By Jonah Bronstein
Niagara Gazette — Davon Marshall continues to disprove those who doubted him as a Division I basketball player.
He's also surprising some of his supporters.
"We knew he was a very good player and we knew he was a very good person," said Liberty University coach Dale Layer, who offered the Niagara Falls High School graduate a scholarship after two standout seasons at Monroe College in the Bronx.
"But he has exceeded our high expectations for him."
Even Marshall admits that, while he was expecting to play a key role this season, "I never thought I would be playing so many minutes."
Marshall is leading the Flames in minutes per game (31.4), scoring (12.5 ppg), assists (3.1 apg), 3-point shooting (42.3 percent) and free throw shooting (81.4 percent).
"It's mostly his spirit," Layer said. "He's been really willing to learn and grow and be coached and that's the best thing about him. He's taken on that challenge, sought help from coaches and implement it daily and probably improved as much as anybody on the team."
Marshall played point guard as a sophomore in high school, but with a pure stroke and unlimited range, he's been primarily a scorer since.
"Every shot looks like its going in," Layer said. "It comes out so straight and so pure, it's almost a surprise when he misses any shot."
Generously listed at 5-foot-11, Marshall isn't big enough to be a full-time shooting guard at the Division I level, which limited the recruiting offers he received coming out of Niagara Falls. Even after he averaged 15.6 points for the No. 3 ranked junior college in the country, recruiters questioned if his game could translate to the next level.
The Liberty coaching staff told Marshall to work on his point guard skills over the summer, but still viewed him as a combo guard. Working out at NFHS over the summer, Marshall sought help from the long line of point guards that have come through the Cataract City, notably Demondi Johnson.
When Marshall got to the Liberty campus in Lynchburg, Va., the coaches were so impressed with his improvement that they made him the starting point guard right away.
"It's been a new experience, being a point guard, taking responsibility being a coach on the floor," Marshall said. "I'm kind of a quiet guy. I usually lead by example. So I've had to work on being more vocal."
Marshall had one of his better games last week, tallying 22 points, four assists and four rebounds and throwing an alley-oop pass that wound up on SportsCenter's top plays that night.
"It's felt good to have some success," Marshall said. "But winning and having success, that's the icing on the cake."