Game Day Vitals
- #22 West Virginia Mountaineers (8-1, Big XII 0-0, ESPN RPI 31) vs. Marshall Thundering Herd (3-5, 0-0 C-USA, ESPN RPI 284)
- Series Record: 31-11 (Neutral: 20-5), last meeting: W 74-64 in Charleston
- Location: Charleston Civic Center (13,000), Charleston, West Virginia
- Vegas Lines: (-17.5) for the good guys O/U N/A
- Date: Sunday, December 14th, 2014, at 4:30PM ET
- Television: ROOT Sports
- Radio Affiliates
- Marshall Thundering Herd (3-5, 0-0 C-USA, ESPN RPI 284)
- Head Coach: Dan D'Antoni, First year as head coach
- Last Result: Lost vs Penn State 73-69 in Huntington
- Official Marshall athletics website
It's been a weird time in the schedule for Mountaineer basketball. We are ten days removed from the heartbreaker LSU loss in Morgantown and a week from the weird scrimmage-ish away game against Northern Kentucky. Now is the time to get back on track against the noisy neighbors down south.
Back in April, Marshall bought out Tom Herrion's contract to the dismay of Smoking Musket writers who really enjoyed using him as easy fodder. MU went out and hired the older and less successful brother of Mark D'Antoni, Dan D'Antoni. On paper, it's a pretty good fit. He played for the Thundering Herd in the late 60s and assisted there before moving on to follow his brother in various NBA assistant jobs. It's going to be a while before it is known if Dan D'Antoni can be a head coach at this level, but a win today would probably get him a contract extension.
As for the team itself, Marshall has three main players: Austin Loop, Ryan Taylor, and Cheikh Sane. Loop is a sophomore 6-4 guard that shoots very well from deep. Ryan Taylor (6-5 sophomore forward) is the Herd's main scorer and nearly averages a double-double by providing solid rebounding especially on the defensive end. Finally, Cheikh Sane is the senior big man that serves as a force on the inside and also cleans up the glass pretty well. Also notable, Shawn Smith (6-6 senior forward) comes off the bench often and gives a good burst of energy when the Herd need it. The downsides of this team are that they only shoot .399 from the field (WE FOUND A TEAM THAT SHOOTS WORSE THAN WVU!!!) and they average less than 70 points.
Like every other game against Marshall in Charleston, this game is going to be dumb. Game play will be sloppy. Shooting will be awful. Officiating will be inexplicable. After it is all said and done, West Virginia will win.
WVU 81 - MooU 62