Welcome to “Second Guess” Saturday.
Here are the opinions du jour.
n The poor get richer.
It’s Danny D’Antoni’s mindset. Marshall University’s head basketball coach always looks out for the “little guy” and tries to do what he can to help.
That explains the Thundering Herd playing exhibition games against Rio Grande and Glenville State to begin MU’s 2019-20 schedule. Getting a game versus Division I Marshall in the Henderson Center is a nice payday for the pair of Division II programs.
The same is true for a regular-season contest against Bluefield State.
That game actually started out as an exhibition, but when Marshall wasn’t able to schedule a game at Stetson to accompany its road trip to play at the University of Florida, the Big Blues were moved to regular-season status.
Overall, it’s a very nice gesture by D’Antoni.
In other Herd basketball news, the late-arriving European recruits — 6-foot-7 Marko Sarenac and 7-foot Goran Miladinovic — completed their summer workouts on Tuesday.
When Miladinovic was asked what the biggest adjustment had been, the native of Montenegro didn’t hesitate.
“The pace,” he said with a weary smile. “I’ve never played this fast. I just need to work on my strength and conditioning. I gained 16 pounds this summer.”
Marshall will resume practice at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 3 in the MU Recreation Center.
n West Virginia University football fans would be wise to grade newly ordained starting quarterback Austin Kendall on the curve.
After all, the 6-2, 222-pound redshirt junior has very sparse experience on his resume.
Sure, Kendall backed up Baker Mayfield for two years at Oklahoma. All Mayfield did was win the Heisman Trophy winner and become the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
But what did Kendall do while Mayfield was shining? Very little. In 2016, he played in two games, completing 16 of 22 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns while rushing three times for 26 yards. Then, in 2017, Kendall was redshirted.
Then, in 2018, Kendall backed up Kyler Murray while the elusive quarterback posted Heisman Trophy-winning statistics and became the No. 1 choice in the 2019 NFL Draft.
And, again, Kendall sat. He appeared in six games completing 12 of 15 passes for 122 yards and a TD.
So, Kendall completed 28 of 37 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns in his Oklahoma career.
That’s very little experience. Just ask WVU coach Neal Brown.
“He just hasn’t played a lot of football,” said the first-year coach. “Of all the quarterbacks, [Jarret] Doege has the most experience being a two-year starter at Bowling Green. These guys just haven’t played a lot, so they need reps. We purposely designed our practices so quarterbacks can get a lot of reps. Austin just hasn’t had the opportunity to do that.”
Granted, Kendall did spend three years in a supremely successful program, but …
“There are a lot of positives from the situation in Oklahoma — being around winning and seeing really highly productive offenses play — but he really hasn’t gotten a lot of live reps,” continued Brown. “At quarterback, it’s harder to simulate in non-live segments. It’s easier at receiver or defensive back. It’s hard for a quarterback. You need some bullets flying at you. The more reps he has gotten, he has improved.”
So, do Kendall a favor.
Let him get his feet wet first.