Team: Marshall Thundering Herd
Current Record: 4-0
Coach: Dan D’Antoni
Coach Profile: D’Antoni has been the head coach at Marshall since 2014. Before that he was the assistant to his younger brother, Mike, in the NBA for the Suns, Knicks, Lakers and Rockets. In 2018, he led the Thundering Herd to an 13-4 NCAA Tournament upset over Wichita State. In 2019, he led Marshall to a CIT Tournament Championship.
The Thundering Herd have not been talked about much coming into the season, likely because of a 17-15 (10-8 CUSA) record last season. But almost the entire team returned from last year’s squad and they’re off to a great start in 2020. They’ve beaten Arkansas State (70-56) , Wright State (80-64), Charleston (84-72) and Ohio (81-67). All double-digit wins for Marshall thus far. Wright State is the Horizon favorites and Ohio almost pulled an upset on Illinois.
What Makes Them Special?
Marshall’s offense is led by its three-headed backcourt monster of Taevion Kinsey, Jarrod West, and Andrew Taylor. Kinsey was a 2nd Team All-C-USA selection last season after making a huge leap from freshman to sophomore, ranking 2nd in the league in minutes played and 32nd in the nation. He has been killing it so far this season! He’s averaging 22.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game so far. He had 31 points in the win over Wright State and 28 in their most recent win over Ohio. Beside Kinsey in the backcourt, Jarrod West is scoring 15.3 points per game while also averaging seven assists per game.
The Marshall offense runs through these guys and usually through lots of on-ball screens. The Thundering Herd ranks 18th in the country is pick & roll usage and are in the top 15% in the nation in points per possession on those pick & rolls.
As good as they are giving the ball to Kinsey in pick & roll situations, they’re even better when they push it in transition. Marshall ranks 8th in the country in points per possession in transition (and 5th if including only teams that have played at least three games so far).
Defensively, Marshall is very good; ranking 61st in the country in defensive points per possession, but they’re even better in the half-court (53rd in the country).
Marshall is a team with a lot of returners who have looked impressive on both sides of the ball so far. They have a coach that knows how to push the ball and put his guards in a position to make plays and score. Marshall is a team everyone should keep in mind as we look for those teams that can make some noise come March.
Marshall Thundering Herd 2020-21 Player Stats