The State Press sports editor Nicholas Palomino Mendoza caught up with highly touted basketball transfer Jermaine Marshall and talked with him about playing in the Pac-12 and his plans after basketball.
State Press: I know it’s still early, but what do you think will be the biggest difference about playing at ASU, not just with the team, but with the conference as a whole?
Marshall: I think the biggest thing is just the pace, the pace of the game. Getting up and down the floor as fast as possible is really the Pac-12 way. But so far I like it a lot. I think the thing we have to do as a team is just focus on defense, everything else on offense will just take care of itself.
SP: Jahii said you are both trying to improve each others’ games and possibly even your draft stock. Is that something you think you can accomplish?
JM: Oh, absolutely, I think that’s the dream we all live, and that’s why we play this game. Playing with a guy like Jahii is definitely going to help me, and like he said, my ability to get to the basket and get open shots will help him a lot as well and vice versa. So I think we’re great for each other, and hopefully we can help the team. I’m just here to help the team.
SP: Are there any games that you are looking forward to more than the others or any game in particular that you have circled?
JM: Every game on the calendar. Every game is important from November to hopefully March. We’re trying to go out and just win every game, I believe we can do that. I’m not saying we will go undefeated, but you have to go into every game thinking you are going to win.
SP: Can you talk about your experiences on campus and at ASU in general? How much different it is than being at Penn State?
JM: It’s a big campus, and it’s a big difference in weather, obviously. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was snowing right now at Penn State. It’s really nice here, though. I like it a lot. I like Tempe, and I like the people here, so it’s going good so far.
SP: You are a graduate student here. Can you talk about your ambition to pursue a master’s degree, and is it any harder to balance basketball and your education now that you are in a graduate program?
JM: It’s not really that difficult. You know, I think four years of college really has helped me in maturing and just in becoming a man and being able to separate athletics and education. I’m absolutely ambitious to get my master’s, you know. I got one (degree) under my belt and hopefully I can get this master’s, and that would be huge at the age of 23. It’s something I could be really proud of. … I want to play pros, but you never know, maybe after that I could get a Ph.D. You know, my mom really wants me to get my Ph.D. We talked about it last week, but right now, I really don’t know. I’m just trying to focus on right now and this season. I think that is what is most important.
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