Wichita State has a much smaller margin for error in everything it does. Whether it be in game plan or recruiting than the blue blood programs of the world that can trot out multiple NBA players, the Shockers can't afford mistakes.
The Shockers have had their success thanks in large part to having one of the most detailed oriented coaches around running the program.
"Coach Marshall really dials in on little things. We'll be going through practice and he'll blow his whistle and everybody will look at him strangely and he will talk about a play three weeks ago," sophomore guard Ron Baker said. "I have never seen it from a coach, but he uses his memory well and that's how he teaches. We've all learned from him and how he has taught us. And he's a great mastermind of basketball and he knows Xs and Os and he's fun to play for."
Outside of the X's and O's, Marshall has also excelled at consistently getting his team to play at a high level night in and night out through a weak Missouri Valley Conference schedule.
"He knows how to motivate us and to get us jacked and ready for that game in particular. He just knows what to do to get us motivated," Tekele Cotton said. "He has been doing this for I don't even know how long, over 20, almost 30 years. He's one of the greatest to ever do it and I am blessed that he's my coach and he is great at what he does."
Marshall gives credit to the coaches who mentored him early on in his career.
"I would have to say that two of the guys that I worked with the longest in my playing and coaching days as an assistant, Hal Nunnally at Randolph was my college coach and he got me in this game as an assistant coach. So I was with him for six years. And then John Kresse, I spent eight years at his side as his assistant coach at the College of Charleston," Marshall said.
Marshall picked up different things from both coaches that have become a big part of his coaching identity today.
"Coach Kresse was the fantastic C.E.O. He did everything from marketing to promotions to dealing with the media to recruiting, the X's and O's," Marshall said. "
Coach Nunnally was more the just brilliant motivator. He had some drill sergeant mentality. He was very tough and very diligent with the respect. And he talked about being a maker of men. I mean, you didn't talk back, you didn't have any hair on your collar, no facial hair, all that type stuff. So I got the best of both worlds from both of those guys. I had some great mentors.
Marshall will look to coach the Shockers to an NCAA record 36-0 record on Sunday against Kentucky in the round of 32.