Herd hosts SC, Penn State in hoops
Return trips from South Carolina and Penn State and a road game at Louisville highlight the 2014-15 Marshall men’s basketball 13-game non-conference schedule announced Tuesday.
“Our schedule has a little bit of everything,” Marshall first-year coach Dan D’Antoni said. “Our fans deserve a great brand of basketball all the way around and we plan to give it to them. I know nothing but the greatest support from when I was a player here and I plan on that continuing while I am the coach.”
For the second straight season, the Thundering Herd will host Concord (Nov. 8) in its sole exhibition before opening the 13-game non-conference schedule.
The first of 16 regular-season home games is scheduled Nov. 14, as D’Antoni makes his collegiate coaching debut against Jacksonville State. Two days later, Marshall will host Savannah State and then meet NAIA member WVU Tech on Nov. 18.
The first road contest of the season will come against the 2013 NCAA champion Louisville on Nov. 21 at the KFC Yum! Center. Marshall will then return home for a four-game homestand — its longest of the season — starting Nov. 26 with regional rival Morehead State. It will be the 96th game in a series that began in 1908. The Herd leads the series 50-45.
Marshall will play host to Horizon League member Cleveland State on Nov. 28, the teams’ first meeting since the 1990-91 season. The Jacksonville State, Savannah State, Louisville and Cleveland State games are part of the five-team Global Sports Showcase, an NCAA “exempt” event providing the Herd four dates that only count as one against the NCAA schedule maximum.
Closing out a stretch with seven of its first eight games of the season at home, Marshall will receive return visits from South Carolina (Dec. 1) and Penn State (Dec. 6). The pair of matchups will mark the first time in program history that the Herd hosts two power conference schools at the Cam Henderson Center in the same season.
Marshall will make its annual trip to Charleston for a Dec. 14 date with in-state rival West Virginia in the Capital Classic — scheduled on a Sunday for the first time. The final home game before Conference USA play is set against NAIA King (Tenn.) on Dec. 16.
A three-game road stretch comes next for the Herd with the first two at Arkansas State (Dec. 20) and Nevada (Dec. 22), serving as return trips of home-and-home series. Marshall then finishes the 2014 portion of the schedule and non-league play with a Dec. 30 visit to Akron.
“I could not be more excited to have Coach D’Antoni directing our basketball program as we embark on our most fan-friendly, non-conference home schedule since I have been at Marshall,” Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said. “This schedule, coupled with a new-look C-USA, will provide our fans an opportunity to watch quality NCAA basketball.”
Game times will be announced at a later date, as television networks have the right to change times and possibly alter dates of various games on the schedule. The expanded 18-game C-USA schedule is expected to be announced before mid-August, with new league member Western Kentucky to serve as Marshall’s new travel partner — replacing Charlotte, which served as the Herd’s travel partner last season.
Individuals looking to purchase MU season tickets for the upcoming season must submit their season ticket intent form by today.
n Louisville will be Marshall’s only non-conference opponent this season that made the 2014 NCAA Tournament. WVU reached the 2014 NIT field as a No. 6 seed and fell in the first round at Georgetown.
n Morehead State and Penn State both made the 2014 College Basketball Invitational (CBI) field with the Nittany Lions advancing to the quarterfinals.
n Marshall will face two teams that made the 2014 CollegeInsider.com Tournament field. Akron and Cleveland State were ousted in the CIT first round.