Scott Co grad will play for Marshall at UK

When he addressed a Kentucky Coaches Convention in September, Marshall Coach Tom Herrion spoke optimistically about the upcoming season. He also joked about how stress made his last name sound like heroin.
So far, the latter reference applies as Marshall prepares to play at Kentucky on Saturday.
“We have to play a lot better,” Herrion said Thursday. “We didn’t expect to be 7-5 at this point.”
Surprises (in the bad sense) abound for Marshall, which had been tabbed as one of Conference USA’s best teams. Most involve the position teams most want stable and secure: point guard.
On Nov. 15, the NCAA ruled freshman Kareem Canty ineligible. Gone went the presumptive starter who had practiced much of the pre-season. “For us, very unexpected,” Herrion said.
The Thundering Herd moved DeAndre Kane, an all-Conference USA scoring guard (16.4 ppg last season), to the point. Then he injured a hand in an off-the-court incident last week.
Thirty-nine turnovers in the last two games speaks to a Marshall team in flux.
“We’re still a complete work in progress,” Herrion said. “There are a lot of moving parts. We have to keep moving guys around and adjusting roles.”
This process has elevated Scott County product Tamron Manning into greater prominence and brought Herrion another surprise.
“I didn’t expect (Manning to play) 30 minutes against Cincinnati,” the Marshall coach said of Manning’s full-immersion baptism against UC last weekend.
After playing 16 minutes in Wednesday’s victory over Savannah State, Manning faces an interesting paradox. He’s a freshman looking to help lead older, more experienced players. Yet, he’s one of the few Marshall players with experience playing in Rupp Arena. He twice helped Scott County reach the finals of the Sweet 16, scoring 28 points in the 2012 championship game.
“I actually feel pretty good about it,” Manning said Thursday of the return to central Kentucky. “It should be really fun. I’m looking forward to it.”