For years Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek has been taking lumps on the recruiting trail because of his offense. He's refused to use the term 'Princeton' when describing it, but you can only cover so much with semantics. It was a highly structured, controlled, very slow offense, which borrowed several key concepts from the Princeton.
The he got Jahii Carson and he finally sped things up. After having a tempo which ranked between 281st and 333rd in his first six seasons, he ramped it up all the way to 177th last year in an effort to utilize Carson's talents (and save his job in the process).
But Carson's running mate – Evan Gordon – transferred to Indiana after last season. This left Arizona State scrambling for some firepower on the perimeter. Well, that vacancy has now been filled.
In steps Jermaine Marshall, a transfer from Penn State, who would have been the 2nd leading returning scorer in the Big Ten. Marshall is a 6-4 shooting guard who teamed with DJ Newbill (the Big Ten's leading returning scorer) to try and salvage a season that went south whenTim Frazier – arguably one of the top point guards in the nation – went down with a ruptured Achilles. Their team was predictably awful, but Marshall was a bright spot. Despite every defense knowing they only needed to guard two guys, Marshall averaged over 15 points a contest (16+ in Big Ten games).
Marshall was a high volume player who took 44% of his shots from beyond the arc. He made 43% of his 2s, 34% of his 3s, and 76% of his free throws. Perhaps – on a better team – he'll get more efficient looks and raise his shooting numbers.
He's at his best when he's slashing to the basket, and he drew 4.7 fouls per 40, which would have been 2nd on Arizona State behind Carson. This ability gives the Sun Devils a lot of flexibility with Carson running the show, Marshall slashing, and junior Jonathan Gilling camping on the 3-point line. If Marshall buys into that role, then this could be a great transfer.
The problem is that Marshall has spent his college career taking 44% of his shots from beyond the arc, despite the fact that he's barely an average shooter. His percentages in three years have been: 24%, 33%, 34%. In other words – he needs stop jacking 3s and focus on getting to the rim.