HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- On one weekend last month, the Marshall basketball program reaped the benefits of two NCAA rule changes that were implemented in October.
While Herd Coach Tom Herrion was in the Henderson Center watching a legal five-player workout that included soon-to-be signee D.D. Scarver, his assistants were taking advantage of the first of two April evaluation weekends.
Herrion was focused on the near future with Scarver, who is an athletic scorer with a shooting touch who should immediately help a team that finished last in Conference USA in free-throw percentage and next-to-last in 3-point percentage last season.
The assistants were looking down the road a bit, trying to unearth two or three frontcourt bodies to headline Marshall's 2013 recruiting class.
Herrion took advantage of one of six rule changes with Scarver's visit. Prospective student-athletes are permitted to participate in a workout on official or unofficial visits, so the Herd's third-year head coach put the junior college transfer through a mutually beneficial on-court evaluation.
"You can have a prospect and no more than four of your other players," Herrion said. "We put (Scarver) through a skill workout.
"I trust (assistant coach) Mark Cline and I had seen the guy on tape and knew he was good enough, but I think it's beneficial for a kid to come here and step on the floor with the head coach and know what the developmental program is going to be like."
Previously, head coaches couldn't so much as watch a prospective recruit play a harmless game of H.O.R.S.E. with, possibly, his future teammates.
The rule change is aimed at curbing the rash of transfers in college basketball.
"It's becoming a bit of an epidemic," Herrion said.
That's why the two weekend evaluation periods in April were implemented, too. In the past, coaches concentrated their evaluation efforts to July and the plethora of AAU tournaments across the country.
"It's always great when you have a chance to see a bunch of kids," Herrion said. "You usually go into July blind and you are going off of a lot of scouting service lists.
"We've laid our eyes on a bunch of guys, but so have other schools. Our emphasis in the Class of 2013 is strictly on the frontcourt, so it's going to be a challenge because those positions are usually at a premium."
The upside, however, is that Herrion and his staff will have more of an opportunity to make the correct call on those players.
"We are going to have more evaluations now," Herrion said. "Hopefully that will minimize the 'mistakes' on both sides and shorten up the transfer list."