#62 Marshall Men's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Marshall Thundering Herd

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #62
Conference Rank: #2 Conference USA
Marshall Men's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Marshall Team Page


Marshall is hoping to build off their NIT bid of a year ago and take the next step to the NCAA Tournament. Memphis is standing in their way…again. The pressure will be on junior guard DeAndre Kane to keep up the production he has had during his first two seasons in Huntington, West Virginia. The 6-4 slasher averaged 15.1 points per game as a freshman and totaled 16.5 last season. On top of those impressive scoring numbers, Kane averaged 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals. Despite the assists, Kane is not a point guard and Marshall will need him to be off of the ball so he can do all of that scoring.

2011-12 Record: 21-14, 9-7
2011-12 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Tom Herrion
Coach Record: 43-24 at Marshall, 123-62 overall

Who’s Out:
Without Damier Pitts and Shaquille Johnson, Coach Tom Herrion may have to put the ball in Kane’s hands more often. Pitts led the Herd with 4.3 assists per game and added 14.7 points. His outside shooting even improved for his senior season and that made Pitts an extremely dangerous distributor and scorer. The offense may go through some growing pains without Pitts leading the way. Not having Johnson will not make things any easier. Johnson was never much of a shooter, but he did average 9.2 points per game last season. Justin Coleman has opted to transfer after seeing action in 17 games as a freshman. Dago Pena, a 6-6 wing, provided a nice offensive spark off of the bench with his shooting ability. His graduation hurts the perimeter depth even more and there are suddenly a lot of holes to fill in the backcourt.

Who’s In:
This recruiting class will have to fill most of those holes in the backcourt. Building around Kane is a good place to start, but finding a new point guard will be imperative. Incoming freshman Kareem Canty is a scoring point guard who is never afraid to attack the basket. At 6-1 and 180 pounds, he has enough size to get to the basket and finish or dish out to one of his teammates. Canty may be a liability on defense and will need some time to adjust to being the lead guard for Coach Herrion, yet he is full of talent. As long as turnovers are not a huge problem, Canty should be a serviceable point guard as a freshman and another big time scoring threat on the perimeter. Redshirt freshman DeVince Boykins, incoming freshman Tamron Manning, walk-on Austin Loop and junior college wing D.D. Scarver will all battle for quality minutes. Scarver, of course, is the most experienced option after spending some time at Trinity Valley Community College in Texas. Scarver was an All-American at the junior college level last season and is a dynamic scorer who can shoot and finish above the rim. Elijah Pittman, another junior college transfer, is the lone newcomer in the frontcourt.

Who to Watch:
The frontcourt does not need much help from Pittman just yet. A year ago the big worry was how would the frontcourt adjust with all of the new faces. This year the frontcourt has the answers while the backcourt has the questions. It starts with Dennis Tinnon and Robert Goff. Tinnon made his Marshall debut last season after spending a couple years at the juco ranks and immediately turned the frontcourt into a very good unit. He averaged 10.2 points and 10.0 rebounds. Expect another double-double from the 6-8 senior in 2012-2013. Robert Goff is another senior who suited up for the Herd for the first time in 2011-2012. Like Tinnon, Goff stepped right into a starting role and never gave it up. Goff has a little more size and is bruiser in the paint. He is not the athletic frontcourt player that Tinnon is, but he can do some scoring in the paint and, more importantly, block some shots. The last time Nigel Spikes was really healthy, he was finishing up his sophomore season with a bang. A couple years later, he is heading into his senior season with a relatively healthy knee. If Spikes is at 100 percent, he is a great rebounder and will provide Marshall with some great depth in the post. Even if he is not fully healthy, he can still hit the glass and play some fine defense. Jamir Hanner and Yous Mbao will be asked to play a few more minutes this year if Spikes is not ready to pick up the slack. With all of that talent in the frontcourt, Coach Herrion could move Tinnon or Hanner to the small forward position at times. Those two have the versatility to handle most opposing small forwards defensively.

Final Projection:
Whether or not Tinnon or Hanner spend much time at the small forward position will largely depend on the competition and the development of the newcomers on the perimeter. A lineup consisting of Kane, Tinnon, Goff and Spikes would be full of size and experience. But with players like Scarver, Marshall could be better off having a ton of quality depth in the frontcourt. Either way, this team will run through the experienced frontcourt for now. However, the newcomers and Kane have more than enough talent to take back the leadership role and guide this team to another postseason berth. Without Pitts and Johnson though, it may take some time before the backcourt becomes as productive as they were in 2011-2012.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Kareem Canty, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
DeAndre Kane, Junior, Guard, 16.5 points per game
D.D. Scarver, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Dennis Tinnon, Senior, Forward, 10.2 points per game
Robert Goff, Senior, Forward, 6.1 points per game

Madness 2012 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#137 Kareem Canty