HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Kareem Canty's education in Division I college basketball has been quick, on the fly and not always easy.
The Marshall freshman coveted the role of focal point in the Thundering Herd's game plan. He got it almost immediately. And while he's won his share of honors in his first season on the court, he hasn't won a ton of games.
"That hasn't been easy at all," Canty said. "Like I've said plenty of times, I've never lost this much in my life. Coming to practice, ticked off, not sleeping at night, that doesn't help me, either."
Not all of Canty's growth as a college basketball player has come through Xs and Os. He's also learning how to better handle the bad times in order to help lead the Herd into more good times. That journey continues Thursday when Marshall (9-17, 3-8 Conference USA) hosts the University of Alabama at Birmingham at 7 p.m.
Canty came to Marshall in 2012 as a highly regarded prep player but was forced at the last minute to sit out last season as an academic non-qualifier.
He hoped the rocky start to his college career would end once he put on a Herd uniform.
No such luck.
His individual stats are stellar. He's fifth in C-USA with 16.2 points per game, third with 5.88 assists per game and was named conference freshman of the week three straight weeks in December. Yet the Harlem, N.Y., native knows point guards are measured by wins, and that's where the Herd as struggled this year.
And Canty has struggled at times to deal with that.
"He's got to learn not to wear his emotions on his sleeve," Marshall coach Tom Herrion said. "He's harder on himself than any of us are on him. Sometimes his body language exhibits that. We've talked about that a lot. That's part of his growth. When it comes down to it, guys lean on him. He's got to be our catalyst."
Canty has tried to stay positive, and said that coaches and teammates have been a great help in erasing negativity.