HUNTINGTON - College basketball analyst Jeff Goodman had good things to say about Marshall University men's basketball team after working the Thundering Herd game Thursday at Old Dominion University.
On a Good 'N Plenty podcast Goodman does on Twitter the WatchStadium.com reporter posted about Marshall freshman Taevion Kinsey.
"There's a kid honestly that people need to watch," Goodman said. "A kid named Taevion Kinsey. It's a name you're going to want to know. ... I think this kid could be a pro."
Goodman wasn't so complimentary of Marshall back in 2014 when he was an ESPN reporter. At that time he posted on social media that "Conference USA coaches are texting me at a furious rate downright giddy by the fact that Marshall hired Dan D'Antoni (as head coach)."
D'Antoni and Goodman had an amiable meeting before Marshall's 70-67 victory at ODU.
Kinsey, a 6-foot-5 guard playing the power forward position for the first time against the Monarchs, scored 13, snagged seven rebounds, delivered three assists, blocked three shots and made one steal.
"He is a freshman," Goodman tweeted. "He is about 6-5 maybe, long (with a) 42-inch vertical (leap) from Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State didn't give him a sniff. I'm going to call (OSU head coach) Chris Holtmann and remind him. Not a great shooter yet. Played the point (guard) in high school. Spent the last two days learning the four (power forward position) in practice.
"Has energy, plays hard, smart kid. He's not a one-and-done or a two-and-done, but I think he's got a great future."
Kinsey made his second start Saturday in a Marshall victory at Charlotte (85-84 victory) and was equally impressive with 14 points, five rebounds, three assists, one block and two steals.
"It was an experience I didn't think I was going to get (Saturday)," Kinsey said in a post-game interview with Steve Cotton, the radio Voice of the Herd on the Thundering Herd IMG Sports Network. "Any experience he (D'Antoni) puts me in there any amount of minutes I'm grateful for anything I can get."
Kinsey was rewarded for his performances Monday with Conference USA Freshman of the Week recognition after helping Marshall (9-6) get off to a 2-0 conference start.
NBA Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni offered some advice to Dan D'Antoni, his older brother, after watching Marshall workouts last summer. Iran Bennett, a 6-9 redshirt freshman wasn't in good physical condition then and Mike D'Antoni said the Herd should go with smaller players such as Kinsey. Bennett broke his foot in December after appearing in 12 games (seven starts), opening the door for Kinsey's emergence.
Dan D'Antoni had the freshman on the court against Charlotte for the full 40 minutes.
"I couldn't take him off the floor," the coach said. "He doesn't make mistakes, he's a very good defensive player and very efficient offensively. High shooting percentage, no turnovers, throw in an assist every now and then so it's hard to get him off the floor.
"He gets to the basket so fast he forces the defense to react quicker."
Kinsey has appeared in every game for Marshall with season averages of 7.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals. He has 12 steals and seven blocked shots.
Marshall began promoting a "Stripe the Cam" fan promotion for a 7 p.m. Saturday conference showdown with Western Kentucky University in Cam Henderson Center even before the Herd went on the road and won at Old Dominion and Charlotte. Marshall beat WKU (8-7, 1-1 C-USA) last season in the conference tournament finals, but the Hilltoppers were predicted to finish ahead of the Herd in the C-USA preseason poll of coaches. Fans are asked to wear either green or white depending on the section their seats are in. A seating diagram on Twitter @HerdZone shows the sections.
Lower level tickets are sold out. Only upper level tickets remain available for $25 (plus a $2 fee) and $15 (with a $1.50 additional fee).