Marshall basketball: Scarver to bring shooting touch to Herd
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Donna Scarver remembers her baby boy's first word.
"It wasn't momma or daddy," she said of her son, D.D. Scarver, who signed a letter-of-intent Saturday to play basketball at Marshall.
"His first word was ball."
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Scarver has played hoops since he was four years old. He competed the past two seasons at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, where he displayed a deft shooting touch.
Scarver was a NJCAA first-team All-American pick and the Region XIV Player of the Year after averaging 24.1 points per game this past season.
He has two seasons of collegiate eligibility left.
"The ironic thing is we recruited Scarver throughout the year," third-year Marshall Coach Tom Herrion said Monday. "We emphasized in the spring that if we brought another guy on board, it had to be a guy who makes shots."
That guy became available April 11 when Larry Eustachy left Southern Mississippi for Colorado State. Scarver had made a verbal pledge to play basketball at USM in Conference USA.
"When Larry left it opened the door for us," Herrion said.
Scarver, who is rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com, visited Marshall on April 21. He joins prep guards Kareem Canty (6-1, Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Tamron Manning (6-4, Covington, Ky.), as well as another junior college transfer, Lamar State's Elijah Pittman.
Scarver and Pittman competed in the same league, where the 6-9 Pittman was a second-team Region XIV selection.
Scarver, who is originally from Birmingham, Ala., made 23-of-44 (52 percent) of 3-pointers in his last six games at Trinity Valley. He shot 36 percent for the season.
He also made 83 percent of his free throws and made 10 or more free throws eight times last season. He was 19-of-21 on foul shots against Lon Morris College on Jan. 28.
"I've been a scorer and a shooter all my life," Scarver said.
The Thundering Herd finished last in the 12-team Conference USA in free-throw percentage last season at 61.4 percent.
Marshall was also next-to-last in 3-point shooting percentage at 31.3 percent. The team's top two 3-point shooters (by shots made), Damier Pitts and Dago Pena, have exhausted their eligibility.
"We are really excited to add a quality player like D.D. this spring," Herrion said. "He had a tremendous season for Coach Pat Smith at Trinity Valley this year. He has terrific offensive abilities and can really shoot the basketball.
"He comes from a winning culture and will be a great asset to go with our core of returning players. My staff continues to do a great job with all of our recruiting efforts."
In addition to Canty, Manning, Scarver and Pittman, academic non-qualifier Isaiah Williams is expected to gain eligibility this summer and join the team. The 6-7 wing player sat out last season, per NCAA rules.
* * *
HERRION SAID Marshall is still awaiting the NCAA's decision on Dennis Tinnon, who has applied for another year of eligibility.
Tinnon, a 6-8 forward, averaged a double-double - 10.2 points and 10.0 rebounds - in his first season with the Herd last season.
"It's in the hands of the NCAA," Herrion said. "Everything has been filed and the case is in their hands. We have not gotten any feedback from them yet. We feel strongly that our people ... have done an excellent job at presenting a great case.
"But, as we said all along, it's hard for us to gauge because it is so unique and there is no precedent. But someone has to start the precedent."
The NCAA says Tinnon's eligibility clock began when he enrolled at Williston State in 2007. Tinnon never played at the school and later began his college basketball career at Kansas City Kansas Community College in 2009.
He played two seasons at KCKCC before transferring to Marshall.
Contact sportswriter Chuck McGill at email@example.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.