MTSU has been teetering in the verge of an upset for a while and it is unsurprising, then, that Marshall is the team to knock them off their perch. The Herd looked bad against WKU recently, but the players ascribe a good portion of that to the health of the team.
Now that they are getting guys, in particular Adjin Penava, they are looking dangerous. In his first game back he filled up the stat sheet and was imposing on the court. Penava’s line: 17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 blocks.
He changes the game, giving Marshall some defensive presence to go with their firepower out side in Jon Elmore and CJ Burks, who combined for 44 points and 8-three pointers in the game.
MTSU plays best when they can slow the game, and Marshall made the speed things up a bit while “out toughing” the Blue Raiders, according to Raiders coach Kermit Davis.
Middle is still one of the two best teams in this league and still in line to challenge for an at-large bid. As of this writing, Kenpom has WKU at 46 and Middle at 60. The Blue Raiders have struggled when they allow other teams to speed the game up. FAU did the same, and nearly put a scare into Davis’ guys. Still, Middle is good enough to overcome the lower classes of this league.
We could see WKU or Middle get a bid and a team that can get really hot — like Marshall — win the tournament.
While we are all discussing potential bubble scenarios for the blue and red squads, Marshall wanted to let us all know that they are not to be taken lightly.