1,000-Point Scorers Come Often at Marshall

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

HUNTINGTON, WVShaquille Johnson knew how many points he needed on Sunday to do something so few have accomplished, but yet so many in Kelly Green have.


The Jacksonville, Fla. native entered Marshall’s game against Akron needing just eight points to reach a career milestone of 1,000 points and scored seven of those in the first half. Admitting later that he was keeping track of his points, Johnson missed his next three shots including a layup. He tried that layup again with 13:25 left to play in the game and made it for his eighth and ninth points of the game.


“It felt good to get that done last night,” said Johnson, who finished with a season-high 11 points. “It was a lot of hard work. Ever since I got here as a freshman I’ve been working hard. I’ve always had a good role on the team.”


Johnson has been the model of consistency during his four years at Marshall. He’s played in 112 out of a possible 113 games played, and is on pace to play in more games than any player in Marshall history.


If Johnson played baseball, he would be the perfect utility man. At 6-3, 205-pounds, he has played wherever needed. Throughout his career, he has seen minutes in the post, on the wing, as the shooting guard or at point guard. He ranks among the top 30 in games played, career assists, steals, three-pointers made and free throws made.


“It’s a great personal accomplishment,” said head coach Tom Herrion. “He’s had a pretty consistent career. He’s played a lot of games and a lot of minutes. It’s a great accomplishment for him to be honored with the other great players that have attained that mark.”


Not only did Johnson move up the all-time scoring list, now 46th with 1,003 points, but also helped the Marshall program keep pace with the blue bloods of college basketball.


The Thundering Herd is tied with West Virginia for eighth among men’s NCAA Division I programs with 48 1,000-point scorers. The list reads as a who’s who of college hoops with North Carolina (63), Louisville (62), Duke (60), Kentucky (57), Kansas (53) and Syracuse (53) making out the top six.


“It speaks so much to the D’Antoni’s, Byrd’s, Slacks, Taft, you can go on and on about how rich of tradition we have,” Herrion said of Marshall’s all-time greats. “Then you look at the teams that are on that list and the one school that jumps out at you where people would say ‘that doesn’t belong there’ is us.”


Former Marshall player Tirrell Baines reached 1,000 career points last season as did current senior Damier Pitts.


Marshall could have two 1,000-point scorers during this season too as sophomore guard DeAndre Kane has 730 career points in just 47 games played. As Marshall’s leading scorer this season at 16.7 points per game, he is on pace to reach the 1,000-point plateau towards the end of the season.


“I think it’s a great testament to the history of our program, the great players that we’ve had here and the great coaches that we’ve had here,” Herrion said.

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