CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Kyle Guy said there’s no “feeling” he gets when he’s shooting the ball well.
It’s more like a responsibility to reward distributors Ty Jerome and Kihei Clark when they make it a point to find him.
“When they go out of their way to find me is when I really feel like I’m @ my best shooting the ball,” Guy said Monday.
He was plenty good in the No. 4 Cavaliers’ 100-64 victory over Marshall, scoring a career-best 30 points and making 10 of 14 shots overall and seven of nine from 3-point range. He also set a career high with eight rebounds, all in just 26 minutes of work.
Coming up short of a double-double irked him.
“I saw that I had eight rebounds. I tried so hard when I went back in to get two more, but they weren’t bouncing my way,” he said.
Jerome and Jay Huff added 14 points each for the Cavaliers (12-0), who led 50-25 at halftime, then scored the first 10 points after the break, with Guy scoring eight of them, to remove any possible suspense. The victory was Tony Bennett’s 300th as a coach and kept alive Virginia’s best start to a season since the 2014-15 team won its first 19 games.
Marshall (7-6) shot 35.1 percent (20 of 57) overall but became just the second team to score as many as 60 points against Virginia, which leads the nation by allowing just 50.3 points per game. Maryland was the other in a 76-71 loss on Nov. 28.
Coach Dan D’Antoni said Guy’s performance highlighted how far his team has to go.
“As good as he is, that makes me mad,” he said. “I’m going to get on him. He ain’t playing against me like that and we haven’t gotten there. We’re soft. He’s a really good player and I’m not taking anything away from him, but I’m telling you, I’m going to compete.
“Last year, we competed. This year, we’re not there,” he said.
Jon Elmore scored 14 points but missed 14 of 17 shots for Marshall.
Bennett’s 300th victory came in his 419th game, but he said he forgot about it until the subject came up in pregame radio.
“It just means you’ve had really good players. As I said, it means I’ve been coaching for a while. I’ve had great staff and my whole hope is that in my 300 wins that I’ve honored and respected the game, the people who have poured into my life and what I value as important, and that in the many games that I’ve lost, I’ve done the same. That’s all that I can ask for,” Bennett said. “I’m very grateful.”
Marshall: The Herd came in averaging 82 points and with its top two scorers (Elmore, 19.6 ppg) and C.J. Burks (18 ppg) accounting for almost half of them. But Elmore was 0 for 6 with two free throws and four turnovers in the first half, and Burks was 2 for 5 with four points and a technical foul. Burks finished 4 for 11 with 11 points.
Virginia: Bennett has been going to his bench earlier than usual in recent games, possibly trying to incorporate more than seven players in the normal rotation with ACC play looming. Huff, a fan favorite, got nearly seven minutes of playing time in the opening half and had four points, two rebounds and an assist. He is gifted offensively but lacking on the defensive end despite being a very agile 7-footer with an enormous wingspan.
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D’Antoni joked that Huff probably doesn’t play regularly for Bennett because of defensive weaknesses.
“He’s skilled,” D’Antoni said, noting that one of his assistants tried to recruit Huff. “He would fit us really well. In fact, tell Tony he’ll fit us better than he does him. He’s a skilled big man. … He’s got a big future.”
Marshall: The Thundering Herd stay in Virginia for a game at Old Dominion on Thursday night.
Virginia: The Cavaliers remain at home for their ACC opener on Saturday against No. 9. Florida State.
This season’s crop of lead guards doesn’t have a lot of star power or guaranteed All-Americans.
Most of the top players in college basketball this year reside at other positions. There just aren’t that many impact point guards this season when it comes to the game’s elite players. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of players who won’t make a giant impact.
As you look through this list of college basketball’s top lead guards, you’ll notice that a healthy amount of the group is upperclassmen. That type of experience and leadership usually means that some of these teams could surprise this season thanks to some big games out of the backcourt.
This season’s freshman class also doesn’t add a lot when it comes to impact freshmen lead guards, as most of the top talents in the high school Class of 2018 come from the wing and interior.
So it should be a unique year for lead guards at the college level. This list already includes a lot of decorated players and 1,000-point career scorers. Many of these guys might be underrated, but they can also play.
1. CARSEN EDWARDS, Purdue, Jr.
Get ready for a fun season of Carsen Edwards. The 6-foot-1 junior will be among the nation’s leading scorers this season after Purdue lost the four other starters that played with Edwards last season.
