"He's a good player - skill and just [good at his] craft for his size," Taylor said. "Maybe I can take some stuff out of his game, put it into my game. ... I played against Rakeem Buckles when I was committed to Louisville; I'd go up and play with him in the summertime."
With 10 different players making at least one start, the Panthers are a balanced bunch. Four are double-figure scorers - Murphy, Buckles, 5-6 point guard Raymond Taylor and 6-3 Dennis Mavien. Jerome Frink, a 6-6 forward, averages 8.9 points.
"They play about eight guys; they've got good balance," Herrion said. "Their starters play a heavy workload, but they've good balance. They're an inconsistent but streaky 3-point shooting team."
In conference play, FIU is second in field-goal defense (.400) and blocked shots (4.8), but last in scoring offense (58.4) and 3-point shooting (.250), 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.71) and offensive rebound percentage (.264) and 14th in free-throw shooting (.618).
Herrion calls the Panthers "more athletic than big."
"We've got pretty good matches. We're comparable in our makeup," Herrion said. "They may have a little more length than us, but I think we match up with them really well."
After tonight, Marshall has another quick turnaround, facing Florida Atlantic at noon Saturday. That contest will air on Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast.
BRIEFLY: Surprising stat in the state of the Herd: In six conference games, it is shooting 66.9 percent, sixth among the 14 C-USA teams. That has raised the season average to 61.9 percent. Still, the Herd leads the nation in missed free throws, 226 as of Sunday. ... Kareem Canty leads the Herd in league play with 17.5 points and 5.2 assists. But he is cold from 3-point range, going 8 of 41. Taylor averages 14.7 points and 8.3 rebounds. ... Marshall played FIU on Nov. 29, 2010, beating the Isiah Thomas-coached team 88-79. DeAndre Kane led the Herd with 25 points. ... Anthony Evans is FIU's first-year coach, replacing Richard Pitino. Pitino, son of Rick Pitino, briefly served as director of basketball operations for Herrion at College of Charleston. ... Prior to arriving at FIU, Evans spent six years at Norfolk State, where he was 99-94.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.