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Herd prepares for exhibition games in Canada

Jul. 29, 2013 @ 11:48 PM

HUNTINGTON -- If practice does indeed make perfect, the Marshall University men's basketball team will be prepared for the 2013-14 season.

Several weeks of summer workouts continued Monday, and the Thundering Herd will begin 10 days of NCAA-allowed workouts Friday before embarking on a bus trip to Canada where it will play five exhibition games. Regular preseason practice can begin Sept. 27 -- two weeks earlier than in the past.

The Herd's first regular season game is reportedly scheduled Nov. 8 against South Carolina State.

Extra practice should be beneficial for a team with several new players and coming off a 13-19 finish last season.

"It's great from a chemistry standpoint and the bonding aspect," fourth-season Marshall head coach Tom Herrion said Monday.

With all that practice comes the potential for players wearing out, and Herrion said he's conscious of that.

After completing summer school classes Marshall will board a bus Aug. 16 for Canada and play a game that night in Windsor. Opposition for five games in Windsor and Toronto will be provided by college teams and an all-star team of professionals before they head to Europe.

Herrion said everyone on the roster is eligible to participate, but some players won't.

Justin Edmonds is still rehabbing a knee injury and the junior college transfer guard will make the trip, but won't play. Senior center Yous Mbao is listed as a day-to-day decision as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery. Junior college guard Chris Thomas isn't eligible for the trip because he's not enrolled.

The trip will last five or six days.

"We're fortunate our administration allowed it to happen," Herrion said.

Herrion stressed the importance of getting extra practice time.

Score will be kept in the games, so they're playing to win, but Herrion said he wants to juggle lineups and look at a lot of different combinations.

Junior center J.P. Kambola's hometown is Toronto, but most of the players haven't visited Canada and Herrion wants to make it an educational trip too.

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