HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - For Tamron Manning and the few other returning Marshall basketball players, they have gotten used to Shawn Smith, Chris Thomas and all those new faces.
But Thundering Herd fans have not. Tonight is their first chance to get acquainted.
Marshall's men's and women's teams will conduct a public scrimmage tonight at Cam Henderson Center, with the women beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the men following at 7.
With eight new players, including 2012-13 nonqualifier Kareem Canty and Ohio transfer TyQuane Goard, it is nearly impossible to peg the Herd's place in the brave new world of Conference USA.
The league may not be better at the top, but it may be deeper in quality teams. One thing for sure: There are eight new members in a mosh pit of 16 teams in a single division.
Another thing is certain: This Herd team has a more substantial chance to become more integrated than other teams with that many new faces.
"It was freaky to us then," Manning said of seeing all those new players. "But I'm excited how we are, and the new guys we've got. I think we've got a lot of good people to mix in with how Coach wants to play, and stuff like that. So I think we're really going to be good, and I'm excited about it."
Tonight's scrimmage is about the same date and time as the former Thundering Herd Madness, but Division I teams are further along under the new practice structure. Teams are given 30 practices spread over 42 days, and Marshall had its 14th practice Tuesday.