From staff and wire reports
For The Register-Herald
Marshall begins its 100th season of men’s basketball tonight when it hosts Longwood. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Thundering Herd is coming off a 94-67 rout over Bluefield College in its lone exhibition game of the season last Thursday.
Tom Herrion enters his third season as head coach of the Herd after leading the team to 20-plus wins in each of his first two seasons, including at 21-14 record last year. Three starters return from that team, which qualified for the NIT, including DeAndre Kane, a preseason Conference USA first-team selection.
It was the team’s first NIT appearance since 1988, and Herrion would like to see the program take the next logical step — the NCAA Tournament, which would be the Herd’s first since 1987.
“We’ve got to take better care of our own business,” Herrion said. “We’ve got to do a better job in that regard. You’ve got to win games. It’s on us. But we’ve got to take it one at a time. We’ve got too many challenges — in our conference, out of our conference.”
Junior forwards Robert Goff and Dennis Tinnon are the other two returning starters for the Herd. Tinnon is back as C-USA’s top returning rebounder, averaging 10 boards per game last season, which was the 22nd best mark in the NCAA. He’s one of the top players to watch in the conference as he was named to the Preseason All-Conference USA Second Team.
Five newcomers join the team, including junior college transfers Elijah Pittman and D.D. Scarver. Both players made the most of their exhibition game with Bluefield College as Scarver finished with 18 points and seven rebounds while Pittman had a game-high 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Longwood, located in Farmville, Va., is a member of the Big South Conference and returns one starter from last season’s team which went 10-21. Tristan Carey, the team’s leading scorer last season with 13.4 points and 5.1 rebounds, is back as a junior.
Mike Gillian is in his 10th season as head coach of the Lancers, who, up until this season, played as an independent.
The teams have met just twice, once in 1992 and again in 1993, with Marshall winning both games.
The game can be heard throughout the Thundering Herd/IMG Sports Network or viewed with a paid subscription to Herd All-Access via HerdZone.com.