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Here’s an Rx for ailing MU basketball

February 15, 2019

It seemed like an intriguing question.

So, I asked it to selected members of Marshall University’s struggling men’s basketball program.

If you were a doctor, what medicine would you prescribe to cure Marshall’s ailing basketball team?

“I think at the end of the day,” said sophomore guard Jarrod West, “we just have to continue to do what we do. We just have to keeping going on. We can’t quit. We’ve got to keep playing hard.

“We’ve got to continue to play for each other and work hard in practice every single day because there’s still plenty of time left in the season. It’s not over yet. But we can either go up or we can go down. We’re in a good spot because we still control our own destiny and the goals we want to reach.

“We can either fold or we can continue to get better. Obviously, we know we have underachieved a lot. Is this season up to our standards? No. But we have to keep playing.”

Next up, Jon Elmore.

“I’d say some ‘just believe’ medicine,” said the senior star point guard. “I think we have shown glimpses all year. We’ve kind of gotten into a couple ruts. Things haven’t looked the best. But I am still optimistic. I think the coaches are, too.

“I’ve seen some of these teams that have beaten us, seen their personnel, their style of play — stuff like that. But I think when it’s our night and we finally get clicking, I think we are as good as anybody. I think we’ve just got to keep believing. I think our best basketball is still ahead of us, to be honest.”

Then, it was Jannson Williams’ turn.

“I love these questions,” said the sophomore forward. “I would say discipline. It definitely would be discipline. And I would say the person who said it best was Danny (head coach Danny D’Antoni). I think we had just come home and were practicing for the North Texas game and he said, ‘For the guys that have been here three or four years, our offense has not changed. It is simple and it has not changed.’ “It’s hard — it’s very, very hard — to stay disciplined and keep doing the same thing. But it obviously works. It was proven last year. It works. It’s in the NBA and it works. It’s hard to stay disciplined and keep running this simple, simple offense we’ve been running. It’s hard not to venture off — freelance.

“That’s just the hard truth. We just need to play how we’ve been playing the past four or five years, using the same simple, simple ball-screen offense. Just run the offense.”

Finally, it was the coach’s turn.

“Stay positive,” said D’Antoni. “It’s a good question. If they tell you, you’ve got cancer what is the first thing they say? Be positive. That’s tough to do when things are beating down on you, but that’s why I hope this crowd will show and stay with us.”

D’Antoni was referring to Marshall’s home games against UAB (8 p.m. Thursday) and Middle Tennessee (2 p.m. Saturday) in Cam Henderson Center.

“We can beat this if we just stay positive and keep playing hard,” he continued. “There are a couple tweaks, but most of it is being in the right frame of mind to come out and play a basketball game.”

Good answers.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.