HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- DeAndre Kane was Marshall Coach Tom Herrion's backup plan at point guard. And what a backup plan he was.
After the NCAA ruled freshman point guard Kareem Canty ineligible for the season, Herrion gave his junior shooting guard the ball-handling duties and he responded with 8.5 assists per game.
But since Kane broke his hand and hasn't played since the Thundering Herd's Dec. 8 win over Coppin State, Herrion has tried to find a backup plan to his backup plan.
That's proven to be a tougher project.
When the Herd (7-7) travels to Athens to face Ohio at 2 p.m. Saturday, it remains in search of a steady hand at point guard, despite giving three players a chance.
As for Kane's potential return, he remained in street clothes for Marshall's 53-51 loss to Delaware State, but the cast on his right hand was gone. In its place was a smaller protective covering. After the game, though, Herrion wouldn't give a definitive timetable for Kane.
"The only thing that'll be new is when he plays," he said.
The Herd could have used him Wednesday night against the Hornets. Three players shared point guard duties against Delaware State - freshmen Tamron Manning and Kelvin Amayo and sophomore Chris Martin.
Manning played 23 minutes, Amayo 16 and Martin nine. The three combined for eight points, all by Amayo, four assists and a turnover.
Marshall has struggled mightily with assists and turnovers in Kane's absence. In the four games Kane has missed, Marshall has recorded 39 assists to 71 turnovers. The Herd has reached double digits in assists just once, getting 15 in a win against Savannah State. They've suffered no fewer than 15 turnovers in any of those four games.
In the first half versus the Hornets, assists were almost nowhere to be seen. Marshall had only two against nine turnovers. That contributed to the Herd's 17-point first half. In all, Marshall had nine assists against 15 turnovers in a loss to a Delaware State team missing its only double-digit scorer and a center averaging 3.5 blocks per game.
And while pining for Canty and Kane might be easy to do, Herrion said it's a futile exercise. He must solve Marshall's passing problems with the players on the court, not the ones out of uniform.