They will also have tickets for the annual Pancake Breakfast the following Saturday, October 20, at Max and Erma's at Pullman Square. That event will also run from 8-10 a.m. and will feature players and coaches serving fans pancakes, sausage and drinks in a fundraiser sponsored by the Locker Room Club, the booster club of women's basketball at Marshall. Tickets for the breakfast are $5 each, and will also be available at the women's basketball offices on the concourse of the Cam Henderson Center. Call the office for information at 696-5445.
Chadwick, in his 24th season of coaching, reached Division I win No. 300 last season as well as his 700th career game coached while jumping to third in school history in wins and games coached. Chadwick, now in his seventh season at Marshall, longs for another milestone for his Thundering Herd: a Conference USA championship. As Marshall begins its third season of competition in the league, Chadwick believes he has the horses to win this race, but hopes the injury bug will not strike his team as it did last season. The Herd went through four players at point guard last season, and saw Meg Withrow having to play the latter part of the season with a shoulder so sore it was shot with cortisone to get her on the court. Megan Samis played one-handed, with a cast on the forwards right hand and the Herd had a number of players who were lost for all or part of the season.0
"We're excited," said Chadwick, "about this season. We've got a very good group this season who have really worked here in the pre-season. We think we have plugged some weaknesses we had last season with some new players and have a great group of returning players who have all really come together this fall." Chadwick's team lost seven of its final eight games with Withrow and Samis playing hurt and former forward KaShawn Curry forced to play point guard at times. Up to that point, Marshall had posted a 14-8 mark, but finished the season 15-15.
This year, the Herd will face a schedule as tough as any Chadwick has faced in any stop in collegiate basketball. "Its the toughest we have ever played here, maybe the toughest I have ever played," said Chadwick. "We have ten teams on the schedule that went to the post-season last year, but it something we needed to do. We need to prove we're a post-season team by beating post-season teams." Out of Conference USA, both Rice and Tulane appeared in the postseason NIT in March of 2007. Sandwiched in between the Herd's C-USA schedule is the annual Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic with intra-state rival and NCAA participant West Virginia on Jan. 23 in Charleston, W.Va.
Also on the schedule is the fifth annual Fifth Third Classic (Nov. 30-Dec. 1), featuring a record three post-season teams. Marshall will open the tournament with 2007 NIT participant and Southwestern Athletic Conference regular season champion Jackson State. No matter the outcome of the Marshall-Jackson State contest, the Herd will face a 2007 post-season team the next day. Pittsburgh or Harvard, both NCAA Tournament teams from 2007, will take on Marshall on its home floor in the consolation/championship game. Also on the schedule are NCAA team Texas-Arlington, Big 12 member and NIT participant Missouri in the semifinals of the Marriott Cavalier Classic, and then either the host Cavaliers (NIT) or Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Delaware State (NCAA).
The Thundering Herd will open the 2007-08 campaign as a first-time participant in the Pre-season WNIT. The season tips off in Evansville, Ind., on Nov. 9 when Marshall faces the Evansville Purple Aces for the first time ever, then could play IUPUI or Michigan State. Chadwick thinks his team is ready for the challenge of the schedule and competing in C-USA. "I think this team has a different attitude," said Chadwick. "Look at Chantelle Handy. She is a completely different player after playing overseas. Casey Baker (a junior college player from Lincoln Trail, Illinois, Community College) and Sophie Lenard (a juco from Central Arizona C.C.) can jump right in to help us. Kizzy Hart is not really new, but now is healthy and ready to go." Hart was another juco from Labette C.C. in Kansas, recruited to play point but one of the four injured last season.
"All the new girls add an extra dimension, but overall we will be more athletic. It's as good as a group of players as we have had here. The question is, how quick do we get the chemistry that comes from playing together. Some of the new players will have to play lots of minutes right away. We have had the summer and fall to get to know each other off the court. Now, if we get to know each other on the court quickly, we have a chance to be pretty good." Other new players include freshmen forward Tynikki Crook from Detroit and center Tania Walters, who attended Notre Dame Prep in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The juniors include Baker and Nicci Miller and Lenard, both from Central Arizona Community College.
This year's women's basketball team for Marshall includes:
NO. NAME POS HT ELIG. HOMETOWN/LAST SCHOOL
1 Meg Withrow G 5-6 JR Nitro, W.Va./UNC Wilmington
2 Casey Baker G 5-8 JR Bradenton, Fla./Lincoln Trail CC
4 Tynikki Crook F 6-1 FR Detroit, Mich./Pershing
5 Kizzy Hart G 5-7 SR Detroit, Mich./Labette CC
10 Kendra King F 6-0 JR Fairfax, Va./Paul VI Catholic
13 Nicci Miller F 5-10 JR Denver, Colo./Central Arizona CC
20 Melody Hudson G 5-8 SR Hueytown, Ala./Shelton State CC
21 Alix Barnette G 5-8 SO Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill
22 Chantelle Handy G 6-3 SO Durham, England/Mt. de Chantal
23 Sophie Lenard G 5-9 JR Wilmington, Calif./Cent. Ariz. CC
24 Meagan Samis F 6-0 SR Oklahoma City, Okla./UNC-Wilm.
32 Alyssa Hammond G 6-1 SO Oak Hill, Ohio/Oak Hill
33 Tania Walters G 5-0 FR Toronto, Ont./Notre Dame Prep
40 Kari James C 6-4 JR Gallipolis, Ohio/Gallipolis