That motivation came from his love of the sport. It came from the desire to take care of his family. And it came from his refusal to let an NCAA ruling derail his dreams. So when practice wasn't in session, Canty was on the court draining jump shots and running drills with fellow academic non-qualifier Ryan Taylor.
Some kids, in the face of adversity, will shy away. They'll shut down in the depression of a future on pause. Canty pushed forward. If he couldn't play right away, he'd leave no doubt that he'd be ready for the day those barriers fell.
"For that to be taken away from him at that point, he handled it really well," Herrion said. "He and Taylor, from the people that were able to work with those guys day in and day out last year, they worked harder than any guys who have sat out, under the rules.
"They've invested more time than anyone we've had before," Herrion added. "That says a lot about their character and how they approached that sit-out season."
Canty said that, as much as he worked on becoming a better point guard in that year on the sideline, he worked just as hard at improving as a leader. And with four of five starters from last season gone via graduation or transfer, there's a leadership void he can fill.
But Canty added that, even with so many new faces on the Herd roster, getting the team to mesh hasn't been tough.
"It's been easier that what people would think," he said. "People aren't coming in here with the mindset of just wanting to take over. People are coming in and just jelling, becoming more of a family and everyone is just working with more team chemistry."
Team. Canty can use that word now and call himself part of Marshall's team with no qualifiers. No roadblocks. No hurdles. And for him, nothing feels finer.
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.