That’s how quickly, how suddenly, how solid Marshall University’s basketball season took a distinctive turn for the worse on Friday night.
The Thundering Herd made a 180 degree turn.
Marshall led 23:49 of 40 minutes game and hung on for a crucial 73-72 victory over North Texas in front of 1,228 fans at Cam Henderson Center.
So what was the difference between the performances on Friday and Saturday?
“They have pride,” replied Marshall’s veteran coach Danny D’Antoni. “They’re not going to get knocked over like that and not get up.” I just don’t understand why they didn’t do this Friday night.
Everyone shares this dilemma.
But D’Antoni might have guaranteed it didn’t happen again on Saturday by pulling out a starting lineup that no one expected.
It starred Andrew Taylor and Taevion Kinsey, of course, but it also included second 7-foot student Goran Miladinovic, Mike Beyers, and actual freshman David Early.
No one saw this line coming, especially the Mean Green.
“I looked at the stats sheet,” D’Antoni said, “and kid Simmons (6-10, 255 pounds Zachary Simmons who scored 14 points on Friday night). … I didn’t think he would have much left in his tank. So, I decided to start Goran. People have undersold Goran, including me.
“We had Jannson (Wlliams) banged (ankle) and…
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