Thursday, September 27, 2012

Daniel Announces Staff

HUNTINGTON, W. Va.—Marshall Women’s head basketball coach Matt Daniel has a lot of new faces to learn around the locker room in his first season with the Herd; however, there will be two faces he already knows. Daniel selected two of his former assistants from the University of Central Arkansas to join his staff at Marshall.
Tony Kemper was hired as the associate head coach for Daniel’s team, a position he is very familiar with. Kemper worked for Daniel for two years in the same role he will perform at Marshall.
While at Central Arkansas, Kemper shared Daniel’s success, winning 45 games, making two trips to the postseason and winning a (Southland) conference championship. Daniel is excited to have Kemper on the staff.
Prior to Kemper’s time with Daniel, he served as an assistant coach for the Central Arkansas men’s team for four years. Kemper also worked as an assistant coach at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College—a program known for its success at the junior college level.
A face that Daniel will be familiar with is newly hired assistant coach Caronica Randle. Daniel’s familiarity with Randle is largely in part of the time she has served as an assistant in his program. Randle knows Daniel’s expectations for the program well.
“She has been with me since the day I became a head coach, and she is considered a family member to my family,” said Daniel.
Before Randle began coaching she was a standout for Central Arkansas. Randle finished as the school’s No. 3 career scorer (2,089 points) and all-time leader in free throws made and attempts.
Randle played a major impact on the recruiting while at Central Arkansas, bringing in the Southland conference’s Freshman and Player of the Year during her first two seasons.
“I am eager to learn more and expand my knowledge of the game of basketball since I feel that there is always room to grow when you have a passion for something you love,” said Randle.
Daniel’s final addition to his staff was Tamisha Augustin. Prior to joining the Herd, Augustin spent two seasons as an assistant at South Carolina State, a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Augustin gained her coaching experience at Bethel High School in Hampton, Va. She spent two years with the school coaching the girls’ varsity team to a 15-11 record. Augustin also coached the Georgia Metro Nike Travel Team from 2006-08.
Augustin spent her college career at Alabama A&M University and was a two-time All-SWAC selection. Her skills provided an opportunity to play for the professional club KSC-Szekszard (Hungary) during the 2008-09 seasons. Her career with the club was interrupted by an injury.
“Coach Daniel has built a staff with a lot of charisma and great character; I believe this will lead to a championship,” Augustin said.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Marshall Looks to Build in Rivalry Games

HUNTINGTON, W.VA.—Marshall Women’s basketball team attempts to avenge disappointing losses last season to rival opponents Ohio and West Virginia. Marshall travels to Charleston Dec. 4 to battle WVU after a devastating loss in January, 69-57 in the Capital City Classic. Ohio will visit Marshall in the Cam Henderson Center in December.
Marshall’s success will rely on juniors Jasmine Shaw and Erica Woods to defeat these rivals and contend for the postseason. Shaw averaged six points a game last season and Woods led the team with 6.7 points and 6.2 rebounds a game. Marshall has not beaten WVU since 2005.
WVU returns its top performers of last season’s game, something that does not bode well for the Herd’s chances for a win in Charleston. Junior Taylor Palmer led all scorers with 17 points. Juniors Brooke Hampton added 14 points and Christal Caldwell nearly missed a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Marshall’s top performers from last year’s game graduated in May, leaving some questions about how the team will fare against the veteran WVU team. West Virginia leads the series 34-16.
Marshall clashes with the Ohio Bobcats on Dec. 15 as the Herd returns home for the first time in more than a month. Marshall trails Ohio 24-17 in this series and its last win against the Bobcats was 78-74 during the 2007 season in Athens. Likewise, Marshall has not defeated Ohio at the Henderson center in nearly a decade, an 86-63 victory in 2004.
Last season in Athens, seniors Porsha Harris and Tenishia Benson torched the Herd for 14 and 11 points each, respectively, and both grabbed 13 rebounds in a 68-56 win. This season, the Bobcats will rely on senior guard Shavon Robinson, who added 12 points in last season’s victory.
Coach Matt Daniel returns three juniors from last season bidding to turn this series around. Guards Jasmine Shaw, Erica Woods and forward Suporia Dickens led Marshall’s charge in last season’s game, ultimately falling short.
In his first season at Marshall, Daniel has inherited a team loaded with juniors and seniors. He hopes to benefit from the maturity of the team and return the program to a winning tradition.
Daniel wants to attract a great deal of attention to his program during his inaugural season. Collecting victories over WVU and Ohio would not only attract attention to the program, but provide a springboard for the program to launch into conference play.
These two games will provide a measuring stick for Daniel and his program. A win would have the program moving in the right direction; however, another loss would leave the program stuck in neutral and Daniel searching for a way to drive forward.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Matt Daniel takes control of Marshall Women's Basketball

