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Herd returns from Canada run

Aug. 21, 2013 @ 11:35 PM

HUNTINGTON -- The scoreboard was lit and the lights were on for the Marshall University men's basketball team on its Canadian exhibition tour.

One of the goals for Marshall was getting players some game experience.

Mission accomplished.

"To play five games in five days, it's something to build on," Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said. "We have light years to go. But this is really something we can build off of as we move into the start of the season."

Winning was another goal, and Marshall was 5-0 in four games against Canadian colleges and one game against the A Game Hoops elite team from a Toronto training academy.

Freshman point guard Kareem Canty, who sat out last season, averaged playing 25.8 minutes per game.

Canty's playing time trailed only senior forward Elijah Pittman and sophomore guard Tamron Manning with 26.2 minutes a game. Pittman is a returning starter and the top returning scorer with a 16.1 average. Manning started five games as a freshman and played 11.0 minutes a game.

The 6-foot-1 Canty provided double-figure scoring in all five games and led the Thundering Herd with an 18.8 average. He also had 28 assists and 19 turnovers.

Pittman put up 16.4 points pulled down 7.4 rebounds a game.

Another newcomer who needed game time was freshman forward Ryan Taylor, and he played for 17.8 minutes per contest. The 6-5 Taylor was on the court for only six minutes against Western University when he rolled an ankle.

Taylor's contribution of 12.0 points and 8.2 rebounds included three double-double performances.

Ohio University transfer forward TyQuane Goard from Charleston who also had to sit out the 2012-13 season got 24.0 minutes a game on the trip. Goard averaged 10.4 points and 7.0 rebounds.

Shawn Smith is a 6-6 junior college transfer who got in for an average of 22.4 minutes. Smith averaged 6.8 points and 3.6 rebounds.

Junior center J.P. Kambola played only 51 total minutes in his first two Herd seasons and was on the court for 100 in the five games while averaging 4.4 points and 6.8 rebounds with 11 blocked shots.

Austin Loop didn't appear in any games last season as a freshman, but the non-scholarship guard played for 12.8 minutes a game in Canada.

Marshall took 11 players on the trip and 10 played. Junior college transfer forward Cheikh Sane, who is originally from Senegal, traveled and didn't play. Herrion was alerted about a certification issue regarding Sane after the group arrived in Canada.

"We are confident that this will have no impact on his future once all of the documents and paperwork are completely filed," Herrion said.

Senior center Yous Mbao appeared in two of the games for a total of five minutes as he continues rehab for a knee injury.

Justin Edmonds, a junior college transfer guard, is also rehabbing a knee injury and didn't travel.

Marshall averaged 85.6 points in five games while allowing 65.8. The Herd made 50.9 percent of its field goal attempts, 36.3 percent on 3-pointers and 53.5 percent on free throws.

Taylor led Marshall to a plus-8.8 rebound margin.

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