“Marshall? Oh man.”
That’s what Mike Gansey said after spotting the Marshall University skull cap I was wearing Tuesday. It was all good.
See, Gansey, who just joined the Erie BayHawks last week, was a star player at West Virginia and years before that, I was a sports editor at Marshall University.
Marshall and WVU are state rivals.
We both laughed about it and although I was planning to talk with new BayHawk about his first season in the D-League, I decided to interview him about WVU and what’s going on with his former coach at WVU, Michigan head coach John Beilein.
Just for the record, Gansey is averaging 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in his four games with the BayHawks, who are 3-1 with him on the team. He’s started every game for Erie since getting traded there from Idaho for Donell Taylor.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
On watching WVU now. Under Bob Huggins, the Mountaineers are 12-2 and ranked 10th in the AP poll: “It’s fun to watch them. Obviously in the summer, I go back to see Coach Huggins and see some of the guys. Obviously when I was with Coach (John) Beilein, we kind of brought West Virginia basketball back. And now Huggins has kind of just taken it to a different level. Top 10 this year. Bringing in some good players. I’m just excited.”
On keeping up in touch with Beilein: His son Patrick was my roommate (at WVU) and is my best friend. I talk to (Beilein) every other day. I’ve been to Michigan in the summer to see him and stuff and I keep up with (Michigan) just as much as I do with West Virginia.
On Michigan. Under Beilein, the Wolverines were a preseason Top 15 team this year after earning a bid in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, but are now 8-7 and just lost at home to Northwestern, 68-62. Gansey was wearing a Michigan skull cap and shirt during the interview: “DeShawn Sims, who they play at the 5 now, is a pretty good outside shooter right now, but for whatever reason, they’re not living up to that ranking they had in the preseason. They had a very tough non-conference schedule playing Kansas and some bigger teams, but I think having a shooter or not, as long as you can shoot the 17-footer? As long as he can keep the defense honest and go to the perimeter a little bit, I think it helps. Obviously with Michigan now, they’re struggling so hopefully they can get some wins here.”