Running with all that talent around him last season, the Boilermakers made the Sweet 16 for the second straight season as Edwards put up 18.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Now that Edwards will need to have even more of an impact on Purdue’s offense, he could put up massive scoring numbers. Expect Edwards to be a high-volume guard who gets tons of shot attempts this season while trying to get his new teammates involved as well.
Not many players in the country will have more resting on their shoulders than Edwards at Purdue. He’s also talented enough to put up 40 points and single-handedly carry an offense for a night. It’ll be fascinating to see how the newcomers step up, and how much Edwards can carry on his own.
2. TYUS BATTLE, Syracuse, Jr.
Battle’s decision to return for his junior season proved to be a pivotal one for the Orange as they become one of the country’s most intriguing teams. Syracuse’s best offensive option by a mile last season, the 6-foot-6 Battle often had to do a lot to score as he put up 19.2 points per game.
Also logging a ridiculous 39 minutes per game last season, Battle almost never left the floor for the Orange. He was counted on to be productive on both ends of the floor at nearly all times. One of the game’s biggest warriors, Battle should also get more help around him this season. The Orange have more perimeter weapons. They get a year older and better. That should contribute to Battle improving his 39 percent field goal percentage.
3. MARKUS HOWARD, Marquette, Jr.
If it weren’t for Trae Young generating so much attention last season then this 5-foot-11 guard might have received more headlines on his own. One of the most exciting perimeter scoring guards in college hoops, Howard had some monster games during his sophomore season.
Teaming with another high-quality shooter in Andrew Rowsey, Howard averaged 20.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game last season. A 40 percent three-point shooter who can get absurdly hot from distance, Howard had two games with 11 three-pointers last season — including a memorable 52-point outing in a road win at Providence.
Defenses are going to focus even more on Howard this season with Rowsey moving on, but the Golden Eagles also have a more complete team filled with complimentary pieces. Howard could be in line for an All-American season if things go right in Milwaukee.
4. SHAMORIE PONDS, St. John’s, Jr.
The 6-foot-1 Ponds is one of the Big East’s elite players, as he put up monster numbers for the Red Storm last season. Putting up 21.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game, Ponds produces the type of all-around numbers that make him a prime Player of the Year candidate.
And it will help Ponds immensely to have more help around him this season. With the addition of Auburn transfer Mustapha Heron, St. John’s has a chance to be one of the best (and most exciting) backcourts in the country this season. That means that Ponds doesn’t have to take so many forced looks. If Ponds shoots more like he did freshman season (37 percent three-point range) than he did sophomore season (25 percent) then he’ll be nearly impossible to defend.
5. TREMONT WATERS, LSU, So.
There might not be a guard who is more fun to watch than this 5-foot-11 sophomore. Breaking LSU’s freshman school assists record while pumping in tons of tough shots, Waters averaged 15.9 points, 6.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game last season. With flashy handles and deep perimeter shooting ability, Waters was made to make highlights as he can single-handedly ignite an offense.
With more tools at his disposal this season, Waters also has a chance to improve his efficiency. LSU’s offense has more legitimate big men this season, which should help Waters improve his 41 percent shooting. The Tigers are young and talented, but they have a shot at a great year if Waters plays as well as everyone believes he can.
6. CASSIUS WINSTON, Michigan State, Jr.
The junior hasn’t received significant attention because of his NBA lottery-pick teammates. That will change this season. Winston is one of the most efficient and talented point guards in the country as he led the Big Ten in assists and three-point percentage last season.
It’s hard to ask for anything better than a point guard that just misses going 50/50/90 with 6.9 assists per game. Now that Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson are gone to the League, Winston should produce more points on his own. The Spartans will need Winston to up his scoring this season, as they haven’t found a capable go-to scorer over the last several seasons.
7. JALEN ADAMS, UConn, Sr.
One of the lone bright spots for the Huskies the past few seasons, the 6-foot-3 Adams has a chance to leave the program on a high note this season. A do-it-all guard who can score or make plays for others, Adams can put up flurries of points with the best of them.
Adams had eight 20-point games in the American last season and also dropped 20-plus on quality teams like Arkansas, Michigan State and Syracuse. While Adams hasn’t had the most desirable of field percentages during his career, he also hasn’t had the most consistent amount of help. If Adams improves efficiency and gets a little more help, then the Huskies could surprise this season.
8. JON ELMORE, Marshall, Sr.
Becoming a national darling during Marshall’s surprising NCAA tournament mini-run last season the 6-foot-3 Elmore put up absurd numbers playing in the Thundering Herd’s high-octane offense. Producing multiple triple-doubles during the season, Elmore put up 22.7 points, 6.8 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game last season while shooting 43 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point range.
