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The beginning of Tom Herrion’s tenure at Marshall was so promising. Back-to-back 20-plus win seasons had Herd faithful dreaming of NCAA tournament appearances, but two straight sub-.500 records, including an 11-22 mark this season, must have compelled Marshall’s athletic administration to make a change: per ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, Herrion is no longer Marshall’s head coach.
There was never any doubt regarding Herrion’s ability to bring high-major talent to Huntington. But clashes with players — DeAndre Kane and Herrion frequently butted heads, and Kane left for Iowa State to use his final season of eligibility; Elijah Pittman was suspended indefinitely in early December — undermined Herrion’s recruiting success. Even though the squad won their initial 2014 Conference USA tournament game, a 63-59 win over Florida Atlantic, a double-digit loss to Old Dominion must have provided the justification needed to part ways with Herrion.
Whomever Marshall targets for its next coach will potentially have a talented team to work with (provided, of course, that the group, which doesn’t lose any seniors, all returns). Kareem Canty proved to be an outstanding point guard, posting an assist rate of 30 percent. The Harlem native was named to the conference’s all-freshman team, along with fellow Herd ‘mate Ryan Taylor, and the duo led the squad in points per game. Combined with Chris Thomas, the oft-committed guard who is prone for double-digit scoring outbursts, and the new coach could have a strong offensive core to build upon.