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Blog: Where the Cell Phones Roam

Shawn Smith prior to Friday's game with Algoma.

Aug 17, 2013

- Photo Gallery

By STEVEN SCHOON Associate Sports Information Director

Despite departing Cam Henderson Center at 7 a.m. to play a game at 8 p.m. in another country, the Marshall men's basketball team had no problem dispensing of Algoma University on Friday 99-54.

The trip north of the border went off without a hitch. Now that we are in this country, it will be interesting to see how a group of 18-23 year olds survive without their cell phones. As we approached the boarder on Friday, south of Detroit, the triangle that dictates roaming on a cell phone began popping up on devices in the bus.

Some turned them off to avoid any additional costs, Canada native JP Kambola has a phone with international service and then Elijah Pittman decided to call customer service of his cell provider, Sprint.

After an entertaining conversation, Pittman settled on the text only international plan for the next five days, cell crises avoided.

Tom Herrion talked to the media before the trip about this being good bonding time for the players, and now the lack of cell phones creates more time to develop some team chemistry.

Algoma vs. Marshall; The Day After
The Herd led from the opening tip and easily defeated the undersized Algoma team (no player above six-foot, five-inches). Marshall's travel time was roughly seven hours on Friday while Algoma surprisingly had a six-hour trip.

Although the Thunderbirds were clearly the inferior team, the Thundering Herd laid it on them with suffocating defense and a high-paced offense. I've seen every game Marshall has played for the past two years and I can't remember a game where they dove on the floor that much. Sacrificing bodies in an August exhibition game when having a 30 point lead is a good sign of things to come I'd say.

Redshirt freshman Ryan Taylor earns my MVP vote for the game after leading all players with 20 points and 10 rebounds on an impressive 10-of-13 shooting in just 23 points off the bench. The 6-5 forward ran the floor beautifully and showcased his leaping ability with two rim-rattling dunks including a monster one-handed fastbreak dunk as time expired in the first quarter.

I was also impressed with the way Kareem Canty ran the floor. The redshirt freshman scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting and had six assists in just 22 minutes off the bench.

The starting lineup, last night consisting of Shawn Smith, TyQuane Goard, JP Kambola, DeVince Boykins and Tamron Manning will no doubt change from game-to-game in Canada.

In His Words - DeVince Boykins
On playing the day of travel - "Having to do that is pretty hard on your body, but I thought we handled it well. We had some guys get tired, but we had subs to give us energy. We cheered for each other and made the game fun." What's the biggest sign you aren't in the United States? - "I'd say the TV channels. There is not a lot on the TV's to watch."

How did you play Friday? - "I thought I played okay, I had some easy shots that I missed, but overall it was good. I tried to be a vocal leader on the court and just bring a lot of energy to let the guys play off of it."

Who impressed you? - "I was most impressed with watching Ryan Taylor, he's a very basic player, but he scores quiet. You wouldn't think that he had 20 and 10 yesterday, but he did and he had those two highlight dunks."

Are you using your cell phone? - "I downloaded a texting app. It is more bonding for sure because most of us aren't worried about talking on our cell phones and talking back home. From the morning to the time of the game it is more of a team bonding type of thing."

Word of the Day
Washroom - a public toilet or what we in the U.S.A. call a restroom

Canada TV
Perhaps the most glaring observation that we're not in "The States" as they call it here are the channels on the television, more importantly, ESPN. It turns out that when Tony Kornheiser says "Goodnight Canada" at the end of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, he really means it. ESPN signs off at 6 p.m. ET and on comes TSN's SportsCentre, SportsCenter for Canada. The best that I can describe it would be if Kenny Mayne hosted SportsCenter with his clone. See for yourself...