DONNIE MARSH - Men's Basketball
March 28, 2008
This is always a tough one to write. There will only be three (3) teams that finish their seasons with wins, so perhaps they'll be able to write a more glowing end of the season wrap-up. As for me this one is difficult. You are never prepared for the season to end. In my 28 years of doing this, I still have trouble hanging up the sneakers & whistle for the year. I thoroughly enjoy what I am doing. I understand I am in a very small minority of people who truly love what they do. I feel blessed to be around a college environment where new and fresh ideas spring up like flowers each spring. An environment that allows me to teach, to set an example, to help young people develop into men and winners! An environment that allows me to be around my son on a daily basis; to embrace the concept of family each day because I work for a guy who expects that – I get to drop my daughter off at school each morning before coming into work and he has no problem with that; to positively influence students & student-athletes through my actions and/or words; and most importantly to be a testimony each day to how blessed I feel that God allows me to do what I do.
So from that perspective I can step back, evaluate our season and feel good about the step we took forward in our 2nd year at UAB. 23 wins brought us two (2) shy of tying the school record for wins in a season. A 2nd place finish in C-USA to the team that might very well play for it all. A 14-1 home record with that 1 loss coming to the then #1 team in the nation by a single point. A season that saw this team go into two very difficult arenas and come out as the first team to win at those venues – 1st league team to win at UTEP; first visiting team to win at VCU. We did all this and more while losing a first team pre-season C-USA selection and one perhaps the most talented big man in the league before January. It was a good season!
What we have done is lay a foundation of expectation and we wouldn't have it any other way. Coach Davis' goal is to put together a program capable of competing for a National Championship. There is so much that comes along with that. We have to establish an environment night in and night out that rivals what we saw at Virginia Tech in our NIT 2nd round game. The same type of environment we all witnessed when Memphis came to town. It can't be so much about who's coming in as it is about who's in there every night – YOUR BLAZERS! Come out and let our guys know it's them you're coming to see, NOT the opponent. That makes an impression on the recruits, the guys we want as future Blazers. When they see and feel that kind of enthusiasm and support, they can see themselves in the green & gold. That's the life blood of what we do – recruiting – and our fans can play a huge role in helping us attract the best players in the country. As the old saying goes, "It's not the X's & the O's, but the Jimmies & the Joes that win championships". All-in-all Blazer fans I hope you're proud of your team. They represented you well during the 2007-08 season. It's my hope that you are as anxious and excited for what's in store next season as we all are. With everyone slated to return except Frank Holmes it has the potential to be a very special year. If I were you I'd get my season tickets now.
Don't forget the Basketball Banquet is scheduled for Wednesday, April 9th at the Wynfrey Hotel. Call the basketball office for more details 934-3402. Also remember summer camps in June. Get your young Blazers signed up to spend some personal time with the players who will be working camp.
Have a blessed spring & summer. Next season will be here before you know it. The countdown is already on! Just 8 months until we tip it off again...
Assistant Head Coach