Scrimmage fares well for vets, prepares newbies

During the first 20 minutes of Thursday night's intra-squad scrimmage at the Al McGuire Center, Travis Diener demonstrated why he led Conference USA in assists last season.

His ability to make precision entry passes and find an open teammate while slashing to the basket resulted in eight assists by halftime.

Over the final 20 minutes of action Diener showed the few hundred fans in attendance why he also led C-USA in scoring a year ago.

He scored 13 of the Blue squad's first 15 points after the break and led his team to a 90-58 victory over the Gold squad.

Diener, a senior guard, finished with 33 points, 15 assists and five steals. He sank all 11 of his free-throws and was 4-for-6 from behind the arc.

"One team had too much Diener," said head coach Tom Crean.

The Gold squad was led by forward Ryan Amoroso. The 6-8 freshman was 8-for-13 from the floor, including 2-for-4 from three-point range, and finished with 19 points.

"He's a bull," Crean said. He can use both hands very well for a freshman Crean added.

Mark your calendar

The men's basketball team will have its third open public scrimmage of the season Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the McGuire Center.

The practice will provide fans an opportunity to get a close-up look at the team, but that's not the only reason Crean has opened the scrimmages to the public.

"They give (transfer) Dan (Fitzgerald) a chance to play and Ousmane (Barro) hasn't played organized ball in the United States," Crean said. "It's always different when there are fans in the stands and refs in striped shirts."

Crean added: "I want there to be a section of students going after Ousmane like we're at Memphis."

This-n-that

Before Thursday's scrimmage Crean asked all in attendance to stand and hold hands. Then he said a prayer for College of Business Administration seniors Shane Gale and Thomas "T.J." Gannon and freshman walk-on Rob Hanley's uncle, Brian Hanley.

Gale and Gannon are Marquette students who were shot Oct. 15 outside a house party.

Hanley, a fan of Marquette basketball died Oct. 17 of cancer.

Two additional walk-ons, sophomores Chris Teff and John Willkom, saw action in the scrimmage. Both played at Division II Minnesota-Crookston last season.

Fitzgerald did not play in the scrimmage because of a concussion suffered Oct. 17. Thursday night Crean estimated Fitzgerald would be out for another week.