Dec. 21, 2011
By David Driver
On Point: Marshall is quick study at Loyola
The recruiting process was not very complicated for Kara Marshall, a former basketball standout at Gaithersburg High.
"I came to Loyola for a visit and I just fell in love," Marshall said of the school located just off Charles Street in a tree-lined section in the north part of Charm City. "I loved the coaching staff. I love the whole feel of the campus. And I wanted to stay closer to home."
The adjustment to playing college basketball has also gone well for the Gaithersburg resident, though the freshman point guard admits she has a lot to learn.
"Everyone is a lot stronger in Division I. Your decision-making has to be a lot faster and on point. Everyone is a level better," she said.
Marshall has seen significant playing time for the Greyhounds, who play in the Division I Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
She played in the first nine games, with seven starts, and averaged 27.3 minutes and 8.3 points per contest, which was third on the team. She had 13 assists and 15 steals but also had 29 turnovers.
"I definitely have a lot to improve on, put it that way," she said. "I do have a lot to learn, including controlling the tempo of the game" as a point guard.
She became the regular point guard when fifth-year senior point guard Candice Walker (Towson Catholic) was injured in the second game of this season against Navy. Marshall had 19 points in her first college start in a 65-59 loss at Pittsburgh of the Big East on Nov. 18.
"We knew she could come in and contribute right away," head coach Joe Logan said of Marshall. "Her timetable got pushed up when Walker tore her ACL. She is doing great. She obviously played at a high level down at Gaithersburg and won a ton of games, including a state title. We are excited for her."
And what about the turnovers? "It is something you have to live with. She does not let it effect her play," Logan told Patch.
She had three points, two rebounds and one assist in 18 minutes of action in a win at George Washington on Dec. 18.
Marshall, who is interested in business, took two classes this past summer at Loyola and then had four classes this semester.
"This semester has taught me so much about managing your time. Your whole life is school and basketball," she said.
Marshall began playing rec league basketball in second grade. She attended middle school at Covenant Life School in Gaithersburg.
Her younger sister, Colleen, is a senior on the girls basketball team at Gaithersburg High and plans to play in college at East Carolina. Loyola plays on Dec. 21 at American and then hosts Towson on Dec. 29.
Kara Marshall scored more than 1,000 points for the Trojans and she helped lead Gaithersburg to its first state title as a senior last season. She also played volleyball and lacrosse in high school.
She was AAU teammates with current Loyola players Nicole Krusen (Georgetown Visitation in Rockville) and Katie Sheahin, who played at Good Counsel in Olney. Krusen's father, Herb, was a men's assistant basketball coach at Loyola from 1994-97 and is now a hoops coach at Georgetown Prep.
Marshall is just the latest member of her family to play sports in college. Her four sisters played high school basketball and her parents, Ben and Dottie Marshall, played sports in high school.
Her two brothers played baseball at Gaithersburg High and at the University of Richmond and one of them, Ian, is a minor leaguer in the Atlanta Braves' farm system. He pitched in the minors in 2010 with Atlanta but missed the past season due to injury. He was drafted in the 40th round by the Braves out of Richmond in 2010.