HUNTINGTON, W.Va – Marshall Women’s basketball program has a new head coach. Matt Daniel was named the new coach of the team and has already left his mark. Daniel has been seen in the halls of the Henderson Center wearing bright green shoes while in plaid Bermuda shorts the following day. The 35-year-old Daniel is not trying to win a contest, but rather he wants his program to stand out. Daniel admits his program will stand out as loud as it can while he tries to build it stronger.
Daniel’s move from Central Arkansas to Marshall brings a new conference and unique problems to overcome. Daniel’s philosophy has been labeled as “Home of Higher Hoops,” although many just think it is nothing more than hot air. Daniel debates this is nothing but a belief system and anything is possible that you believe in.
With a program that seems stuck in neutral at 581-581, any positive would be a win for Daniel. Daniel has been around programs all around the country and is a second generation coach. In Coach Daniel’s first press conference he laid the foundation of how his program would operate, “There are two things we won’t do. We won’t do anything illegal, and we won’t do anything immoral. That’s our intention. Now, we’ll make mistakes I’m sure, as everybody does, but our heart will always be in the right place with the big picture of Marshall in mind.”

Marshall Women's Basketball Team Announces Schedule

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. -- Marshall Women’s basketball begins the 2012-13 season under the helm of newly hired Head Coach Matt Daniel looking to build from its 16-14 record last season. Marshall also looks to improve within its conference after a disappointing record of 7-9. Daniel will attempt to lead Marshall back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1997.
Marshall will play a schedule that includes teams from 10 different conferences. Marquette and Presbyterian College will be first-time opponents for The Herd while preserving long-term rivalries against Ohio (15 years) in the Cam Henderson Center at home and traveling to Charleston to play West Virginia (40 years)  in the Capital City Classic.
Preseason action for The Herd includes Concord on Nov. 1 and Kentucky State on Nov. 4 as both teams visit Huntington. Regular season action begins on Nov. 9 with 2011-12 Big South semifinalists Radford visiting Huntington. Marshall travels to Terre Haute, Ind. to face Indiana State, a team Marshall has not faced since 1980. The Herd returns home on Nov. 17 to face Ball State.
Marshall will spend its Thanksgiving holiday in Texas playing in the Texas A&M Tournament facing Southern on Nov. 23 and Marquette on Nov. 25. Marshall heads to Richmond, Ky. as a participant of EKU’s tournament Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
Non-conference play continues for Marshall during December as it faces some of its toughest opponents of the season. Marshall plays West Virginia on Dec. 4 in the Capital City Classic and returns home for the first time in more than a month on Dec. 15, clashing with Ohio followed by games with Furman on Dec. 20 and Tennessee Tech on Dec. 22.
Non-conference play will close out with a trip to Annapolis to battle with 2011-12 Patriot League Champions, Navy on Dec. 30.
Marshall begins Conference USA play on Jan. 10 after an 11-day break with a road trip to Hattiesburg, Miss. to face Southern Miss. Marshall returns home on Jan. 13 to play Tulane, then heads to Tulsa on Jan. 17.
February will be Marshall’s toughest part of the schedule as it opens with Memphis on Feb. 3 at home before heading to Orlando to face UCF on Feb. 7 and to Dallas on Feb. 10 to battle with SMU. Marshall clashes with reigning C-USA champions UTEP on Feb. 14 before heading to Birmingham for a second meeting with UAB.  Marshall closes the month out hosting East Carolina on the 21st, traveling to Houston to face Rice on the 24th and Southern Miss on the 28th.
The Herd closes Conference USA play against UCF in its final home game of the season on March 3. Marshall closes the regular season at Memphis on March 7.
The Herd begins postseason play in Tulsa beginning March 13 in the Conference USA Championships. The tournament runs March 13-16 with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blog, Blog, Blog, ESPN Boston?

