The saga of Nick Marshall appears, for now, to be over.
The lone returning center on the Memphis roster was AWOL from campus for much of the offseason. According to a report from CBSSports.com, he left the school to be with a pregnant girlfriend after telling head coach Tubby Smith that he would be spending time with his sick mother.
It’s a good thing for Marshall to try and take care of his family. It’s not such a good thing to lie about it to the coach of a program that has you on scholarship, can help you earn a degree and might be able to turn you into a professional basketball player. On paper, that seems like the best route, but as a father that travels for work, I can tell you it’s not as easy as it seems to spend days, let alone weeks or months, away from your family.
Regardless, it seems that Marshall’s tenure with the Tigers is kaput.
“[I know] people want me to come back to Memphis but I can’t,” Marshall tweeted right before setting his account to private. “It’s a choice I made and it’s a choice I’m sticking with. I’m very sorry.”
In basketball terms, this is a major blow for Tubby’s program. Marshall was a top 60 prospect in the Class of 2015 and a guy that was going to play a major role alongside Dedric and K.J. Lawson on the Tiger front line. As a freshman, Marshall averaged 3.1 points and 2.7 boards last season playing behind Shaq Goodwin.