Trips across the pond are often a highlight for many D1 college basketball players, but it appears a trip just north of the border has turned in to a nightmare for the Wichita State Shockers basketball program.
No one has had a bigger nightmare than head coach Gregg Marshall and it all boiled over on Tuesday as his team took on McGill University. During his team’s 77-71 victory, Marshall got two technical fouls and following his ejection could be seen charging at two officials.
Things were so intense that Wichita State players and coaches had to hold Marshall back after charging at the two officials. All of this chaos was sparked by a foul called on one of his players, Zach Brown, while he was boxing out on a free throw.
Of course, there is more to the story, as Marshall claimed players were getting injured on his side, the scoreboard was cheating his team out of points and touch fouls were getting blown at every chance against his team.
“There were players with stitches, concussions, not keeping score accurately, a bloodbath, then touch fouls on us,” Marshall told ESPN’s Andy Katz on Wednesday. “I’m not happy nor proud of the reaction but when is enough, enough? I want my players to know I’ve got their back. Once ejected, I wanted the ref to know exactly my impression of his work.”
It was an interesting moment, as Marshall may have also done part of his theatrical expression of outrage to spark his team. That’s because following the ejection and confrontation, the Shockers went on a 21-11 run to eke out the six-point victory and improve to 2-1 during its four-game tour of Canada.
His outburst was certainly appreciated by his players, as Shocker player Darrell Willis was right there to try and hold him back yet got the message he was sending to his players and the refs at the same time.
“Once Coach got kicked out, we all got in a huddle and said ‘We need this for Coach,’” Willis said.
Brown, the player who was called for the foul that set off Marshall’s epic meltdown, also got the message.
“We saw how much Coach wanted it, we saw his passion,” Brown said. “We played with such energy. Maybe that was a tactic for us to come on and see how passionate he is about this game. If it is a tactic, it is a very smart move. It really brought the fire out in me.”
When it comes to having his players back…apparently few coaches are going to go to the lengths of Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall.