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Marshall lineup undecided

Oct. 30, 2013 @ 12:13 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball has a "beginning five" rather than a "starting five" with about two weeks to go before the season opens.

The quintet of Kareem Canty, DeVince Boykins, Cheikh Sane, Ryan Taylor and Elijah Pittman was sent out Monday for the beginning of a 94-60 exhibition game blowout of the Concord Mountain Lions, an NCAA Division II team, in Cam Henderson Center.

Because the Herd has so many new players (nine) and most of them haven't been on the court in an actual NCAA Division I game, head coach Tom Herrion indicated the beginning group could be different Nov. 8 when South Carolina State visits for the first regular season game.

"First game putting on a uniform, Canty," Herrion said. "First game, Sane. Half a year last year, Boykins. Pittman played. Taylor, first game. Shawn Smith, first game. Chris Thomas, first game. (Kevin) McNair, first game. (TyQuane) Goard hasn't played in two years. (Tamron) Manning played a little bit last year. (Yous) Mbao's had a cup of coffee. (Austin) Loop, first game."

Pittman, a senior forward, played the most minutes Monday with 26. Canty, a freshman point guard, was next with 25.

Herrion used 10 players for at least 15 minutes each.

"Our depth was key for us (tonight) and will be a strength of ours," the Herd's fourth-season head coach said.

Marshall wants to shift gears from last season's 13-19 team and speed up the tempo with pressure defense creating scoring opportunities.

Herrion said the defense wasn't great, but the tempo was to his liking. Full-court pressure defense led to some turnovers and quick shots that sparked the offense.

The pressure worked because Marshall played with great energy, Herrion said.

"We have to play hard," he said. "That needs to be our DNA. Our press was very effective (tonight) not just in terms of turnovers, but with a speed of play. It got them uncomfortable."

Offensively, the Herd performance was good with the exception of 16 turnovers (eight by Canty) and 22-for-38 free throw shooting.

Canty and Smith, a junior college transfer forward, led with 15 points each while Pittman, Taylor (freshman forward) and Thomas (sophomore junior college transfer guard) Taylor and Goard (sophomore transfer forward) both had 10 rebounds.

Concord, which was held to 36.5 percent shooting, had guard Ali Barnes with 15 points and forward Grant Dickinson with 13.



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