Thursday, September 27, 2012

Center court with Herd guard Chris Martin

Most 8-year-old boys are making a ruckus during third grade recess or riding their bicycles around the neighborhood. Others are locked in their rooms playing video games and watching the newest cartoons. Chris Martin on the other hand chose a different path.
Martin is entering his sophomore season with Marshall University men’s basketball program. Rewind 11 years and the young Martin is sitting in an elementary school classroom starring at a chalkboard. It is during this time Martin said he started to pick up a basketball.

“I was 8-years-old when I started playing competitively and going to AAU tournaments,” Martin said.

Martin, an Upper Marlboro, MD, native, was traveling and playing in the Amateur Athletic Union at a time when most of his classmates were shooting a basketball around in their driveway. Fascinated by the sport, Martin soon began playing with the DC Assault AAU team and said it was a good way to get recognized nationally at a young age.

“Its competitive,” Martin said. “You get your name out there and play against the top talent in the country. I had a great time on DC Assault.”

Growing up the D.C. native frequently watched Washington Wizards games and said he enjoyed watching Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison.

Entering high school Martin already had the interest of several division one colleges. Martin attended St. John’s College High School in Chevy Chase, D.C., for his first three years before transferring his senior year to St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, N.J. Martin said transferring high schools was a decision based on family and opportunity.

“I have a lot of family in the New York area,” Martin said. “I just felt like the opportunity at St. Patrick was something I just couldn’t pass up. I had a great senior year.”

While at St. Patrick High School, the 6 foot 185 pound point guard, played with former Kentucky guard, and the second overall draft pick in 2012 NBA draft, in Michael Kidd-Gilchrest and Derrick Gordon of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“That is one of my best friends (Gordon),”Martin said. “He is like one of my brothers.”

While at St. Patrick Martin played against Austin Rivers who played at Duke University and was drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in the 2012 NBA draft and is also the son of Boston Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers. Martin was in a documentary and also shot in a three-point contest on CBS. Martin said it was a special senior year.

Martin has worn several different numbers throughout his basketball career before settling on the number zero at Marshall. At St. John’s Martin wore the number 11.

“I liked 11 because I looked up to John Wall coming out of high school and he wore it at Kentucky,” Martin said.

At St. Patrick Martin wore number 23 because a teammate of his was already wearing number 11. Martin chose to wear the number zero when he joined the Herd program.

“I grew up watching Gilbert Arenas,” Martin said. “I chose zero when I got to college because I love Arenas’ game.”

Whatever the number is Martin has produced both on and off the court. This season Martin said he is ready and motivated to show Marshall fans his potential.

“I didn’t really play that much last year, so I am just excited to show the fans what I can do,” Martin said. “I feel real excited this year.”

Head Coach Tom Herrion said that Martin played big when he had opportunities last season.

“The limited minutes that he played he had some big moments for us,” Herrion said. “We believe in Chris. He has made a lot of good strides.”

The 2011 men’s basketball team featured to experienced senior guards in Damier Pitts and Shaquille Johnson. Martin said he was able to learn from the two seniors in his freshman year, especially when it came to defense.

“Defense is so important on this level and I had to tighten up my defense going against them (Pitts and Johnson) everyday in practice. They were kicking my butt when I first got here,” said Martin with a chuckle. “I got a little stronger and better and was competing with them everyday.”

Martin said he learned a lot from his freshman year and is ready for the season to begin. A standout player everywhere he has been, Martin is looking to make a name for himself in a Thundering Herd uniform.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Marshall 2012-2013 men’s basketball schedule

The 2012-2013 Marshall University men’s basketball schedule features 12 teams that advanced to postseason play this past season, including eight in the NCAA tournament and a trip to Lexington to face off against the defending NCAA champion Wildcats.

Marshall will play seven teams that finished the 2011-2012 season inside the RPI top 50. The Herd will play South Dakota St., Nevada, Cincinnati, Ohio, Memphis, Southern Miss Kentucky.