With the national spotlight more on him this season, Elmore is going to get a lot of attention from opposing defenses. Thankfully for Elmore, high-scoring backcourt running mate C.J. Burks has also returned as they form one of the best perimeter tandems in the country.
9. ANTHONY COWAN, Maryland, Jr.
It’s weird to think that this 6-foot-0 junior might be underrated. That’s also the burden of playing in Melo Trimble’s shadow. But now that Cowan has made a name for himself last season, he has a chance to be a breakout player for an intriguing Maryland team.
At 15.8 points, 5.1 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game last season, Cowan contributed in every facet of the game. He was also irreplaceable for the Terps. Cowan barely left the floor as he averaged 37 minutes per game. Underrated defensively, Cowan was also named to the Big Ten’s All-Defensive Team. Playing with a young supporting cast that is talented, but inexperienced, Cowan’s leadership will also be counted on in a major way.
10. MCKINLEY WRIGHT IV, Colorado, So.
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of any freshman last season, the 6-foot-0 Wright led the Buffaloes in scoring, assists and steals as they had a winning record. Now with the chance to once again be the leader of a young team, Wright could be in line for a huge sophomore season.
A former Dayton commit who switched to the Buffaloes in the spring, Wright averaged 14.2 points, 5.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game while also consistently getting in passing lanes. If Wright can improve his assist-to-turnover ratio by limiting turnovers, while also improving his inconsistent perimeter jumper (30 percent three-point shooting) then he has a chance to be an elite player this season.
11. BARRY BROWN, Kansas State, Sr.
Underrated during his career with the Wildcats, the 6-foot-3 Brown is comfortable playing either guard spot and both sides of the ball. With over 1,200 career points, Brown is one of the best guards in college hoops at scoring near the basket. He just has to improve his 31 percent perimeter shooting.
12. CHRIS CLEMONS, Campbell, Sr.
If Edwards doesn’t lead the nation in scoring then this 5-foot-9 guard has a good chance to do so. Clemons has over 2,200 career points as he’s a lightning bolt on the offensive end. Capable of getting in the lane at will, if Clemons improves his assist-to-turnover ratio then he’ll have All-American potential.
13. TY JEROME, Virginia, Jr.
The 6-foot-5 junior still has two more seasons after a promising sophomore season that saw him become one of the ACC’s most complete players. Capable of controlling tempo, scoring and finding others, Jerome is a plus perimeter shooter (37.9 percent three-point range) and one of the college game’s best closers at the line (90 percent).
14. DARIUS GARLAND, Vanderbilt, Fr.
The McDonald’s All-American gives the Commodores plenty of immediate hope. At 6-foot-1, Garland is smaller in stature, but he makes up for it with a ridiculously high skill level. Garland can score with a sweet off-the-dribble jumper while also setting up others.
15. PAYTON PRITCHARD, Oregon, Jr.
Already appearing in a Final Four, this 6-foot-2 floor general has a lot of big-game experience. A deadly three-point shooter, Pritchard averaged 14.5 points, 4.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game last season. Pritchard will be the catalyst behind an intriguing Oregon offense.
16. ASHTON HAGANS, Kentucky, Fr.
Reclassifying late from the Class of 2019 to immediately join the Wildcats, Hagans looks like a potential two-way stud. Potentially Kentucky’s best perimeter defender, Hagans is also capable of helping on or off the ball on offense. Kentucky’s backcourt will be crowded, but Hagans has a defensive ability that could separate him from the pack.
17. TRE JONES, Duke, Fr.
The younger brother of former Duke star Tyus Jones has some big shoes to fill as the team’s starting point guard. Craving stability at lead guard the past few seasons, Jones should be able to capably run an offense while providing leadership, athleticism, and some better defense than his brother.
18. JUSTIN ROBINSON, Virginia Tech, Jr.
The 6-foot-1 senior helped the Hokies make the Big Dance in back-to-back seasons as he now Virginia Tech tries to make a deep tournament run. Robinson averaged 14.0 points, 5.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game — and those numbers went up during ACC play. Robinson is also a lethal perimeter shooter.
19. CODY MARTIN, Nevada, Sr.
Moving to point guard late last season when Lindsey Drew went down with injury, the 6-foot-7 Martin can be counted on to do a bit of everything for the Wolf Pack. Brother Caleb is the go-to scorer, but Cody is reigning Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year while adding plenty of points, steals and rebounds.
