"We're just looking at it like everyone is 0-0," said McNeil, the Cougars' leading scorer at 13.2 points per game. "If the team is going to come together, this is the time to come together."
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DICKEY SAID the key to beating Marshall starts with point guard Damier Pitts, the Herd's leading scorer at 15.8 points per game.
"Pitts is so tough," Dickey said.
"I think Pitts really, really makes them go. For us that's a big key, not getting broken down on ball screens and penetration."
Pitts scored 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting in the first meeting with Houston. The 5-10 junior is coming off a 25-point game in the regular-season finale last Saturday against UCF.
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CONFERENCE USA handed out its "specialty" awards Tuesday.
Once again, Marshall boasts Conference USA's top freshman.
Thundering Herd guard DeAndre Kane was honored by the league as the Freshman of the Year. League coaches and media members voted on the award, which last year went to Marshall center Hassan Whiteside.
Kane was the only Herd player voted onto the league's all-conference team, which was announced Monday. Kane and Memphis' Will Barton were each third-team selections - the only freshmen to make any of the teams.
Kane and Barton headlined the C-USA All-Freshman team, which also included Barton's teammate, Tarik Black, and Southern Mississippi's D.J. Newbill and Tulsa's Jordan Clarkson.
Southern Methodist forward Papa Dia, a 6-9 senior, earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Dia was joined on the All-Defensive team by Houston's Zamal Dixon, Southern Miss' Sai'Quon Stone, UAB's Aaron Johnson and UTEP's Julyan Stone.
Tulsa's Scottie Haralson, a sophomore who played one season at the University of Connecticut before transferring, became eligible this season and earned the Conference USA Newcomer of the Year award.
East Carolina point guard Brock Young, a preseason All-Conference selection, won the league's Sixth Man of the Year award.
Contact sportswriter Chuck McGill at chuck.mcg...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.