Marshall finished the last season with a strength of schedule inside the top 30.

The Thundering Herd will play host to Bluefield College in their lone exhibition game on Oct. 29 before the regular season starts against Longwood (Nov. 9) at home. The Herd then travel to Philadelphia, to take on Villanova (Nov. 11) in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warriors Project.

The 2K Sports Classic then moves north to Long Island N.Y. where the Herd will play the University of District of Columbia (Nov. 16), South Dakota St. (Nov.17) and finishing out the tournament against Hofstra (Nov.18).

After some time on the road the Herd will return to the Cam Henderson Center for a three game home stand against Nevada (Nov. 24), Morehead State (Nov. 28) and UNC Wilmington (Dec. 1).

Marshall will play their next opponent, West Virginia (Dec. 5), in the annual Capital Classic in Charleston. The Herd will face Coppin State for the first time (Dec. 8) in Huntington.

The Thundering Herd will make a trip back to Charleston on (Dec. 15) to play host to the Cincinnati Bobcats, who advanced to the sweet sixteen in last years NCAA tournament.

Savannah State visits Huntington on (Dec. 19) before the Herd head west one state to square off against the defending NCCA champions the Kentucky Wildcats on (Dec. 22). This game will air on ESPN 2.

January starts off with a home game against Delaware State (Jan. 2) followed by a trip to Athens, Ohio (Jan.5) to take on the Ohio Bobcats in the last non-conference opponent of the season.

Conference play opens up at home against Tulsa (Jan. 9) before travelling to play UTEP (Jan. 12). The Herd will then battle East Carolina inside the Henderson Center (Jan. 19). A two game road trip is then in store for Marshall, with visits to Southern Miss (Jan. 23) and Memphis (Jan. 26). The Herd will wrap up the month of January with a home game against SMU (Jan. 30).

February begins at home against UCF (Feb. 2), with trips to Tulane (Feb. 6) and UAB (Feb. 9) to follow. Marshall then will have a two game home stand against Rice (Feb. 13) and Memphis (Feb. 16).

Marshall’s remaining five games will have the team traveling to three different states and two home games. The team will play at UCF (Feb. 20), home against UAB (Feb. 23), at Houston (March 2), home against Southern Miss (March 6) and finishing up on the road against East Carolina (March 9).

The Conference USA tournament will be March 13-16 in Tulsa, Okla.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New faces to wear Herd men's basketball uniforms

College basketball season is right around the corner. For Marshall University’s men’s basketball program the expectations continue to ascend. The teams success not only lies in the returning veterans, but also in the hands of the new pieces to the puzzle.

The Thundering Herd men’s basketball team welcomes six new faces to the program.

Freshmen Kareem Canty, Austin Loop and Tamron Manning join the Thundering Herd along with three college transfers in TyQuane Goard, Elijah Pitman and D.D. Scarver. Goard will sit out for the 2012-2013 season, due to NCAA transfer rules.

In addition to the six newcomers to the team, a familiar face in DeVince Boykins, a redshirt freshman, who sat out last season, but was with the Herd during the season and was able to acclimate himself to the college basketball scene.

Tom Herrion enters his third season as Head Coach of Marshall men’s basketball. Herrion has posted consecutive 20 plus winning seasons including the programs first trip to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in over 20 years.

With the departure of Damier Pitts, Shaquille Johnson and Dago Pena, the Thundering Herd enter the 2012-2013 season without three of the teams top six scorers. The team does maintain three starters off of last years squad, including the teams leading scorer in DeAndre Kane and the teams leading rebounder in Dennis Tinnon.

Pittman and Scarver will have to earn their minutes in a deep and experienced frontcourt.  Tinnon, Nigel Spikes, Robert Goff, Yous Mbao and Jamir Hanner all return with at least one season under their belt.

Marshall’s backcourt returns two players who stepped on the hardwood in a Herd uniform last year in Kane and Chris Martin. Canty, Loop, Manning and Boykins will have an opportunity to compete for playing time alongside Kane and Martin.