Trying to have an inside track on your favorite team can be a seemingly difficult task. With the vast amount of information available to the media, one must decide what is relevant and what can wait. Blogs provide a route for journalists and fans to follow teams and receive information.

Finding a good blog can be difficult as not all blogs are created and operated equally. I look for a blog that I know is going to report factual news. My favorite blogs are operated by ESPN, giving me a plethora of information.

As a fan of teams located in the Boston area, I choose to follow the ESPN Boston blogs. One section of this blog is the New England Patriots, By providing current information about the team, individual players, and upcoming match-ups, I can gain as much information as possible in a short time. I enjoy Mike Reiss's insight about the team and how he breaks down the numbers is a major reason I follow this blog. While Reiss is not the only contributor to the blog, I prefer to follow his posts because of his in depth coverage of players during the season. Reiss provides injury and team news, insight about the season, and analysis of matchups for the upcoming games.

Another section is the Boston Red Sox, With the season consuming seven months of the year, keeping up with all the changes of the club can be overwhelming. ESPN Boston provides breaking news and in depth coverage of the Red Sox, allowing me to know what is going on with the organization. This season has been one to forget for the Red Sox; however ESPN Boston continues to provide information regarding players, staff, and the team in general.

The best part of this blog is the vast amount of information that is available. Being an avid Boston fan, this keeps me up to date with everything happening with Boston sports, allowing me to provide instant reaction to breaking news and updates. With a click of a button, I had insider information about Gronkowski's and Hernandez's new contracts, Wes Welker's reaction and contract negotiations, Patriots injury reports, and every roster move made by the organization.

Fantasy sports are a favorite hobby of mine and making sure every player on my team is healthy and more importantly, will be in the starting line-up, is a must. ESPN Boston uses a combination of creditable journalists to provide the most current information so the fans are well informed as the action happens. I check these blogs each day before I set my lineups, checking for injury updates and any recent player news. There is no worse feeling than starting a player that is out with an injury.

Although I do not report for any media outlets in Boston, I like to report to the Boston fans in my area and report current information as quickly as possible. ESPN Boston blogs allow this to happen by gathering a plethora of information and combining this to one site. Ease of access and ability to find a wealth of information are the biggest reason I frequent this blog. If you are a fan of Boston sports or just a fan of a player in Boston, ESPN Boston is a great blog to follow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Marshall vs Western Carolina Preview

Marshall welcomes Western Carolina to Huntington Saturday looking to continue where it left off after departing the Southern Conference in 1996, beating the Catamounts. The teams have met 20 times and share a record of 9-9-2, however, the Catamounts who dominated in the beginning of this series. Western Carolina began the series 8-0-2 against the Herd but has only found one victory since then. Marshall should continue its winning ways Saturday against the Catamounts.

Coming off a 69-34 beat down by the Mountaineers Saturday in the last meeting of the Friends of Coal Bowl, Marshall looks to rebound in its home opener. Marshall will be led by Rakeem Cato as he tries to guide the Herd to a win. Western Carolina opened its 2012 season with a win over Mars Hill 42-14 as its head to Huntington.

Western Carolina will have a tough task containing Cato during. Cato was 38 of 54 for 413 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Marshall's offensive line did a stellar job against the Mountaineers by only allowing Cato to be sacked one time. Marshall also showed its depth on the offensive line as they lost both right and left tackles to injuries during this game, and was able to contain the WVU defense.

