Junior guard fitting into DV system - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Sports

Junior guard fitting into DV system

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Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 3:00 pm | Updated: 5:31 pm, Thu Aug 11, 2011.

John Marshall takes advantage of Life Time Fitness' 24-hour access to a basketball court so he can work on his game.

He'll spend time on his conditioning, his shot and free-throw routine.

In between the sounds of his dribble in the empty gym and the ball swishing through the net, Marshall lets his mind drift toward the future.

The Desert Vista junior doesn't put himself in a particular jersey, but the fact that it is blank is what motivates the combo guard.

"I want to play in college and I use that as motivation," he said. "I don't have any offers yet and that's what I will think about when I am working by myself."

Marshall has received plenty of interest as schools like Northern Colorado, Notre Dame, Stanford, Washington State and San Diego State have made contact, but nothing concrete.

If Marshall, who has a 3.7 GPA, can keep the level of play he has shown this summer heading into his role with the Thunder then that first offer just might come.

The 6-foot-2 Marshall has led the Arizona Magic Pump N Run-2013 team against some of the West's best club programs as the team made the semifinals of a handful of events like the Adidas Summer Tip-off in California before losing to nationally-ranked teams.

"The competition has been great and that experience you gain by playing teams like that only helps," he said. "We've been right there with those teams and showing Arizona belongs with those teams from California."

Marshall hopes the confidence he has gained will help him during his second year in Desert Vista coach Dave Williams' system.

It wasn't always easy last year after getting quality minutes as a freshman under Doug Harris.

It got to the point soon after Williams took over that Marshall and his parents discussed transferring, but decided he'd be better off staying put.

"It was really early and I always knew I'd never transfer, but we talked about it," Marshall said. "I really liked coach Harris. They have two different systems, but now I know what he wants and I am glad I stayed."

He averaged 5.0 points, 0.8 assists and 0.9 rebounds as a sophomore after averaging 7.8 points, 1.0 assists and 1.6 rebounds as a freshman.

"Coach (Williams) isn't worried about plays as much as he is about defense and hustle," Marshall said. "I know what he wants and everything I have to do to be more productive. There was a learning (process) and now I am ready to go."

The Thunder is coming off a 21-10 season and lost in the Class 5A Division I quarterfinals.

They bring back senior forward Danny Powell, who has offers from Central Michigan and Northern Arizona, and guard Jeff Lowery, who has committed to Grand Canyon, and should be considered one of the favorites in Division I.

"I think we can win state," Marshall said. "We did pretty good last year and we were learning on the run. We all know the system now and he knows us."

The second year under Williams should only help all those involved and, in turn, give Marshall and the others more confidence to be themselves.

"His fast-paced system is the way I like to play," he said. "With the players we have on this team, we are going to be able to play at a high level."

And it just might lead to Marshall getting a better idea of what jersey he is wearing during his time alone in the gym.

"I know I have worked hard to get to this point," he said. "I don't have what I want yet and the team can be a lot better so we still have work to do, but it is all going to be worth it."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com

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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
  • Sports writer
  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News

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