Heels Calling PSU Transfer

Just a few weeks ago, Jermaine Marshall was convinced he'd soon be in Europe playing professional basketball. Now, he's in the process of wading through interest from schools -- including North Carolina.

After informing officials at Penn State this spring of his decision to leave before his eligibility was exhausted, he soon began to have doubts.

Following a sit down with his family earlier this month, Marshall decided to come back to school and play his final season of college basketball. Penn State, however, was out of scholarships and Marshall became a sought-after transfer.

Arizona State, Cincinnati, Florida State, Alabama, Butler, Creighton, Xavier and North Carolina are all in the mix.

The Tar Heels called the 6-foot-4, 205-pound guard not long after Penn State granted his release.

"I think it was about three or four days after that," Marshall told InsideCarolina.com on Thursday. "I talked to (assistant) coach (Steve) Robinson first. He's a real good dude, he's very honest and I liked the conversation we had. He told me they like to take things slow. I also have talked to (head) coach (Roy) Williams about two or three times since my first talk with Coach Robinson."

During those conversations, Robinson and Williams outlined what they'd hope to get from a player like Marshall.

"They said they want leadership," explained Marshall. "I'm a senior and I've been in the Big 10 and been through the struggle. Those are the things we mostly talked about. Coach Williams told me he expects me to be a great student as well, and that's great because I already strive to be that."

While UNC hasn't specifically made a scholarship offer, Marshall is pretty sure he understands the Tar Heels' interest level.

"They're serious and I think they want me to come there next season," said Marshall. "Coach Williams said he watched some of my game tape from last year and liked what he saw."

In his final season with the Nittany Lions, Marshall led Penn State in scoring, putting up 15.3 points per game. He averaged 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, while leading the team in three-pointers made and steals.

"The main thing I can do is scoring the ball, then also being able to distribute it as well," said Marshall. "Those are the two biggest things I could bring right away. I'm experienced so I understand some things that young guys just might not. I'd come in try to help the guys on the floor, play defense and just play hard."

Marshall hasn't given a hard look at the rosters of the school's he's considering, but does know a little bit about UNC's projected team next season.

"I know they made the tournament last year, but they have a nice big guy in (James Michael) McAdoo," he said. "They have a nice young point guard I watched last season and then a good player in P.J. Hairston. I know they were successful to be as young as they were. Who knows what they'll do this year. They'll be great and, if I were to go there, I'd come in and help anyway I can."

His knowledge of UNC dates back further than last season, though. Marshall said he knows a lot about the history of North Carolina's program.

"Obviously, that's where Michael Jordan went," he said. "Then you have Roy Williams, one of the best coaches of all time. Everyone knows about the Duke-Carolina game. James Worthy, Vince Carter and a lot of great players went there. I know it's a great environment and I've heard Chapel Hill is a beautiful place in itself. Everyone knows they're an elite program."

For now, Marshall has official visits set up with Arizona State and Creighton. He'll be in Tempe beginning Thursday evening and then at Creighton over the weekend.

"Really, I'm just going to pray and keep my options open," Marshall said. "I haven't decided when I'm going to make my decision. I don't have a timetable set, I'm just looking for God to lead me in the right direction."

Marshall will start at the school of his choice as a graduate student in the fall. He'll graduate from Penn State in August with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies.

Inside Carolina Top Stories