“Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on without you. Don’t take yourself so seriously.”- Norman Vincent Peale
“As Derrick Marks goes, so goes Boise State this season.”- Tom Scott, The Scott Slant
Derrick Marks may not be Atlas, but he is certainly doing his best impression of him. As of late, Marks has placed this year’s basketball team squarely upon his shoulders. A win streak now sits at five and Marks has played a very large part in that success.
It is the last part of that first quote that seems most fitting. For the first time in his career, Marks is relaxed on the court. By letting the game come to him, he and the Broncos have flourished.
Though Marks is the headliner, his teammates have certainly joined in the fun. Instead of simply enjoying the view, they have used Marks as a springboard to leap and shoot their way to victory.
We all know the Derrick Marks of the past. He was a man that could infuriate you and excite you all within the span of a few minutes. He has always been a brilliant, if not unpredictable scorer.
20 point games would be followed up by 2 point games. 38 point masterpieces would be followed by 4 games of not even getting that as a combined total. He has scored enough points that he currently sits in the No. 4 spot of all-time scoring at Boise St., with 1,664 pts.
After battling early season ankle injuries and more inconsistent play, something inside of Marks clicked.
Maybe it was the sting of a tough loss to Colorado State. Maybe it was the realization that he was approaching his final games of his college career. Whatever it was, Marks has put this team on his shoulders and hasn’t looked back since.
Simply put, Marks has finally put all aspects of his game into great use. The result, thus far, has been an MVP caliber season for the senior guard. Once thought of as immature, even missing games due to team violations, (and perhaps a low point of not starting and only scoring 2 points against Air Force last year), Marks has become a leader. He has displayed the attributes that MVP’s are made of.
In Mountain West Conference play, through 8 games, Marks is averaging 23.6 points per game, with nearly 3 assists and 3 rebounds per game to go along with it. Overall, he is averaging 19.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, and 3.1 apg.
Shooting had been a weak spot in Marks’ game his first three years at Boise St. His senior season has laid to bed that weakness. Marks is shooting 53.8% from 3-point range and 51.9% overall. In the past, teams would leave Marks with a little room on the outside, daring him to take that jumper.
That opposing team was usually rewarded with a miss. With the jump shot now a integral part of his arsenal, Marks has been able to utilize his greatest asset of driving to the hoop even more.
The play of Marks has started to bring out the best in his teammates. Other players, like James Webb III and Igor Hadziomerovic, have elevated their play over the last month. During this winning streak, players have fed off of Marks and his energy. It is an unspoken leadership that has been valuable over the last month.
Marks has hoisted this team upon his shoulders. He can take over games at the drop of the hat, as evidenced by his second half out pour of 26 points in the recent victory over Colorado State. Even when he’s not scoring, Marks is all over the floor. Whether its assisting teammates, grabbing rebounds, and making flat out hustle plays, Marks has accepted the responsibility of being a leader. The proof is in the wins.
The Broncos are currently 5-3 in Mountain West play, only one game out of first place. A crucial game awaits them on Tuesday (2/3) at 7:30 pm. The Broncos travel to Utah St., looking for a bit of redemption after their heartbreaking loss to the Aggies earlier this month.
The Broncos have never won in Logan, with an 0-18 record all-time there. In a season of accomplishments , it is no doubt Marks would be happy to add another first to his list.
Atlas had the world on his shoulders. Derrick Marks has the Boise State Broncos. As long as business continues to be taken care of on the court, the weight will be surely worth it in the end.