All that adds up to Marshall's lowest regular-season win total since the Herd finished 12-18 in the 2006-07 regular season. The Herd's 6-10 C-USA record was its worst in league play since finishing 5-9 in its inaugural season.
The Herd's defensive woes Saturday spoiled a career-best offensive performance from Robert Goff. The senior forward obliterated his career scoring high by scoring 27 points versus the Pirates. His previous best was 14 points last season versus Belmont. Elijah Pittman scored 21 points and DeAndre Kane scored 20 versus ECU, but only three other Herd players scored at all, and none of those three scored more than Dennis Tinnon's six points.
Still, while a fresh start is a good idea, the Herd's players won't forget what it was able to do in last season's C-USA tournament. Marshall was the No. 6 seed in that bracket, but surged into its first Conference USA title game, ultimately losing to top-seeded Memphis.
"It is a reference point for us, because we have a majority of our guys that went on that run with us last year," said Herrion, who returned nine players, including three starters, from that tournament runner-up team. "Last year's team is totally different from this year's team. Starting (Saturday) night on the way home, we've been preparing. We've got to have great focus going into this week."
And, in order to eclipse last year's tournament run, win the title and snatch C-USA's automatic berth, Marshall has to do something it hasn't done in months - win consecutive games. The Herd won three straight between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, but hasn't won two straight since. But Herrion said worrying about a run won't do the team any good.
"All of that's irrelevant," he said. "In order to win consecutive games, you have to win your first game. Then you can focus on game two. Whoever wins this tournament will have to win three or four games in a row. But if you don't win the first one, you won't win two."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.