Herrion has depth at the guard position, but who will fill those slots depends on the new members work ethic in the coming weeks.

Fall practice and an exhibition game against Bluefield College October 29 will determine who fits in Herrion’s rotation for the upcoming season.


Redshirt freshman DeVince Boykins joined Marshall men’s basketball program last season. In high school Boykins led East Rutherford to a 2-A championship. He was the star of the team finished his senior season averaging 17.2 points and 13.5 rebounds per game.

Boykins had offers to play college basketball at Marquette, Miami (FL) and South Carolina before ultimately choosing Marshall. The East Rutherford star stands six feet four inches tall and is built like a football player. His size places him as one of the bigger guards on the Thundering Herd squad.

Boykins was allowed to play in the teams 2011 exhibition match against Northern Kentucky. He played 13 minutes in the contest and recorded two points, two rebounds and a steal. Boykins will look to contribute to the Herd this season.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Favorite Blog (Assignment 5)

Just three days remain until the Jacksonville Jaguars step onto the gridiron and yet speculation surrounds a decimated franchise. The team has undergone some major changes since 2011, including having a new owner, a sophomore quarterback who struggled mightily in 2011 and having a first-round draft pick arrested. A lot of questions loom around the organization.

ESPN does not give national attention to the Jaguars, but ( highlights everything one would like to know about the team. The blog has the simple aspects such as the Jaguars schedule, but it also contains video, tickets and statistics.

This blog gives Jaguars fans an in-depth look at the team. Sure it's nice to hear about the Jaguars on TV, but fans of the organization would like to know a little bit more and this blog fulfills those needs. Readers get to see the behind-the-scenes actions of the Jaguars per se.  

The blog has several elements that appeal to fans. Injury updates, fantasy advice and reports from team practice can all be found. The sources are credible and are always working to release the most up-to-date information.

One of the more appealing aspects to the blog is the ability for fans to interact and voice their opinions. The blog has a page called "FanPosts" and another titled "FanShots," which allow readers from across the country to post their thoughts or pictures.

Big Cat Country focuses on the Jaguars, but it also contains content on the opponent  each week. In this instance the blog focuses on each team and dissects several aspects of each game. This blog handles everything one would need involving the Jaguars.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Eddie Sullivan returns to Huntington

     The Thundering Herd football team returns home from Mountaineer Field to play host to the Western Carolina Catamounts. The big headline surrounding Marshall's home opener is the return of former Herd quarterback Eddie Sullivan. Sullivan was a three star recruit from Boca Raton high school who competed for Marshall's 2011 starting job before ultimately losing it to true freshman Rakeem Cato.

     Sullivan left the Thundering Herd football program and in the Spring of 2012 he enrolled at Western Carolina. The ex-Thundering Herd quarterback will step onto Joan C. Edwards Stadium and battle his former team.

     Sullivan will stand on the opposing sideline looking at his former team and teammates. One of those players will be the Cato. The Thundering Herd sophomore quarterback is coming off a stellar performance  against West Virginia.

     Cato completed 38 of-54 passes for 413 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The last time a Herd quarterback threw for over 400 yards was in 2007 when Bernard Morris threw for 417 against New Hampshire. The 38 completions thrown by Cato are a new regular-season record for completions, surpassing the previous high of 37 thrown by Byron Leftwich, who also holds the completion record for postseason games-- 41 completions at the 2001 GMAC Bowl.

      He was replaced by freshman Troy Mitchell, who took full advantage of his situation by completing 20 of-29 passes, while racking up 189 total yards and adding two rushing touchdowns in a blowout victory. Western Carolina's head coach Mark Speir said that both quarterbacks will play against the Thundering Herd.

     Sullivan, although he will be splitting snaps with Mitchell, will be a focal point for Herd fans who want to see how he plays in his return to Huntington. Looking across the field Sullivan will see plenty of familiar faces, but when the teams step on the field, it's time to play football.