His renewed determination hasn't gone unnoticed by his teammates and coaches. Marshall Coach Tom Herrion said Kane has shown a more mature and business-like approach to his offseason workouts.
"I think he's invested more," Herrion said. He's worked harder. He's spent more time in the gym with us and on his own, working on things he has to get better at. And that's contagious, when other guys see guys in the gym. I think he has a better voice for our group."
Kane said he's tried to become a more vocal leader, now that he's a junior and leaders like Damier Pitts and Shaquille Johnson have moved on.
Sometimes that means spurring on his teammates to work harder. Sometimes, said guard DeVince Boykins, that means getting in their ears to find out where they are mentally.
"He'll talk trash to you, but when we get into the locker room, we're buddies," said Boykins, who guards Kane daily in practice. "He's picking you up. He's a good leader just leading by example and being vocal."
In Kane's opinion, there is no room for weak minds, especially with the schedule the Herd faces this season.
"When we go to Kentucky, it's going to be rough in there," Kane said. "I'm just trying to see where they're at. And we're coming along well. Nobody out here is a slouch. Nobody out here is a punk. I think we'll be good."
All of this is part of Kane's mission to help lead Marshall to a C-USA title and an NCAA Tournament berth. The Herd came so tantalizingly close last season, and the last thing DeAndre wants is another near miss.
"My main goal here is to raise a banner, to drop a championship banner," he said. "With how our fans come out and support us, I want to hang a banner for them. This year is all focus for us."
Kane's focus will be helped by the number on his jersey, a reminder of his father and the foundation in basketball he helped build in him.
"I know he's looking over me," Kane said. "It's hard, but I come in here, lace up my shoes and think about him. He pushes me.
"It's motivation, a reminder that I'm doing this for him. I know he's looking and I'm going to try to make him proud."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.