ATLANTA — Gregg Marshalls way with words is receiving major air time during the NCAA Tournament.
He opens his locker room to CBS cameras before the games. His postgame Are you satisfied? speech became a rallying cry for Wichita State players and fans after the opening win over Pittsburgh. When the Shockers advanced to the Final Four, he found the perfect way to celebrate on a ladder, leading fans in a Four, two, one chant while counting down with his fingers.
I dont have any writers, he said. Maybe we can work on that next year, producers, directors. I just kind of go with whats in my heart.
Before last weeks game against Ohio State, Marshall told his team he wanted to cut down nets before getting on the plane back to Wichita.
The mecca awaits in Atlanta, he told his team. Well leave next week. Dont worry about that. Youve got 40 minutes and heres the beautiful thing you dont have to play a perfect game. You just have to play really well. If you play really well, well do what we want to do and sing and celebrate and cut those nets down.
Marshall collects his thoughts while the Shockers are warming up and his assistants are on the court. He writes key points on a dry-erase board and lets his words flow.
I dont know if he thinks about it or if its just natural, WSU guard Fred VanVleet said. Hes going to have it ready. Hes good at that stuff.
Marshalls NCAA speeches often return to the theme of sticking together, ignoring the spotlights and cameras and playing for each other.
It helps remind us why were here, junior Chadrack Lufile said. It gives us an extra fuelage to our game and our desire and our hope.