As he developed into a top prospect, Anthony Marshall attracted attention from college basketball coaches across the country. All but one tried to persuade him to leave Las Vegas.
Marshall, a 6-foot-3-inch guard entering his senior year at Mojave High School, decided Thursday to stay home and attend UNLV.
Marshall orally committed to Rebels coach Lon Kruger, who recruited him for more than two years. He claimed UNLV’s last scholarship for the 2009 recruiting class.
“I really wanted to stay here and represent my city,” Marshall said. “I felt like it was the right thing to do to stay home and play in front of my family and friends.
“I wanted to go to a winning program, and the UNLV program is winning now. Coach Kruger turned the program around. We built a great relationship. He was one of the first coaches that really paid attention to me.”
Marshall, a left-handed combo guard, ranks as the 67th-best senior in the nation, according to Rivals.com. He said he also considered UCLA, Stanford, Baylor, Colorado State and San Diego State.
Kruger’s five-player 2009 class includes two other prep stars — 6-10 forward Carlos Lopez of Findlay College Prep and 6-3 guard Justin Hawkins from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft.
Kentucky transfer Derrick Jasper, a 6-6 point guard, and 6-8 forward Chace Stanback, a transfer from UCLA, will attend UNLV this year and sit out the season as redshirts.
“Coach Kruger was honest with me from the beginning,” Marshall said. “He told me what I do well and what I don’t do so well. He told me the truth, and not a lot of coaches do that.”
Marshall’s commitment means Cheyenne guard Elijah Johnson, who was considering UNLV, must go elsewhere. Johnson is ranked the nation’s 34th-best senior.
As a junior, Marshall averaged 17.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists. Mojave was 26-2, losing to Cheyenne in the Sunset Region semifinals.
Mojave coach Tony Hopkins, whose team won three of four games against Cheyenne last season, said Marshall is a “tremendous defender” with good offensive skills. Marshall has a standing vertical leap of 35 inches and a 6-9 wingspan.
“Nobody can do all the things Anthony does,” Hopkins said. “In my opinion, the best player in the state is Anthony Marshall, and I’m not being biased. That’s the bottom line.
“Coach Kruger has done a wonderful job in the sense that he’s been extremely visible in our local high school gyms.”
Anthony Brown, Marshall’s summer league coach for the Las Vegas Prospects, said it was important for Kruger to get a hometown recruit.
“Not often do you get many Las Vegas kids to stay at home. I think Anthony will set the standard,” Brown said. “He’s a great fit for Coach Kruger’s style of play. The guards run the show.”
Contact reporter Matt Youmans at email@example.com or 702-387-2907.