by Dillon Meehan
After days of speculations and rumors, Central Connecticut officially announced the hiring of Donyell Marshall last Wednesday.
The following day, CCSU held a press conference in Founder’s Hall to formally introduce Marshall as the tenth coach in the programs history.
After landing a job as an assistant at the University of Buffalo, Marshall will be taking his first job as a head coach.
Marshall will be replacing Howie Dickenman, who is not only the man who coached him at UConn, but recruited him out of high school.
“You look at the career he has had, and the money he has made, and he is still one of the most humble, thankful and appreciative people you will ever meet,” said Dickenman about his former player.
It will be a tough situation for Marshall, who is being brought in to turn around a program that has been stagnant for the past few years. Luckily enough, he has the experience of playing under not only coach Jim Calhoun, but also under Jerry Sloan and with Lebron James.
“When you have a guy like that in your corner who has won three national championships, to be able to pick up the phone and call a guy like that is relaxing,” said Marshall following his press conference. “I’ve learned a lot from the greats that I played with and sometimes being able to call those guys and giving them a chance to talk to those guys in front of the team has always been helpful.”
Calhoun attended the press conference with his son, Jeffery, who roomed with Marshall while at UConn.
“When [Stephen] Curry hit those 12 three pointers last week who’s record did he tie? Donyell Marshall’s. When the Cavs drafted Lebron James number one overall in 2003, who did they have him live with? Donyell Marshall, because of his mature approach to the game. I think Central is getting a really special guy,” said Calhoun of his former player.
Marshall said he told players on Wednesday that the season has already begun. With seven months until the season opener, many expect this team to learn from his high basketball IQ.
“It felt great, I had a one-on-one talk with him and it was awesome. He told me about how excited he was for the future and everything he intends to do for us, and I think he’s going to do a great job at it,” said freshman forward Evan Phoenix.
The hope is that Marshall’s 15-year NBA experience will help bring in recruits. Marshall was the recruiting coordinator and helped with player development while helping lead Buffalo to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and the first team to win back-to-back Mid-American Conference titles in 14-years.