Jan 23, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Marshall Thundering Herd guard Kareem Canty (1) and forward Cheikh Sane (13) high-five during the first half against the Rice Owls at Tudor Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking down the Herd's non-conference basketball schedule

The Thundering Herd basketball team released their non-conference schedule on Tuesday and for a little perspective let’s look at where they ended last season in RPI (in parenthesis) compared to Marshall’s 275.

Nov. 8 – Concord (Exhibition) – Cam Henderson Center (Div. II)
Nov. 14 – Jacksonville State (GSS) – Cam Henderson Center (297)
Nov. 16 – Savannah State (GSS) – Cam Henderson Center (274)
Nov. 18 – WVU Tech – Cam Henderson Center (NAIA)
Nov. 21 – at Louisville (GSS) – Louisville, Ky. (16)
Nov. 26 – Morehead State – Cam Henderson Center (144)
Nov. 28 – Cleveland State (GSS) – Cam Henderson Center (91)
Dec. 1 – South Carolina – Cam Henderson Center (139)
Dec. 6 – Penn State – Cam Henderson Center (114)
Dec. 14 – West Virginia – Charleston, W.Va.  (92)
Dec. 16 – King University – Cam Henderson Center (NAIA)
Dec. 20 – at Arkansas State – Jonesboro, Ark. (185)
Dec. 22 – at Nevada – Reno, Nev.  (137)
Dec. 30 – at Akron – Akron, Ohio (96)
(GSS) = Global Sports Showcase

For the record that is one top 25 school (Louisville) and three others in the top 100 RPI (Cleveland State, West Virginia and Akron). Outside of that Penn State and South Carolina add two schools from the power five conferences to the schedule. Visits to Huntington from a Big 1o and SEC programs will hopefully be an excuse to get fans back in their seats when they haven’t had much to cheer for in the past few years. In the press release on Herdzone.com it was pointed out only Louisville made the NCAA tournament out of the teams on the non-conference schedule.

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 … Morehead State and Penn State both made the 2014 College Basketball Invitational (CBI) field with the Nittany Lions advancing to the quarterfinals … Marshall will face two teams that made the 2014 CollegeInsider.com Tournament field. Akron and Cleveland State were ousted in the CIT first round.

It is hard to know what to expect a team that is rebuilding with a new coach in Dan D’Antoni but the schedule certainly will serve as a test to see just how much work he’ll have to do to right the ship. D’Antoni has admitted there is plenty of work ahead but considering Tom Herrion left the Herd with a 11-22 record, it is hard to imagine that the upcoming season can go much worse. Last year Marshall was outscored 64.9 to 69.5 a game partially thanks to their 40 percent shooting. D’Antoni’s new system will be a shock that hopefully jump starts Marshall after a downward trend for the past few seasons.

Tags: Marshall Thundering Herd

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