CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Memphis Coach Josh Pastner can't recall his time as a newborn in West Virginia.
"My first nights were in a drawer," said Pastner, who was born in Glen Dale in 1977 before his family relocated to Houston. "My family didn't have much, so I didn't even have a bed. Just some blankets in a drawer.
"Those were the very, very early years of my life."
Pastner, in his third season leading the men's basketball program, does remember his preseason proclamation that Marshall - his team's opponent this Saturday - should be favored to win Conference USA.
"I've said it from early on in the preseason that they could easily be picked to win the conference," he said. "I still think they're an NCAA Tournament team.
"There's no question they are still in the mix."
Marshall (13-7, 4-2 Conference USA) travels to Memphis (14-6, 5-1) on Saturday for a 9 p.m. game (WSAZ telecast) at the 18,119-seat FedEx Forum.
The Herd is on a three-game losing streak and has tumbled from first to fifth in the C-USA standings, while Memphis has won eight of nine and is tied with Southern Mississippi for first place.
Of course, the difference between leading the league and being outside of the top four is just one full game this early in the conference season.
Ten of 12 Conference USA teams have 10 league games left; Tulsa and UCF nine each.
"It's too early to tell what's going to happen," Pastner said. "The league is good and there's good coaches in this league. You rank the coaches 1-12 and I'm No. 12. All of these coaches have won a lot of games and been deep into the NCAA Tournament.
"That means that anyone can beat anyone on any given night."
That was proven true Wednesday when UAB, with a 6-12 record, held Marshall to a season-low 49 points and won as a 10-point underdog at the Henderson Center.
The Herd lost a neutral court game to West Virginia, a road game to Southern Miss and a home game to UAB in an eight-day span.
Marshall's RPI dipped from 45 to 68 after Wednesday's loss and NCAA Tournament projections will surely dismiss the Herd until further notice.
Pastner, however, isn't wavering.
"It's not like Marshall played slouch teams," he said. "Who they lost to were three good basketball teams. There's no shame for anything with those three losses.
"Look, we know that they are really good and we know we are going to get their best shot. They've got too many good players and (Damier) Pitts and (DeAndre) Kane are big-time."