Chuck Landon: Herd needs to forget USM game
It is called selective amnesia.
That’s what Marshall University star point guard Jon Elmore believes the Thundering Herd needs to utilize to rid its psyche of the recent 50-point loss at Southern Miss.
“Selective amnesia is 100 percent perfect terminology,” said Elmore emphatically. “That’s perfect. You burn it. You get rid of it as fast as possible. You stop thinking about it. That wasn’t who we are. We showed some glimpses against Louisiana Tech. But Southern Miss? That wasn’t us at all.
“That’s not our identity. That’s not how good we are. That’s not the way we play. I just thought we were off. Every aspect of our game was off. So, forget about it as quick as possible and move to the next one.”
The next one is against UTEP at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Cam Henderson Center.
But which Marshall team will the fans see? The one that was 5-0 and in first place in Conference USA or the squad that just dropped three consecutive road games?
That’s what will be determined Thursday night.
Of course, it’s much easier to do in “The Cam.”
“One hundred percent,” agreed Elmore. “That was a long trip. A lot of bus rides. Sleeping out of your own bed every night. We logged a lot of hours there. It’s just a matter of resting up and getting ready to play. It’s good that we’re home again.”
The four bus rides - yes, four - were particularly exhausting.
“We rode the bus six hours up to Western Kentucky and six hours back after the game,” said Elmore, noting the team arrived back in Huntington at 5 a.m. “We bused from Monroe (Louisiana) to Ruston (Louisiana) for the LA Tech game. But then we bused from Ruston to Hattiesburg (Mississippi) for the Southern Miss game. I think that was a four- or five-hour bus ride.”
Marshall rode buses for about 18 hours last week traveling to three road games. That is draining - both mentally and physically.
The only thing more draining might be the aftermath of having to watch the film of Marshall’s 101-51 loss to Southern Miss.
“If we do have to watch the film,” said Elmore, “it’s not going to be fun to look at. That’s for sure. I don’t think there are any positives you can take from that. So, we’ve just got to move on, start executing better and get back to what we do.”
To show or not to show?
That was the question.
At first, Marshall coach Danny D’Antoni was torn on which route to take.
“I wasn’t going to show it to them,” he said, “but then I watched it. The first half we just missed shots. And there were a lot of good teaching points.”
Nevertheless, some coaches would have burned that film and exorcised it from everyone’s memory.
“I understand that,” said D’Antoni with a knowing smile. “I think there would be times that I would do that here. And some teams I might do it with. This is a competitive team. They’re not going to quit. So, let’s use it and teach from it.”
Then D’Antoni grinned that well-known D’Antoni grin and dropped the other sneaker.
“I’m not going to show the second half,” he said. “These kids are smart. They get it.”
The Herd realizes selective amnesia is the right medicine.
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at email@example.com.