The 2005-06 Thundering Herd men's basketball gets a head start on the upcoming season with ten days of practice before heading to the Bahamas on September 2 for three games against three different Bahamian National Teams. "This is the year to make this kind of trip," said head coach Ron Jirsa, who is entering his third season at the helm of the Thundering Herd and Marshall's first in the considerably tougher, for basketball, Conference USA. "The timing of the trip is important – if you go outside the country once the school year starts, the NCAA allows you to bring incoming players on the trip. With six new players on the roster, this trip is very valuable."
Marshall, like every other Division I basketball program, is allowed to make an international trip every four years. This year, the Herd will travel to the Bahamas through Basketball Travelers, Inc., as will Troy University and the defending national champions, the University of North Carolina. "We have ten days of practice and three games that we can evaluate our team and learn about each individual and get them started playing together," said Jirsa.
Marshall returns eight players from the 2004-05 team, six of them scholarship players, and welcomes six newcomers to the team in 2005-06. LaVar Carter, Ryan Lamb, Joe Miles, Taurean Marshall, Jesse Oglesby, Mark Patton, Tre Whitted, and Adam Zimmerman return for the Herd. Donning the Green and White for the first time will be junior college transfers Travis Aikens, Jean Francois Bro-Grebe, Chris Ross and Chris Williams. True freshmen for the Herd will be Markel Humphrey and Mason Wooldridge.
Ross, Williams, and Humphrey are quick, explosive backcourt players, while Aikens, Bro-Grebe, and Wooldridge will play inside for the Herd. All are expected to make an impact this fall in Marshall's first season in Conference USA. Marshall also signed Darryl Merthie from Florida, but the freshman will have to sit out 2005-06 as a non-qualifier, although he is enrolled at Marshall and is attending classes. Williams is waiting for paperwork from the NCAA Clearing House to come in before he can begin to practice, which should be any day. Oglesby and Bro-Grebe will not participate in the early season drills, as Oglesby recovers from a broken leg, the same leg broken in high school, and Bro-Grebe rehabs his knee following surgery last year in Junior College.
Marshall will be promoting Patton, who attended the prestigious Pete Newell Big Man's Camp this summer, as a pre-season All-Conference USA player, and possibly an All-American, as he has averaged 8.1 rebounds per game and 11.0 points per game to lead the Herd in both categories. Patton had 31 blocks, 23 steals, shot 50 percent from the floor and a very good 38 percent (13-34) from the three-point line. Aikens, Bro-Grebe, Humphreys, Ross, Williams and Wooldridge will compete for C-USA Newcomer of the Year honors.
Marshall University Men's Basketball Roster
# Name CL Pos Hgt. Wgt. Hometown-High School (Previous School)
1 Chris Ross Jr. G 6-1 180 San Antonio, Tex. (McClennan J.C.)
2 Travis Aikens Jr. G/F 6-4 190 Orlando, Fla. (Daytona Beach C.C.)
3 Ryan Lamb* So. G 5-8 165 Hiram, Ga. (Whitefi eld Academy)
4 Markel Humphrey Fr. F 6-5 215 Stockbridge, Ga. (Stockbridge H.S.)
5 Chris Williams Jr. G 6-2 190 Long Beach, Calif. (Fullerton College)
11 Joe Miles* So. G 6-0 175 Forestville, Md. (St. Thomas More Prep)
12 Adam Zimmerman** Sr. G 5-10 175 Brooklyn, N.Y. (Dowling College)
14 Tre Whitted** Jr. G 6-4 200 Wilmington, N.C. (E.A. Laney H.S.)
21 Jean Francois Bro-Grebe So. F/C 6-9 230 Abidjan, Ivory Coast (Northeastern Colo. J.C.)
23 Taurean Marshall* R-So. G 6-0 190 Fort Washington, Md. (Gonzaga H.S.)
31 LaVar Carter*** Sr. F/C 6-7 250 Louisville, Ky. (Male H.S.)
33 Mark Patton*** Sr. F 6-9 250 Barboursville, W.Va. (Cabell-Midland H.S.)
34 Mason Wooldridge Fr. F 6-7 215 Fork Union, Va. (Fork Union Military Academy)
43 Jesse Oglesby R-Fr. C 6-10 235 Lithonia, Ga. (Martin Luther King H.S.)
* Years Lettered
Head Coach: Ron Jirsa (Ge ysburg ‘81)
Assistant Coach: Bob MacKinnon (Kings College ‘82)
Assistant Coach: Josh Postorino (Dayton ‘99)
Assistant Coach: David "Aki" Collins (Clark Atlanta ‘97)
Director of Basketball Operations: Kyle Ge er (Hanover ‘02)
Graduate Assistants: Dan Helm, A.W. Hamilton
Women's Basketball Announce Schedule
Marshall University head women's basketball coach Royce Chadwick announced today the Thundering Herd's inaugural schedule as a Conference USA member, as well as his team's demanding 11-game non-conference schedule which includes a meeting with defending NCAA and Big 12 Conference champions Baylor.
"Top to bottom, this is the most aggressive schedule we have ever had," Chadwick, in his fifth season at Marshall, said. "We have a tremendous challenge ahead of us to see if we're ready for the next level of basketball in Conference USA. It's going to be a big jump for us."
The 27-game schedule features nine games versus teams that qualified for postseason play in 2004-05. Five of the teams (Baylor-the National Champions, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Rice and Houston) participated in last year's NCAA Tournament while four (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, West Virginia-WNIT Finalist, Tulsa and SMU) saw action in the Women's NIT.
"It's great to have a Pac-10 team on the schedule and it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to play against the defending national champions," Chadwick said. "We look forward to playing both teams in Cancun." Prior to the Cancun trip, Marshall will once again host the Fifth Third MU Classic on Nov. 18-19 to commence regular season play. The Herd will take on Tennessee State in the season-opener and will play either South Carolina State or former MAC rival Ohio in the consolation/championship game.
Nov. 5 WEST VIRGINIA WESLEYAN (exhibition)
Nov. 12 GLENVILLE STATE (exhibition)
Nov. 18 TENNESSEE STATE !
Nov. 19 OHIO or SOUTH CAROLINA STATE !
Nov. 24 vs. California %
Nov. 27 vs. Baylor %
Nov. 30 at Morehead State
Dec. 2 BINGHAMTON
Dec. 13 at Wright State
Dec. 16 EAST CAROLINA*
Dec. 20 at Virginia
Dec. 28 vs. Texas A&M-Corp. Christi $
Dec. 29 at Virginia Tech $
Jan. 6 at Memphis*
Jan. 8 at UAB*
Jan. 13 RICE*
Jan. TBA vs. West Virginia &
Jan. 20 at UCF*
Jan. 22 at Southern Miss*
Jan. 27 TULSA*
Jan. 29 SMU*
Feb. 4 at East Carolina*
Feb. 6 at Houston*
Feb. 10 UAB*
Feb. 12 MEMPHIS*
Feb. 17 at Tulane*
Feb. 19 at UTEP*
Feb. 24 UCF*
Feb. 26 SOUTHERN MISS*
March 2-5 Conference USA Tournament
Home games in CAPS;
! Fifth Third MU Classic – Huntington, W.Va.
% Caribbean Classic – Cancun, Mexico
$ Lady Luck Classic – Blacksburg, Va.
& Toyota Capital Classic – Charleston, W.Va.
* Conference USA Games
Conference USA Tournament – Moody Coliseum – Dallas, Texas