TEMPE, Ariz. — The lure of playing with premier point Jahii Carson on potential NCAA tournament team was too much for Jermaine Marshall to turn down.
Marshall, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard who averaged 15.3 points a game at Penn State last season, has committed to attend Arizona State for his final season of eligibility in 2013-14.
“As a shooting guard, you want to play with a point guard who is very good,” Marshall said from State College, Pa.
“(Jahii) is a great player. Playing alongside him, only good things will happen. They had a nice team last year, even though they didn’t make the (NCAA) tournament. If that is a so-called down year, they have nowhere to go but up. That’s another reason I chose Arizona State. The players we have, we can make the tournament. And we don’t want to just there. We want to win a couple of games.”
Marshall, a Pennsylvania native, turned down North Carolina and Florida State o come West.
“To bring in a proven player from a major conference says a lot about our current players and staff and Jermaine understanding what was the best fit for him,” ASU coach Herb Sendek said. “Jermaine is athletic, a proven scorer, knocks down his free throws and gets to the basket. He is a great fit for our team and program. We can’t wait to get him to Tempe.”
Marshall finished sixth in scoring in the Big Ten last season, and his scoring average is tied for fourth among returning Pac-12 players.
Carson, the co-Pac-12 freshman of the year in 2012-13, is the top returning scorer in the conference at 18.5 points per game. He also averaged 5.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds.
Marshall figures to be an immediate starter, filling the spot left when Evan Gordon opted to transfer to Indiana for his final season.
“I’m coming out to play, that’s the goal. The real goal is to win and bring leadership. Coach Herb and I talked about that, and the ability to score the ball.”
Marshall also averaged 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a junior at Penn State, which was 10-21 last year, its worst record in Marshall’s four seasons (he spent his first as a redshirt).
He shot 39.1 percent from the field, but almost half his attempts were from 3-point range. Marshall made 59 of 174 3-point attempts last season and was 102 of 306 in his two seasons as a regular. He also had 45 steals and 19 blocked shots in 2012-13.
“I like to mix it up. I don’t think I’m that good of a shooter, really. I have other facets — go to the basket, get other guys involved,” Marshall said.
Marshall must complete his summer internship at a State College, Pa., YMCA to earn his degree and become eligible to transfer, but that does not seem to be an issue. He is expected on camp in mid-August. He said he and his parents felt comfortable with the coaching staff on his visit two weeks ago, which will ease the transition.
Marshall will not be the only roster addition.Freshman Egor Koulechov and senior transfer Shaquielle McKissic also are candidates to receive minutes at the off guard and small forward positions.
Koulechov, a 6-foot-6 native native of Volgograd, Russia, averaged 16.8 points and 6.2 rebounds at The Sagemont (Fla.) School last season. He was picked as an All-Broward County first team all-star in the 4A-2A division by the Miami Herald.
McKissic, 6-foot-5, averaged 23 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists at Edmonds (Wash.) Junior College, where he was the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Northern Region Player of the Year. A native of Seattle, he will have one year of eligibility remaining after completing his course work in August. Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter