HUNTINGTON -- TyQuane Goard finally will get the full experience of being a member of the Marshall University men's basketball team.
The Ohio University transfer was able to practice all of last season with the Thundering Herd, but because of NCAA transfer rules, his official debut in a Marshall uniform was put on hold. The wait is almost over now, and Goard is excited to officially take the floor.
"I feel great, especially after learning the ropes," Goard said Tuesday. "It's hard to explain. Sitting out a year was so hard for me."
It was hard for the former George Washington High School star in ways beyond just being forced to the sidelines. As he watched his Herd teammates struggle during the season - the team finishing 2012-13 at 13-19 with a first-round Conference USA Tournament loss to Tulane - he wanted to be on the court. He wanted to lend a hand, but all he could do was watch.
"Watching the up-and-down season, I felt helpless," he said. "I couldn't help my brothers out there. Now that I'm playing, it feels really good."
There will be no feelings of helplessness this season. Marshall Coach Tom Herrion feels the 6-foot-7, 206-pound sophomore can make a significant impact right away. And that was Goard's hope after transferring from Ohio, where he appeared in 29 of the Bobcats' 37 games as a freshman, but played just 7.2 minutes per game and averaged 1.7 points and 1.5 rebounds.
"He's really starting to develop his body, change his body and get stronger," Herrion said. "He's got a high basketball IQ and he's a guy ... one thing I think you'll be able to do is trust him. He's going to know your system, know where he has to be on the floor, be a good leader. He's got a great voice."
That was something Herrion saw in Goard when he was a leader of the Patriots' 2011 Class AAA state championship team. Goard averaged 17.1 points per game that season, earning All-State honors. Against Wheeling Park in the title game, he led all scorers with 19 points in George Washington's 55-54 win.
Couple that talent with a year spent learning Marshall's system, and that's why Herrion believes Goard can quickly become an integral part of the rotation.