Herd Men’s Hoops Set to Tipoff Against Tennessee at Martin for Season Opener
Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Head coach Dan D’Antoni is set to begin his fourth year at the helm of the Marshall men’s basketball program, as it opens against Tennessee at Martin on Friday, Oct. 10, at 8 p.m. at the Cam Henderson Center.
HAVE YOU HERD
The Thundering Herd won both of its exhibition games against West Virginia Tech and West Virginia Wesleyan by a combined margin of 36 points.
In Marshall’s first contest, junior guard C.J. Burks led the Herd with 23 points. Junior guard Jon Elmore had 18 and West had 16. Junior forward Ajdin Penava had 14 points, five rebounds and five assists. Redshirt freshman Jannson Williams added 12 points with two blocks. The Herd made 18 3-pointers, one shy of tying a team record.
In the second exhibition contest, the Thundering Herd had double-digit point production from Elmore with 11 points, Penava with 14 points, sophomore forward Phil Bledsoe with 14 points and Burks with a game-high 18 points. Marshall shot just 9-37 from behind the arc, but managed to score 32 points off turnovers compared to Wesleyan’s five.
SCOUTING THE SKYHAWKS
UT Martin head coach Anthony Stewart presides over a roster that includes four returners and 10 newcomers. The Skyhawks have won 20-plus games for three straight seasons for the first time in program history. Tennessee at Martin looks to make its fourth consecutive postseason bid after earning a program-best 22 wins during the 2016-17 season. The Skyhawks were picked to finish sixth in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason media poll.
WHO TO KNOW
Senior guard Matthew Butler is UT Martin’s lone returning starter, as the Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference honoree averaged 13.7 points, 3.7 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game in 2016-17. He knocked down 82 trifectas while dialing up three 25-plus point performances as a redshirt junior. Fatodd Lewis (6.6 points, 4.3 rebounds per game) is expected to slide into a starting role after serving as UT Martin’s sixth man last season, as he is joined by returning senior Kahari Beaufort (3.2 points per game, six starts) and returning sophomore Mike Fofana (52.4 percent shooting in 19 games).
Nine newcomers will also look to make an impact for UT Martin this season, eight of whom are upperclassmen. Delfincko Bogan, Dominique Williams and Lorenzen Wright, Jr. bring prior Division-I experience while Jerome Davis, Jailen Gill, Terrence Parker, Darius Thompson and Dalen Victor join the Skyhawks after successful junior college careers.
The Thundering Herd and the Skyhawks will meet for the first and only time since the 1994-95 season. Marshall faced Tennessee at Martin on Dec. 9, 1994 at a neutral site. The Herd won, 92-84.
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