"It's not something that I think this group, in particular ... we kind of went through it more last year," he added. "My first year, we didn't have high expectations. We had more last year and now we have even higher expectations, in terms of the external ones that are out there. Those aren't pressures, but I think this group now, they've been through it."
Marshall's lofty preseason rankings didn't cause its C-USA opponents to cower.
The Herd finished last season with a 9-7 conference record, a record Herrion said wasn't good enough last year and won't be good enough this year. During a period from Jan. 18 to Feb. 10, where the Herd lost six of seven games, five of those losses came in conference play.
The team isn't dwelling on that skid, but Kane said it reminds them that their conference opponents are targeting them as a team to beat.
"We know we're not sneaking up on nobody," he said. "We know every day that we've got talent. We've got players who can compete with whoever in the country. It's going to take hard work. Every day, we've got to bring it."
The Herd enters this season with veteran leadership considered among the conference's best. Seniors Nigel Spikes and Dennis Tinnon and Kane have been named Marshall's captains. Kane was a preseason All-C-USA first team pick, while Tinnon, a forward, was named to the second team. The Herd worked through the offseason to fortify its defense, a blemish for the team last season when it allowed opponents to shoot 45 percent from the floor.
MU also faces another tough schedule. On top of Conference USA play, the Herd hosts Nevada, plays Cincinnati and West Virginia in Charleston and visits Villanova and defending national champion Kentucky. In all, the Herd will play eight NCAA Tournament participants from last season, plus three NIT qualifiers.
Perform well against them, Tinnon said, and ending Marshall's NCAA drought should be a reachable goal.
"If we knock some of those big teams off, it'll give us an opportunity to be an easy pick, not having them second-guess us," he said. "We're going to give them a reason to choose us."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.