Many fans have been talking about the importance of the point-guard position on the Rebels this year. And the concerns make sense: When you have this much talent on a team, someone has to orchestrate the show.
After four years with steady Oscar Bellfield at the point, that job now belongs to senior Anthony Marshall, who has been primarily a two-guard until this season. Marshall’s task is to distribute the ball to the right guys and make sure he’s aggressive attacking the defense, all while staying in control. He has to keep the ball moving, getting guys their touches when they’re open, and still try to remain a scoring threat.
After the early-season games, it’s clear that the Rebels are at their best when Marshall keeps the ball moving from side to side, keeping the defense off balance and opening up opportunities for Anthony Bennett in the key. They also excel when Marshall penetrates, drawing defenders and creating openings for both the post players and perimeter shooters such as Katin Reinhardt and Bryce Dejean-Jones. On the fast break, meanwhile, Marshall is getting a feel for when to push the ball, when to slow it up, when to dish it off and when to score.
He’s dealt with all of these challenges well. He’s still learning and still gaining confidence—and I expect to see even better things from him in the weeks ahead.
Robert Smith, a star UNLV point guard from 1974-77, is part of the Rebel broadcast team on ESPN Radio 1100.
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