Another piece of the Virginia men’s basketball schedule was announced this week as CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein took to Twitter to share that the Cavaliers would host the Marshall Thundering Herd this coming season.
Virginia will host Marshall as part of its 2018-19 non-conference schedule, per a source.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 23, 2018
Virginia will have its hands full with the Herd, which is coming off of a successful tournament run that saw them upset Wichita State in the first round before falling to West Virginia in the second. Marshall played the sixth fastest tempo last season and are a team that is stylistically opposed to the Cavaliers. Virginia, of course, was dead last in 351st nationally.
The Thundering Herd will likely return all of their major players as they only had one senior who saw consistent time last season, Dani Koljanin, but he was “nearly invisible” per KenPom (he was used in fewer than 12% of their possessions). Marshall’s superstar guard Jon Elmore is the big question mark as he has declared for the draft, but has not hired an agent. This is the second straight season that Elmore has declared for the NBA Draft, withdrawing last summer to return to campus. Elmore averaged 22.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists in 38.3 minutes per game last season as a do-it-all guard. From the field, Elmore shot 44% (36% from three), and he has the ability to take over a game.
The deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft is June 11.
Outside of Elmore, the Herd return guard C.J. Burks (20.1 points per game) and forward Ajdin Penava (15.6 points per game, 134 blocks).
This is a solid non-conference game for the Hoos and a good gauge of the defense early in the season as Marshall will come into Charlottesville more than capable of pulling off the upset. Elmore is a difficult player to guard and has the speed and quickness of small guards (he’s 6-3) that has bothered Virginia in the past.
In addition to Marshall, the Hoos have been confirmed to play in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas November 21-23 and will travel to South Carolina to face the Gamecocks on December 18 before conference play kicks off. Virginia’s ACC matchups (but not dates) were announced by the league back in April and feature home and away games with Louisville, Virginia Tech, Duke, and Notre Dame.