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Published: Sunday, 1/15/2006

BGSU freshman contributing right away

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Erik Marschall played four years under his father at New London (Ohio) High School. He is averaging nine points and five rebounds a game for Bowling Green.
Erik Marschall played four years under his father at New London (Ohio) High School. He is averaging nine points and five rebounds a game for Bowling Green.
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BOWLING GREEN If Erik Marschall had a business card, underneath his name it might read: Coach s Son.

That label seems to be the most popular way to characterize Marschall, a 6-foot-7 forward for Bowling Green State University. A freshman from New London, Marschall played for four years under his father, Dale Marschall, before joining the Falcons.

Here s what Marschall thinks the label says about him: I know a lot about the game.

Coach Dan Dakich s take: He really knows where to be and what to do almost at all times.

And in the words of Dale Marschall: He d do anything you wanted him to do.

Going into today s game against the University of Toledo, Marschall is the top-scoring freshman in the Mid-American Conference, averaging nine points a game. He s the Falcons second-leading rebounder with five a game.

Marschall s role as a major contributor early in his career at BGSU has a lot to do with what he learned from having his dad as a coach.

Dale Marschall started coaching before his son was born. He led New London for nine seasons before resigning last year so he could follow the playing careers of Erik and his youngest daughter, Kelci, a freshman at Wooster High School.

His final three years at New London, Erik Marschall averaged double figures in points and rebounds. In their last season together, Dale was named conference coach of the year and Erik player of the year.

Erik also was named to the Division III All-Ohio first team.

Erik loved basketball so much that he refused to play most other sports because it took away from gym time. And he had someone around day and night to talk about the game.

Having him be there was something I ll never forget, Erik said.

It also meant that if they butted heads at practice it would be dealt with that night.

When he got home, he was always hearing something about something, Dakich said. That s great in my opinion.

From watching his dad coach, Marschall acquired numerous habits that make him a good fit in Dakich s system. He s used to Dakich s frenetic style because that s how his dad used to act.

But the factor that s been most important in his success at BGSU thus far, he did all on his own.

In Marschall s final high school game, he was held to seven points in a district semifinal loss. That frustration pushed him into the weight room and helped him put on more than 20 pounds before he arrived in Bowling Green last summer.

I was pretty motivated right off the bat to get into the gym and start working, Marschall said.

His immediate devotion impressed his new coaches.

Because of what he did after his high school season, the dedication he had in the weight room, he s put himself in a position to be a very good player, Dakich said. He did beyond what we asked him to do, and he s been very good.

With Marschall and junior Matt Lefeld the Falcons only true post players, Marschall s work immediately paid off in playing time. In the Falcons second game of the year against Virginia Tech, Marschall played 34 minutes and had 11 points and eight rebounds. His season-high was 16 against Urbana.

He has shown quickness in the post and can handle the ball, an ability that forces opponents to go outside to cover him. His penchant for fouls fouling out of seven games this year has given him the dubious distinction of having to practice with his hands behind his back.

He s a naturally pretty aggressive kid, so there s a fine line, Dakich said. We haven t as a group overcome that.

Marschall said he gets along well with his teammates because they have the same gym-rat mentality he grew up on.

Just constantly being around basketball has been something he loves to do, Dale Marschall said.

Perhaps because Marschall learned from someone he loves.

Contact Maureen Fulton at: mfulton@theblade.com or 419-724-6160.



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