HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall junior guard DeAndre Kane knows a few things about succeeding as a newcomer in Conference USA.
The C-USA Freshman of the Year award on his mantle proves that.
As he watched this year's crew of new players at Tuesday's practice, he could tell they were off to a pretty good start.
"I think they're all coming along really well - in the weight room, on the court, off the court," he said. "They're really progressing. I think as the year goes on, they'll continue to grow and get better."
The Herd could use that in its quest for its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1987. Three starters return, as do several reserves, but Marshall's new players will compete for the minutes left open by last season's departures.
It's a heralded group. Kareem Canty was considered among the country's top 25 high school point guards by Rivals, Scout and ESPN, and the Harlem native chose Marshall over schools like Seton Hall, Florida State and Iowa State.
Tamron Manning, a guard from Georgetown, Ky., was a first-team all-state selection as a junior and senior at Scott County High and ESPN rated him the state's top recruit in 2012.
Canty and Manning, both freshmen, were at Tuesday's practice.
Two junior college transfers - NJCAA All-America guard D.D. Scarver and forward Elijah Pittman - were finishing up their time at their respective junior colleges and will arrive when classes start in Huntington next month.
The Herd also practiced two academic non-qualifiers - Anthony Livingston and Ryan Taylor - and freshman walk-on Austin Loop, a South Webster (Ohio) High product who was the state's Division IV Southeast District Player of the Year.
The newcomers weren't available for interviews Tuesday, but MU Coach Tom Herrion and their veteran teammates said they're progressing well.
Herrion said the young players have hit the ground running, mainly because it seems to be their nature.