Madness set for Friday
HUNTINGTON -- Everyone agrees on Memphis as the preseason favorite in Conference USA men's basketball.
But, when practice begins Friday the 11 other teams will be lining up for their shot at the Tigers, who won the 2012 regular season title and defeated Marshall's Thundering Herd for the conference tournament championship.
At least two college basketball preseason magazines, Athlon Sports and Lindy's Sports, pick Marshall to finish high in the league.
Marshall begins practice Friday with Thundering Herd Madness, an 8 p.m. event in Cam Henderson Center with player competitions, an intra-squad scrimmage, fan giveaways and an autograph session.
Admission to the Tip-Off Club fundraiser is $5. Marshall students can get in free with proper ID.
Tickets to basketball are also good for a 5:30 p.m. volleyball match between Rice and Marshall.
Athlon picked the Herd second to Memphis and in front of UCF. It lists Marshall junior guard Dre Kane as an all-conference first team performer. The return of Kane and senior forward Dennis Tinnon means "Marshall will be really good in at least two spots," Athlon reported. It goes on to list guard Kareem Canty as a "highly regarded freshman" who should be able to create scoring opportunities for Kane and Tinnon.
The Athlon publication also mentioned guard D.D. Scarver and forward Elijah Pittman as junior college transfers who are "expected to make immediate impacts."
Despite Memphis being the "most talented" team in the conference, Athlon said Marshall "should be a legitimate threat to not only push the Tigers from January to March, but also to advance in the NCAA Tournament provided they make the field."
Lindy's projects Marshall to finish third behind Memphis (first) and UCF (second)
It mentions the importance of Kane taking his game to the next level by shooting a better percentage from 3-point range (25 percent last season) and cutting down on turnovers.
"By March, this will be a dangerous bunch, particularly if Kane jumps from good to elite," Lindy's said.
Lindy's said Canty is the league's "best playmaker/passer."