CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The bassline to a Queen/David Bowie collaborative hit has been playing on repeat inside my head since Marshall's turnover-filled 72-56 loss to No. 11 Cincinnati on Saturday.
The non-conference game at the Charleston Civic Center included a season-high 20 turnovers for the ball handling-challenged Thundering Herd (6-5). Another statistical eyesore: there were more than twice as many turnovers than assists (nine).
Marshall has had more assists than turnovers just four times in 11 games this season.
It's no wonder third-year Coach Tom Herrion is off to the worst start in his seven-year head coaching career. Considering this team's myriad of issues, it'd be a coaching triumph if Marshall could even sniff the 22 and 21 wins it picked up in Herrion's first two seasons here.
There are four non-conference games left, two of which come on the road against Kentucky (defending national champions) and Ohio (Sweet 16 qualifier last season). Assuming Marshall holds serve in the other two games, Herrion's Thundering Herd could be 8-7 entering Conference USA play on Jan. 5.
That'd mean needing a 13-3 league mark - while overcoming major personnel issues - to simply match last season's wins, although ostensibly there'd be a couple postseason opportunities to pad that total.
The main issue thus far has been the well-documented NCAA ruling against touted point guard Kareem Canty, which forced Herrion to shuffle the lineup and put leading scorer DeAndre Kane at point guard.
Now, however, Kane is out indefinitely with a broken hand, an injury that is shrouded in mystery because Herrion has been mum on how it occurred.
What isn't a mystery is how teams will attack Marshall going forward. Herrion knew Cincinnati - with superior and more experienced athletes in the backcourt - would apply pressure on the Herd's young guards.
Marshall committed 11 turnovers in the first 10:46 of the game, and didn't score a point inside the arc until there was 8:48 left in the first half.
"Their pressure didn't allow us to get into very much offense," Herrion admitted. "Their pressure didn't allow us to get into any offensive flow or rhythm."
Herrion used nine players against Cincinnati (10-0), one of nine remaining unbeatens in Division I college basketball.
Eight of those Herd players committed a turnover, save for sophomore forward Jamir Hanner, who logged just two minutes.