Conference USA teams have entered a new world, schedule-wise, playing a mostly Thursday-Saturday format with "travel partners." Coaches in the overhauled membership wanted to get away from the Wednesday-Saturday format in order to consolidate road trips.
In the one-year-only format involving 16 teams, the Herd has those quick turnarounds on seven weekends. Two other weeks involve a single game against travel partner Charlotte.
This week, the Herd plays twice at Cam Henderson Center, taking on North Texas at 7 p.m. Thursday and Tulsa at noon Saturday. The latter game will be televised by CBS Sports.
But Marshall, being the home team, is much better equipped to handle the quick turnaround. Tulsa must play at Charlotte on Thursday night, then make the trip north.
That may give the Herd an advantage, but Herrion has to get his team to Thursday night as healthy and fresh as possible. With a less-than-full roster and a few injuries, that's not easy.
"There's no exact science to that. By feel, you've got to juggle," Herrion said Monday. "Today's staff meeting was that - today, Chris Thomas is out, oral surgery this morning, extracted a tooth, he's out. It had been put off before. We think he'll be back, if not [Tuesday] then, hopefully, by [today's] practice.
"Yous [Mbao] is on a shelf again. Tamron [Manning] won't practice, coming off the heels of the trip. The question is how do you juggle Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and you know you've got to play Thursday-Saturday in less than 48 hours? It's a juggling act, and it's something you've got to continue to manage, and it's part of my job."
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