“Mainly the family atmosphere and the vibe I got on the visit made me like Arizona State,” Marshall’s said Monday afternoon. “They welcomed me with open arms and made me feel that I was already there for a long time. I had a great time hanging out with Jahii Carson and the coaches, and my family had a good time too. When your family can go somewhere and enjoy themselves as much as you do, you get that feeling that this is the right place to be.
“I just liked Arizona State from the beginning. They were high on my list right away. Their needs fit my needs. I just couldn’t turn that away.”
Marshall also visited Florida State, a trip that concluded over the weekend, and was considering teams such as North Carolina and Creighton.
Following the surprising departure of guard Evan Gordon, the Sun Devil basketball team suddenly found itself with a depleted and inexperienced backcourt. However, it wasn’t only the opportunity for immediate playing time that attracted Marshall to ASU, but also the opportunity to play with Carson who is one of the nation’s top returning point guards.
“He had a big impact on my decision,” Marshall admitted. “I talked to him a lot during the visit and he basically told me how it’s going to be there. He told me how he was going to get me involved and the coaches expressed to me how I was going to be a key player this year. He told me that they had a good team that can win and that they were going to have a good year.
“I kept in contact with him the whole time throughout the process which is great because when I get there it’s not like we really don’t know each other well.”
The 6-4 205-pound Jermaine Marshall averaged 15.3 ppg and 4.6 rpg for the Nittany Lions in the 2012-13 season, averaging 34.6 minutes per game. While he knew that he wasn’t going to finish his college basketball in Happy Valley, he did actually have his sights of playing overseas this upcoming season.
“Playing in Europe is what I really wanted to do initially,” Marshall commented. “I thought that was going to be best for me and my family. But when I talked to them more about it we decided that coming back to school is what’s best.
“After I got my release Arizona State contacted me, and they were involved a lot with me right away. It was a great visit there, and the ability of getting my Master’s (in International Affairs) in one year was huge. That separated them from a lot of places.”
Leadership, scoring and experience are the three factors Marshall feels he can contribute the most to his new squad, and the three-year player from Penn State feels that the later aspect cannot be overstated.
“Experience is huge,” Marshall explained. “Even with Jahii you have a player that is only coming into his second year. You can never go wrong with having experience. So I feel I bring that to the table along with scoring and hopefully I can score here even better than I did in the Big Ten.
“I feel that I can play well in any system, because I consider myself versatile. But practicing here (at ASU) with a 24-second shot clock and an NBA three-point line can only help you get ready for the next level whether it’s the NBA or overseas. I’m going to fit in and do what’s best for the team.”
The guard is scheduled to graduate Penn State on August 10th, and while he will be in Tempe in time for the fall semester he will have to miss ASU’s three-game road trip to China next month.
Marshall is arguably not only the most prominent transfer Head Coach Herb Sendek has landed during his ASU tenure, but also one of the off-season’s most notable college basketball transfers. The inevitable high expectation level that comes with such a move, isn’t an aspect the guard feels that will hinder his play this coming season.
“I never believed in pressure,” Marshall claimed. “I let God lead the way and pressure is never a big thing for me. I know that if I work hard I will be OK.”