Oct. 14, 2011
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -
Marshall's 2011-12 basketball season officially got underway on Friday with its annual Thundering Herd Madness at the Cam Henderson Center.
After the a lights-out spotlight introduction of the staff, coaches and players, the balls got rolling with a two-ball competition won by senior guard Damier Pitts and sophomore guard Justin Howe.
Competing in the dunk contest was junior forward Robert Goff, freshman guard DeVince Boykins, freshman forward Jamir Hanner and freshman guard Justin Coleman. After two rounds it was Goff and Coleman in the finals. Both were very competitive in the finals, but Coleman's alley-oop off the side of the backboard 360 jam won the crowd over and was declared the champion.
Goff also performed well in the Green-White scrimmage as the transfer scored 19 points to lead the Green team to a 64-55 win. Senior guard Dago Pena added 17 points for the winning team.
The White team was led by freshman guard Chris Martin's 19 points. Junior forward Dennis Tinnon joined Martin in double figures with 12.
"I loved it," Tinnon said. "This was my first time in this type of atmosphere. It gave me the jitters a little bit. It means a lot to see that we have so much support here."
The 20-minute scrimmage had an NBA All-Star type flow to it and the players did their best to play to the 4,124 fans in attendance including former Marshall All-American Russell Lee.
"It's all for the fans," Tinnon said. "We wanted to show the fans that we can still have fun. Once the real games come in, we'll be serious."
Head coach Tom Herrion addressed the crowd throughout the night and shared in the crowd's anticipation for the season.
"We're about to go on a journey," Herrion announced to the crowd. "We started our journey at practice this afternoon. I want all of our fans to get on a journey with us because we are going to go for a magical ride."
Herrion said the staff in anxious for its second practice of the season on Saturday.
"We have a lot of pieces both old and new," Herrion said after the event. "So that's an exciting challenge for me and my staff. We've got to continue to get better each day and we'll start by getting after it tomorrow morning."