Oct. 31, 2011
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -
Marshall opens its 2011-12 men's basketball season with an exhibition game against Northern Kentucky at the Cam Henderson Center on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Head coach Tom Herrion begins his second season at Marshall and brings back four starters off of last season's team that held a record of 22-12 and reached the CollegeInsider.com Tournament for the second consecutive year.
Four of the top six scorers return including senior guard Damier Pitts who averaged 16.2 points to lead the team last season. The Herd also returns the 2011 Conference USA Freshman of the Year in sophomore guard DeAndre Kane. Pitts is joined by guards Shaquille Johnson and Dago Pena as the only seniors on the team.
Eight newcomers join the squad including a pair of junior college transfers Robert Goff and Dennis Tinnon. Freshmen DeVince Boykins, Justin Coleman, Jamir Hanner, JP Kambola and Chris Martin will all get the chance to play in their first collegiate game.
Northern Kentucky faces Marshall in its first of three exhibition games. The NCAA Division II school, located in Highland Heights, Ky., was picked to finish fourth in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Last year's team went 21-9 overall and finished third in the GLVC with a 12-6 record.
The Norse will deal with the challenge of replacing its top six scorers from last season including its entire starting five. Senior guard Jon Van Hoose is the team's top returning scorer at 5.7 points per game. Among NKU's 10 newcomers are three players who transferred from NCAA Division I programs in Eshaunte Jones (Nebraska), DeAndre Nealy (Kent State) and Chad Jackson (James Madison).
The exhibition game will be broadcast on 88.1 FM WMUL and online at www.marshall.edu/wmul. Fans can follow the action via live stats at HerdZone.com.