Niagara Falls HS grad key in Liberty’s run to the Dance
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • March 11, 2013 @ 9:06am
Here’s another example of why March can be such a “mad” month—even before the NCAA Tournament begins.
Niagara Falls High School graduate Davon Marshall hit six three-pointers in Liberty University’s Big South championship game triumph over top-seed Charleston Southern. By virtue of winning their conference tournament, the Flames will head directly to the NCAA Tournament despite losing 20 games in the regular season.
Twenty losses! That’s unbelievable.
Scorching hot from the floor, the 5’11 junior connected on 6-of-7 three-pointers—split evenly between the two halves—and logged a team-high 37 minutes running the point. Over his last five games, Marshall has knocked down 23-of-35 three-balls, good for a staggering 66%.
A 2010 graduate of NFHS, Marshall was chosen first-team all-state, but continued to hone his craft in Western New York at Monroe Community College. In some cases—like Marshall’s—there’s a major advantage in taking the JUCO route to a Division I school. Not only did the former Wolverine guard see boatloads of playing time and responsibility immediately, but he reshaped his body and made the most of his local network.
According to Nate Beutel’s Niagara Gazette article from Jan. 2012, Marshall credits games in former Falls coach Sal Constantino’s Niagara Falls alumni league—which boasts experienced, lightning-quick guards in Demondi Johnson and Robert Garrison—for challenging him to become more than just a local community college star.
After transferring to Liberty before this season, Marshall was inserted into the Flames’ starting lineup and posted a respectable 13 points per game. In the regular season meeting against Charleston Southern, Marshall struck for a season-high seven threes despite a 79-75 loss. He clearly had the Buccaneers’ number. Here’s his coach Dale Layer’s description:
“Davon is very experienced and plays two different positions. He played on the third-best junior college team at the point and shooting guard positions. He was their leading scorer and is a big game guy. He’s got a great spirit about him. He is a guy that brings toughness, leadership and the ability to score the ball in many ways.”
We’ll forgive Layer for using the most obnoxious phrase in basketball—“score the ball”—and instead boast about Marshall, who is at least one Western New York representative in the NCAA Tournament.