Citadel senior Quinton Marshall will play his final home college basketball game Saturday, but doesn’t plan on leaving the gym anytime soon.
Marshall, a 6-5 swingman averaging 11.9 points this season, is aiming for a career in sports — not in the coach’s spot on the bench, but in the athletic director’s office.
“I want to be an athletic director one day,” said Marshall. “So whatever I need to do to make that happen, that’s what I’m going to do.”
The physical education major from Raleigh, N.C., will graduate in May, and already has lined up internships with the Southern Conference and with the NCAA. At The Citadel, he’s worked in the ticket office, for the Brigadier Foundation and at the SoCon baseball tournament.
“I just love sports and want to be around sports,” Marshall said. “I don’t necessarily want to be a coach, though. As an athletic director, I can be involved with all the sports. I know there will be some stresses, but not as many as a coach has. If I could help a losing program turn into a winning one as the athletic director, that’d be my dream come true.”
During his four years, Marshall has seen athletic directors and coaches try to turn around Citadel basketball, without much success yet. Marshall’s Citadel teams have totaled just 36 wins in four seasons — three under Chuck Driesell, and a 10-18 record this season under coach Duggar Baucom.
“We’ve lost a lot of games, and sometimes it does get you down,” Marshall said. “But you can never give up, never stop fighting. I always say, the next day is a new day, a new day to win. Every game I’ve played, I’ve gone into the game thinking we were going to win.”
Will all that losing has come a lot of learning, he said.
“There’s so much I’ve learned, so many blessings I’ve had since I’ve been here,” he said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity and wouldn’t change anything — I love this school and what it’s done for me.
“All the adversity you face at The Citadel, it teaches you a lot — how to get over things, how to get through it. As a team captain, I feel like I’ve got to keep my teammates up. Even when I don’t want to be positive, I’ve got to be positive.”
Baucom’s “embrace the pace” style required big changes for all the returning Bulldogs. During his first three years, Marshall attempted a total of 52 3-point shots, making 16 of them. This season, he’s 46 for 144, shooting 31.9 percent from 3-point range.
“It was a big change, and it’s been fun,” Marshall said. “It’s new to everybody, and we haven’t fully grasped everything yet, all the principles. I think that’s why we are not winning as much, because we haven’t grasped everything yet.”
Along with Marshall, graduate-student transfers Derrick Henry and P.J. Boutte also will play their final home game against Western Carolina. The Bulldogs would have been much worse off this season without Henry, who came in from Winthrop, and Boutte (from IUPUI).
Henry is The Citadel’s leading scorer at 16.2 points per game, and Boutte leads the SoCon in assists at 5.5 per game.
“They’ve helped us a lot,” Marshall said. “They really gave us a new look when the came in, a different perspective on things since they came from different schools.”
— Senior walk-on Bobby Duncan plans to return next season, Citadel officials said.
— Saturday’s game is a “Pack the Mac” promotion, with tickets available for $5.
WHO: Western Carolina (12-16, 7-8) at The Citadel (10-18, 3-12)
WHEN: 1 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: McAlister Field House
NOTES: The Citadel has lost six straight and is coming off a 67-51 loss to ETSU on Thursday ... That’s the Bulldogs lowest point total of the season; they shot just 5 of 30 from 3-point range against the Bucs ... Derrick Henry and Quayson Williams scored 11 points each for The Citadel in that game ... The Citadel scored a 92-91 win at Western Carolina on Jan. 21, with Quinton Marshall scoring 18 points ... P.J. Boutte hit two free throws with one second left in that game ... Western Carolina has won four of its last five games, and is coming off a 72-65 win at Mercer ... Torrion Brummitt, a 6-7 senior, had 15 points and 10 rebounds against Mercer ... WCU senior G Mike Brown is fourth in the SoCon in scoring at 16.5 ppg, and Brummitt averages 13 points and 7 rebounds ... Today is a “Pack the Mac” promotion at The Citadel, and the final home game for senior Quinton Marshall and grad-student transfers Derrick Henry and P.J. Boutte.