Zeke Marshall


Zeke Marshall


Akron Zips                 Senior                                    Center                                    #44


7'0"                 235 Pounds                            22 Years Old             From: McKeesport, PA


13.0 PPG        7.0 RPG          0.8 APG          3.7 BPG          65.1 FG%       64.2 FT%




Overview: Marshall is an intriguing prospect at the center position in this year's draft. His profile certainly screams that he's a prototypical project big man. He has great athleticism and a huge wingspan for someone of his size. These attributes, as well as his very good timing, have turned him into a very good shot blocker at the college level. He still has work to do on the offensive end of the court and could certainly use some added bulk and strength. That said, in a draft class that doesn't feature much big man talent outside of the first round, it wouldn't be terribly surprising to see a team later in the second round take a chance on him in hopes that the D-League could do some real good for his game. His athleticism and explosiveness are on par with JaVale McGee and while the rest of his game still has some catching up to do to get to McGee's level, that alone is intriguing to pro teams. He's improved every year, which is certainly promising.


Offensively, Marshall has made really good strides since he entered college four years ago. First, he added a good amount of bulk. Although he's still thin and can be pushed around by stronger post players, he's certainly come a long way. Continuing to add strength is going to help him. His post game is decent and continuing to improve; it relies more on moving quicker than the opponent rather than on trying to outthink or overpower the opponent. Marshall has some very good looking moves, but it often looks like he's in a hurry when he catches the ball in the post, as if he's made up his mind on what he wants to do with the ball before he's gotten a chance to scan the defense. His go to moves are his right handed baby hook shot as well as his quick turnaround jumpshots which given his wingspan are very tough to contest. He needs to add a bit more bulk so that he can have some reliable moves heading towards the hoop like drop steps. His touch is beginning to improve, which is promising and he appears to be getting more aggressive on the offensive end of the court. Even though he can be overmatched at times strength wise in the post, he's more consistently fighting for post position and he's seen the positive effects; he gets the ball in better position to score. He's a willing screener and does good work on a quick slip towards the hoop. His explosiveness will make him a tough alley-oop threat from this setting. He still has work to do though. His face up game is still pretty non-existent. Marshall isn't a threat to score really from anywhere off of the blocks. His form is improving but what's odd is that he has no real follow through on his stroke and he barely bends his knees at all when he's going to release the ball. He will need to channel his offensive improvement to the jumpshot and if he does, he can become a very good player.


Defensively, he's already a pretty competent player. The same issues on offense that plague him in the post harm him defensively. He needs more leg strength in order to more effectively fight and ward off his matchup for post position. He is an excellent shot blocker whose timing is good enough that he can contest and block shots effectively without fouling. He doesn't fall for gimmicky pump fakes like many other proficient shot blockers do. His 7'5" wingspan makes it easy for him to contest shots even if his matchup gets great position on the inside. Off ball, he does good work and remains alert. He gets a good amount of his blocks rotating over from the weakside to cover for a teammate which helps his value as a team defender. He needs to continue to work on his rebounding abilities. He doesn't put in much effort in the way of boxing out and finding a man to contain when the shot goes up. Marshall typically relies on his explosiveness to pull down rebounds which isn't always the best scenario despite his athleticism. Again, adding bulk will help with this as he'll be more willing to get physical if he isn't being pushed around.


Overall, Marshall is a project because there aren't many 7 foot tall players with his athleticism and explosiveness. He's exhibited improvement and has bulked up in his past four years at school and will need to continue to do that in order to make it in the NBA. He's worthy of a late second round flier for a team that doesn't expect him to contribute right away. He could be stashed away for a year or so in the D-League and could come out an asset.




Key Strengths:


·      Marshall is extremely athletic and explosive for his size.


·      He has great shot blocking instincts and can contest shots without fouling.


·      He has gotten better in every one of his years at college which is promising.


·      Marshall is beginning to fight harder in the post despite being overmatched in terms of strength in many instances.


Areas to Improve:


·      He needs to keep adding strength, specifically in his legs, so that he won't continue to be pushed around on the blocks.


·      Marshall should work on being more patient in the post, focusing on taking what the defense will give him rather than banking on quickly executing a pre-determined move.


·      He has no face up game yet and will need to find a way to be a scoring threat outside of just the paint and the blocks.