Marshall University Thundering Herd Men’s Basketball is headed on the road once again for two more Conference USA battles, Thursday at the Rice Owls and Saturday at C-USA newcomer the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

The Herd has fallen on tough times recently, starting the conference schedule 0-4 for the first time since the 2004-05 season, the last season Marshall was a member of the Mid-American Conference.

Herd Head Coach Tom Herrion said that while Rice has been in C-USA since before Marshall joined the league, Tudor Fieldhouse, home of the Owls, and Thomas Assembly Center, home of the Bulldogs, will be unfamiliar to the current Herd roster.

“None of these guys have played at Rice,” Herrion said. “Most time you would have a guy or two to reference who have played in the building, so it’s really a new entity for all of our guys whether it be a team in our league from before or a new team like Louisiana Tech.”

As for the actual game play, Herrion said Rice and Louisiana Tech will attack the Herd in drastically different ways.

“With Rice, you’re going to see a deliberate, patient, medium to slow paced team, who executes really well in the half court,” Herrion said of the Owls’ playing style. “With Louisiana Tech, they are really athletic. They press, run, create tempo, and create possessions. So they’re almost polar opposites.”

Herrion said the Herd cannot let the losses get the team enthusiasm down.

“We’re all frustrated and disappointed with the results we’ve had. We want to win games and that has to start Thursday night.”

Marshall sophomore forward TyQuane Goard said if the Herd can get one win, it could turn the season around.

“I feel like this team needs just one win,” Goard said. “I feel like once we get one win, this team will roll.”

On top of different playing styles, Rice and Louisiana Tech measure up differently in terms of statistics. Rice averages just 64.2 points per game, while Louisiana Tech averages 84.5 points per game. Rice is 5-12 overall and 0-4 in C-USA, while Louisiana Tech is 15-4 on the season. While Marshall is in Houston taking on the Owls, Louisiana Tech will be hosting the Charlotte 49ers on Thursday evening. On Saturday, Marshall will head to Ruston, La. and the 49ers will go to Houston as part of Conference USA’s new travel partner scheduling system.

— Braxton Crisp

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