CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Marshall faces a number of long, tough road journeys, so it's probably good to break in a newcomer-packed team with a short-but-tough trip.
The Thundering Herd (2-0) hops on the bus today for the 72-mile trip to Morehead State, playing its first road game of the season. Tipoff time at Ellis T. Johnson Arena is 2 p.m.
From a pure travel perspective, the Herd is easing into road play. But not much will come easy on the hardwood, and it shouldn't in a 94-game rivalry. It surely didn't last year in Huntington, as MU took a 70-67 win in what coach Tom Herrion called a "grinder."
That may not be the correct description, as Morehead tried to maul the Herd on just about every possession. The result was 44 MU free throws, a number that could increase today in the new era of tight officiating.
However the whistles go, the Herd needs to be prepared for tight defense, complete with a fair amount of contact.
"They're 2-1, they've got a lot of new guys on the roster, excellent perimeter scorers," Herrion said. "They've got good size on the baseline, really an explosive team in transition. Really quick and fast. Usually, they're very physical and aggressive."
Coach Sean Woods' team won at East Tennessee State (71-63) last week but suffered a 79-56 loss Friday at Xavier. Much like Herrion, Woods overhauled his team, perhaps even more so.
Only three Eagles from the game last November are on the roster today - 6-foot-4 Bakari Turner, 6-11 center Chad Posthumus and 6-7 forward Jordan Purcell. Turner is the second-highest scorer at 10 points per game, Posthumus is averaging 9.7 and a team-high 9.3 rebounds and Purcell has not played.
Angelo Warner, a 6-2 guard, is a returnee who did not play against MU, and he is the team's leading scorer with 15 points a game, and also leads in steals with 10.