20. KAMAR BALDWIN, Butler, Jr.
Wired to score during his first two seasons with the Bulldogs, the 6-foot-1 Baldwin will be asked to do more as a floor leader this season. Capable of being one of the best two-way guards in college hoops, Baldwin must improve his ability to help others while also improving his three-point percentage.
VIDEO: Marshall’s Taevion Kinsey easily clears three teammates on ridiculous dunk
Marshall freshman Taevion Kinsey put down one of the preseason’s best dunks on Friday night. With the Thundering Herd hosting Herd Madness, the 6-foot-5 Kinsey put down a ridiculous dunk that easily cleared three teammates.
Most dunkers use an arm on the shoulder during the dunk. Kinsey didn’t need any sort of help as he glided over his teammates.
In association with Marshall Basketball, @Taevion_ presents: Slime Season 🤢🤭
Kinsey is going to be a dunker to keep an eye on in the future. His teammates certainly think highly of his dunking ability, as most of them projected Kinsey to win the dunk contest before the event even started.
Marshall scored its most impressive recruit of the year Wednesday.
Calvin Fields, an 8-year old battling cystic fibrosis, signed with the Thundering Herd program this week, according to a report from WOWK-TV.
“Just us being there for him and him just brushing it off like it’s just nothing it’s just life,” Jannson Williams, a Marshall freshman, said. “I know it’s hard a lot of respect for him and his family.”
Fields has been a fixture at Thundering Herd practices.
“I think he’s in everything from keeping o’clock, got a few buckets, rebounds, passes,” Marshall director of operations Neal Scaggs said.
Fields began coming to practices last season.
“He has had so much fun this last season, and for him to continue to get to do this and continue to hang out with the team, it’s been amazing to him,” his mother, Brentney, told the Huntington Daily Dispatch. “They treat him just like one of the guys. They mess with him and they play around with him. They don’t treat him any different than any other member of the team, and that’s amazing.
“They have treated Calvin like he was one of them since day one.”
VIDEO: Louisiana Tech’s Derric Jean hits half-court game-winner
Louisiana Tech and Marshall entered Thursday night as two of the four teams (Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion being the others) fighting for the two-seed in next week’s Conference USA tournament with UAB already having locked up the top spot. As expected the Bulldogs and Thundering Herd went down to the wire, with Louisiana Tech winning 97-94 on a Derric Jean half-court shot as time expired.
Jean’s shot moved Louisiana Tech into a tie for second with Middle Tennessee, a game ahead of Marshall and Old Dominion in the loss column. Alex Hamilton led the Bulldogs with 38 points, four rebounds, six assists and four steals, and Erik McCree added 22 and ten boards.
As for Marshall, four of their six Conference USA losses have been by four points or less. James Kelly finished Thursday’s game with 27 points and five rebounds, but thanks to the heroics of Jean that performance came in a losing effort.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) Jevon Carter scored 15 points and No. 20 West Virginia used its depth to wear down Marshall for an 86-68 victory Thursday night.
West Virginia (9-1) took control with a 16-1 run early in the second half to beat its intrastate rival for the fifth straight year and for the ninth time in 10 tries.
Daxter Miles Jr. added 14 points, Elijah Macon had 12, and Tarik Phillip 11.
Ryan Taylor led Marshall (3-7) with 15 points. Jon Elmore added 14, and James Kelly had 11.
Marshall had won three straight.
Kelly, Marshall’s leading scorer, went to the bench with a left knee injury early in the second half. He returned six minutes later still limping.
The Thundering Herd went nearly eight minutes between baskets and the turnovers started to pile up.
West Virginia leads the country in offensive rebounds at 18 per game and got plenty of second chances against Marshall.
The Mountaineers made four baskets off of rebounds during the key run, including Nathan Adrian’s putback for a 53-39 lead with 10:50 left.
West Virginia’s lead grew to as many as 23 points down the stretch.
The Mountaineers’ Devin Williams was held to nine points, the first time this season he failed to reach double digits. He spent most of the game in foul trouble.
Marshall made half of its 12 3-point tries over the first 13 minutes to jump ahead 26-21. But Marshall couldn’t sustain any production from its reserves, especially when Kelly and Taylor were out of the game in foul trouble. West Virginia held a 38-12 advantage in bench points.
West Virginia went on a 7-0 run late in the half and took a 35-32 lead at halftime.
West Virginia: West Virginia outrebounded Marshall 48-32, including 22 on the offensive end. … The Mountaineers matched their 9-1 start of last season, when they finished 25-10.
Marshall: Taylor became the 50th Thundering Herd player to surpass 1,000 points.
West Virginia: Home against Eastern Kentucky on Monday.