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Rick McCann: Herd gets vote for Top 25

Oct. 18, 2012 @ 12:07 AM

Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball received one vote for the USA TODAY Sports men's basketball preseason Top 25.

That means one coach somewhere considers Marshall to be one of the best 25 teams.

Maybe that coach was Tim Floyd at UTEP in Conference USA. Floyd knows what Marshall has coming this season, And, he's one of the voters.

Or maybe it was Jim Boeheim at Syracuse, Rick Byrd at Belmont or Tim Cluess at Iona. They also coached against Marshall last season.

Following is the USA TODAY Board of Coaches. All 31 are NCAA Division I head coaches and members of the National Association of Basketball Coaches:

Tommy Amaker, Harvard; Tevester Anderson, Jackson State; Ronnie Arrow, South Alabama; Randy Bennett, Saint Mary's; Eddie Biedenbach, North Carolina-Asheville; Jim Boeheim, Syracuse; Rick Byrd, Belmont; Tim Cluess, Iona; Keith Dambrot, Akron; Steve Donahue, Boston College.

Scott Drew, Baylor; Matt Driscoll, North Florida; Steve Fisher, San Diego State; Bruiser Flint, Drexel; Tim Floyd, Texas-El Paso; Mark Fox, Georgia; Ben Jacobsen, Northern Iowa; Rob Jeter, Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Mike McConathy, Northwestern State; Bob McKillop, Davidson; Ron "Fang" Mitchell, Coppin State.

Matt Painter, Purdue; Dave Paulsen, Bucknell; Saul Phillips, North Dakota State; Steve Pikiell, Stony Brook; Randy Rahe, Weber State; Herb Sendek, Arizona State; Shaka Smart, Virginia Commonwealth; Andrew Toole, Robert Morris; Don Verlin, Idaho; Bob Williams, UC-Santa Barbara.

PRACTICE NOTES: Some observations from the first week of Marshall practices:

Dre Kane will get playing time at point guard.

Forward Dennis Tinnon has been getting work at the small forward position.

Nigel "Scoop" Spikes has become a better player and more of a vocal leader.

D.D. Scarver and Chris Martin can really shoot it.

Big men Rob Goff and Yous Mbao are improved players.

Tamron Manning is ahead of the curve for a freshman.

Eli Pittman is an athletically gifted forward.

TyQuane "Turk" Goard was a nice pickup from Ohio U.

DeVince Boykins is sidelined because of a knee injury.

Kareem Canty's nickname is "NuNu." Will ask him why when there's an opportunity.

Jamir Hanner is doing more things correctly as a sophomore.

PRESEASON HYPE: Yahoo! Sports picked Marshall guard Dre Kane as its projected Conference USA Player of the Year.

The website's All-CUSA first team has Kane, Memphis guard Joe Jackson, Tulane guard Ricky Tarrant, Memphis forward Adonis Thomas and UCF forward Keith Clanton.

Houston guard Daniel House was picked as the Newcomer of the Year.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Marshall graduate manager Ryan Herrion is head coach Tom Herrion's nephew. The 22-yard-old's father is Tom Herrion's brother, University of New Hampshire head coach Bill Herrion.

Ryan Herrion played for his father with the Wildcats.

HUSH-HUSH: Marshall and the Winthrop Eagles from Rock Hill, S.C., are reportedly meeting in Beckley for a closed-door scrimmage.

No fans or media are allowed to attend.

The scrimmage is in addition to an Oct. 29 exhibition game against Bluefield College in Cam Henderson Center.

BIRTHDAY WISHES: If you see Nigel Spikes on Thursday, wish him a Happy Birthday. It's his 23rd.

Sports editor Rick McCann covers Marshall men's basketball for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or hedge@herald-dispatch.com.

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