#59 Marshall Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Marshall Thundering Herd
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #59
Conference Rank: #1 Conference USA
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Marshall had a decent season until March. They went 12-6 in Conference USA play, which was good enough for fourth in the conference. But in March the Thundering Herd really stepped up their game. The team upset Middle Tennessee on the road on March 3rd and went into the conference tournament with plenty of momentum. There they beat UTSA, Southern Miss and Western Kentucky to reach the NCAA Tournament. Once there, Coach Dan D’Antoni’s team upset Wichita State in the first round before falling to West Virginia. With that success still fresh in their minds, this is a Marshall squad that will want to get another go at the NCAA Tournament.
2017-18 Record: 25-11, 12-6
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Dan D’Antoni
Coach Record: 73-63 at Marshall, 73-63 overall
Key Departed Players:
Ajdin Penava, Forward, 15.6 ppg
Milan Mijovic, Forward, 1.6 ppg
Rondale Watson, Guard, 7.8 ppg
Phil Bledsoe, Guard/Forward, 3.1 ppg
Dani Koljanin, Forward, 2.4 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Jon Elmore, Senior, Guard, 22.7 ppg
C.J. Burks, Senior, Guard, 20.1 ppg
Jarrod West, Sophomore, Guard, 7.8 ppg
Jannson Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 5.4 ppg
Darius George, Sophomore, Forward, 4.6 ppg
Key New Players:
Iran Bennett, RS Freshman
Cam Brooks-Harris, Freshman
Jeremy Dillon, Freshman
Taevion Kinsey, Freshman
DeAundra Murphy, Freshman
Ante Sustic, Junior, JC Transfer
Luke Thomas, Freshman
The senior backcourt duo of Jon Elmore and C.J. Burks can dominate the conference. Last season Elmore averaged 22.7 points, 6.8 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals. He can do everything for this team and usually does. Like Elmore, Burks can score from anywhere on the floor and is an adept passer. Jarrod West was a key player for the Thundering Herd as a freshman last season, averaging 7.8 points per game. With West adding another consistent shooting threat, Marshall has talent on the perimeter. Those three will be on the floor quite a bit, but the depth behind them will have to come from freshmen. The other concern is in the frontcourt where Ajdin Penava and Milan Mijovic need to be replaced. Much of the expectations will fall on sophomores Jannson Williams and Darius George. Both should be much improved with a year of experience under their belt and Coach D’Antoni also brought in 6-10 junior college transfer Ante Sustic to add more size to the frontcourt. If the newcomers can provide enough depth, Marshall should be right in the mix for another trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 83.8 (10th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 79.1 (325, 13)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.7 (70, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 44,1 (196, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.1 (21, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.8 (132, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.4 (26, 1)
Rebound Margin: -5.0 (327, 13)
Assists Per Game: 17.1 (11, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.2 (206, 11)
Madness 2019 NBA Draft Rankings:
#60 Jon Elomore