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Herrion: Thursday's scrimmage all business

Oct. 16, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball coach Tom Herrion is a big fan of a new NCAA rule that allowed the Thundering Herd to begin practice about two weeks earlier than the past.

Tuesday was Marshall's 14th practice since getting started Sept. 27. The Herd is permitted 30 practice days before its first game, which is Nov. 8 at home against South Carolina State. The team also had 10 days of practice In August before playing five exhibition games in Canada.

"I am thrilled with the new rule of practicing earlier because we needed it," Herrion said.

Marshall has five returning players from a 2012-13 team that had a 13-19 record joined by nine newcomers on a squad of 14, and everyone is expected to play Thursday in a Green-White scrimmage.

Herd practice sessions have been long, but Herrion said it hasn't felt that way because he's energized by the work habits and attitudes of the players.

"We're making good progress, but I'll be the first to admit we've got a long, long way to go," he said.

Marshall fans will take their first look at this season's teams during a Thursday night of drills and Green-White scrimmages in Cam Henderson Center. Herd men's and women's teams will be participating.

Herrion said it will be something different than what fans are accustomed to seeing at season tip-off affairs.

"Very little of the bells and whistles and more of a function for us playing in front of people," he said. "It will be a bit more of a business-like approach for us."

College-level referees will officiate the men's intra-squad game that will consist of a 20-minute first half, 20 minutes of halftime and a second half with the length to be determined, Herrion said. During halftime one Marshall student will have a chance to win a new Hyundai Veloster from Dutch Miller. Herrion will draw the name of a student who will take a half-court shot.

Teams will be split evenly into opposing squads, but players will likely cross over.

Cheikh Sane, a 6-foot-9 junior transfer from Snow College in Utah, had a certification issue as an international student from Senegal that was resolved.

Herrion said credit goes to compliance director Andrew Donovan and his staff for getting Sane cleared.

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