Defense is what the Herd will want to improve from Saturday’s loss at WVU. The Herd gave up 655 total yards while only forcing the Mountaineers to punt twice. WVU scored in five of its first six possessions, not having to punt until late in the third quarter. Marshall needs a much better push from the defensive line against Western Carolina if they look to get a win this Saturday in Huntington.
The Catamounts ran the ball well against South Atlantic member Mars Hill, a division two school in North Carolina north of Asheville, piling up 344 yards on 63 carries. This is something the Herd must be concerned about as it gave up 331 yards rushing on only 35 carries. The Catamounts must equally be concerned about Cato and finding ways to containing him.

Football games often are decided more by Jimmys and Joes not X's and O's, as was the case in Morgantown Saturday. WVU was faster, bigger, and stronger. This should be the case this week in Huntington as Marshall should be the better of the two teams and secure its first win of the season. Cato threw for over 400 yards on the #11 team in the nation. Western Carolina's defense does not come close to the quality practiced in Morgantown.

Cato should have another huge game and the defense will work to shore up the line and have a better performance. Marshall wins big in the home opener and takes the outright lead in the series against Western Carolina with a 42-10 win.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sports Broadcasting Is Easy Right?

How many of you have been watching or listening to your favorite team and think, I could do play by play better than this guy? Honestly, every sports fan has dreamed of being the voice of their favorite sports team and having to chance to make the call on the big play that gives the team the win. I would be lying if I said that I had not thought the same thing. After all, I am very sports savvy, playing sports all my life, as well as coaching and working as an official. I can talk about sports in my sleep, how hard could it be to do it on radio, live? Remember the first time someone punched you in the stomach as a kid, that was the exact feeling I had Friday night when I went behind the headset to cover my first high school football game.

Leading up to the game I was convinced if my good friend Mr. Tim Carper was to turn the call over to me and let me take the play by play, it would be so seamless that the listeners would not even be able to tell. Note to self, keep dreaming! It took me about 2 plays in the first quarter to figure out I was no where ready to call this game. So I did what anyone should do in this very situation, took a nice big bite of humble pie and tried to learn from my mistakes. Trust me there was alot to learn!

Grabbing a pencil and paper, I realized I had no chance of speaking on the air until I figured out who I was talking about. Sure anyone could simply say, #28 hands off to #8 for a gain of 2 yds, tackled by #9 at the 27 brings up 2nd & 8, but can you really make any sense of that. It would take me about 2 plays before I would just turn the radio off. When you are the voice behind the radio, the listener wants to see what you are calling. Details allows this visual to be painted in their mind as your voice flows over the airways. If a relative of #8 is listening, they want to hear that kids name, not just a number. Lesson learned: Familiarize yourself with the rosters of the teams you are going to be covering. Also it is very handy to find out who will be the primary ball carrier or receiver and who is the big players on defense. Another lesson learned: do your research before you get to the game. The pace of the game moves very quickly and leaves very little time to learn 22 names on the fly.

It was extremely helpful to get to call a game in the booth with someone that has been doing this for quite some time. This allowed me to see what really happens as what is compared to what I thought was happening. While I never tried my hand during the game at play by play, I did settle in late in the first quarter as the color commentator and by half time was feeling much more relaxed behind the microphone. Hopefully I didn't completely crash and burn on my first broadcast.

Heading into my next broadcast I now know that I have much homework to do. The game is not until Friday but I have already began looking at both teams rosters, schedules, and past games trying to learn something valuable about both clubs. I am looking forward to doing play by play in the future and can not express how valuable sitting in the booth with the crew on Friday night and seeing the action live.

I'm sure there is a ton more for me to learn to be a successful broadcaster, but as long as I can remember how to squeeze down a nice piece of humble pie when it's served up, I think I will be just fine. My sincere thanks to Tim and Tom for allowing a young broadcaster in training to tag along and pick their brains for as much information that I could get. It was a privilege being part of the team.