New season means new faces

Malcolm Walton, Contributor

Several key players from last season have left the Marshall University men’s basketball team, but Herd fans can look forward to the newcomers who will be suiting up for Marshall this season.

Jay Johnson, of Versailles, Kentucky, transferred to Marshall from John Logan College, a Division III school. Johnson, junior, said he has high expectations for his new team and for himself.

“I’m a pretty good shooter,” the 6-foot-7 Johnson said during media day in October. “I can even step out and knock down the three.”

Johnson said he’s confident the team will succeed this year under the leadership of its first-year head coach.

“The stuff D’Antoni’s teaching us is to get us to the next level and to win games,” Johnson said.

Johnson averaged 10.7 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game during his time at John Logan College and was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association All-Region team last year.

Head coach Dan D’Antoni said during the basketball team’s media day that freshman Brett Bowling, of Pineville, West Virginia, has emerged as one of the best shooters on the team.

“D’Antoni runs a really great system,” Bowling said. “And I think I fit in well.”

Bowling averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds during his senior year at Wyoming East High School, according to herd zone.

Point guard Kareem Canty, of New York, transferred to the University of Auburn after his stellar freshman season with the Herd.

Canty averaged 16.3 points per game and 5.5 assists per game, which were both team highs last season. College Sports Dailey named Canty the Conference USA Rookie of the Year, and College Sports Madness named him Conference USA Freshman of Year.

Would-be junior Chris Thomas, of Denver, is also no longer with the Herd after being dismissed from the team in June for violating team rules.

Thomas averaged 12.7 points per game and 4.0 rebounds per game last season as a sophomore. Thomas scored the second most points for the Herd last season.

Malcolm Walton can be contacted at [email protected]