The redshirt junior wing came onto the scene last year as one of Penn State's top scorers and rebounders, but he must be consistent for PSU to improve.
Last Year's Synopsis
After sitting out his true freshman year to bulk up and continue recovering from a torn patella tendon that wiped out his entire senior season of high school ball, Jermaine Marshall had his coming-out party last season by emerging as the Nittany Lions' top scoring threat not named Tim Frazier. Jermaine's spectacular 22 points, eight rebounds performance in a rare road win at Boston College and 27 points, eight rebounds in the regular season finale against Michigan stand out as exhibits A and B respectively, of just how critical Jermaine's return is for the program.
It was a slow start for Jermaine last season, as Chambers suspended him for preseason practice. He missed the first game of the year, but worked his way back in the good graces of coach and had a solid year. Chambers now has been singing Jermaine's praises and claims the light has come on for him both on and off the court.
There is no dispute over the fact that Tim Frazier was the primary scorer, as evidenced by his team-high 497 field goal attempts, but Jermaine quickly developed into the number two option for the Lions. Marshall was also one of PSU's top perimeter threats on a team that was largely devoid of such shooting, hitting 43 of 132 attempts for 32.6% from beyond the arc and shooting a solid 74.7% from the free throw line. He was the only other guy on the team capable of and willing to create his own shot (23.9% poss% and 25.3% shot%).
The consistency wasn't always there for him, but it was his first full season as one of the primary playmakers on a team without much firepower. He was streaky from behind the arc and had his share of WTF moments on both sides of the floor, but additional help on the floor this year should help free him up to make smarter decisions and improve his efficiency.
As mentioned earlier, Pat Chambers has said that a 'light has come on' for Jermaine, and he is expected to pick up some of the slack with the perimeter shooting. Now that D.J. Newbill is in the mix to go along with Frazier, there should be more opportunities for Jermaine to get some wide-open looks at the basket. Of the ''three-headed monster' backcourt, Marshall will need to be the shooter, but he's certainly capable of putting the ball on the deck and getting to the rim. It really is no wonder then, why Coach Chambers continues to repeat his 'best backcourt in the country' mantra.
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