or having your foot set a certain way on defense. Things are really clicking for us.”

Austin Loop, sophomore guard for the Herd, said the team is finally getting comfortable with the style it needs to play in order to win.

“We’re just getting a feel for everything, the new offense, the defensive scheme,” Loop said. “We’ve also done a lot of maturing. A lot of guys haven’t played that many minutes on this level. So, with each game, we’re gaining more and more valuable experience.”

We’re playing with a certain confidence in our game now.”

— Justin Edmonds

The Monarchs’ leading scorer, junior guard Trey Freeman (16.8 points per game), is fresh off of his second consecutive C-USA Player of the Week Award, but the Herd players are adamant the team is not preparing specifically for Freeman.

“We stick to what we do,” Loop said. “We don’t individually scout players that much. They have a lot of talented players on their team. So, if you key in on one player, you might let up on another who can hurt you as well.”

Edmonds said the team is more concerned with the Monarch’s conference-best scoring defense (57.0 PPG) rather than its leading scorer.

They have a tough defense,” Edmonds said. “So, offensively, we need to be in attack mode all night. And defensively, we just want to focus on the whole team. We’ll hold that kid to whatever we need to hold him to in order to come out with the ‘W’.”

Malcolm Walton can be contacted at [email protected]