Thursday Night Thunder Kicks Off Hoops Season

Marshall coach Greg White unveiled his 2002-2003 squad at Thursday Night Thunder, in front of about 2,200 basketball fans. A dunk contest, three-point shootout, and a team scrimmage highlighted the evening...

"It feels good, man," said guard Ronald Blackshear after the scrimmage. "We're very athletic. I think we're ready to run, all day."

Lone senior Monty Wright popped in the game-winning three-pointer with just 10 seconds remaining to give his green team the win over the white squad during a 20-minute scrimmage, 30-29. Wright led all scorers with 13 points. Newcomer Marvin Black (6-7, 210), a transfer from Coffeyville Community College, was the star of the scrimmage. Black dominated the boards throughout the scrimmage, and hauled down 6 rebounds to go with his 10 points.

Marvin Black finished one of his dunks by looking down in the basket at TNT.

"I've been looking forward to this for about a year," said freshman center Mark Patton, a product of Cabell-Midland High School. "We're very athletic, we're quick, so hopefully we'll be able to get out on the fast-break."White's young team, comprised of three freshmen (Patton, Lavar Carter, and Renardo Dixon), five sophomores (A.W. Hamilton, Serge Babo, Enoch Bunch, Ronny Dawn, and David Anderson), four juniors (Black, Blackshear, Joe Dressel, and Ardo Armpalu), and the lone senior in Monty Wright, has only had about six workouts this season, so only the basics have been covered. "We've only had about six workouts, so we are still in the beginning stages of installing our offense," head coach Greg White said. "For a lot of our young guys this is a big experience for them playing infront of this many people."

Serge Babo drives on Ardo Armpalu during the scrimmage at TNT.

Marshall women's star Ida Dotson teamed up with Ronald Blackshear to win the three-point shooting contest. The duo knocked down 22 points in just 35 seconds for the win. The slam-dunk contest was won by David Anderson, who brought the house down with a dunk that ended with Anderson's arm completely through the basket. Anderson palmed the ball and remained suspended, hanging from the bend of his elbow, to finish the dunk.

Marshall will return to the practice courts and continure preparation for its upcoming season. The Herd is slated to open the season with an exhibition game against WorldWide Basketball on November 7th at 7:30 p.m.

Randy Burnside of the Marshall sports information office contributed to this story.

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