MARTIN, Tenn. – Darius Thompson and Carlos Marshall, Jr. have each signed a National Letter of Intent to join the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball program, Skyhawk head coach Anthony Stewart announced today. Both Memphis, Tenn. natives, Thompson will be a junior while Marshall will be a freshman in 2017-18.
Thompson is a 6-2, 170-pound guard from Mineral Area College, located in Park Hills, Mo. Playing under head coach Luke Strege, Thompson has helped the No. 20 ranked Cardinals to a perfect 5-0 start in 2016-17, scoring a season-best 13 points in back-to-back games.
Last season, Thompson was part of a Cardinal squad that went 25-6 overall and finished the season ranked No. 18 in the final NJCAA national poll after reaching as high as No. 9 during the year. He saw time in all 31 games as a true freshman, averaging 6.5 points per game with an impressive 49:19 assist-to-turnover ratio. He also added 1.2 steals per outing while shooting 47.3 percent from the floor, 35.8 percent from three-point range and a team-high 75.5 percent from the free throw line.
Thompson tossed in double-digit point performances on seven different occasions in 2015-16, including a season-high 16 points against Missouri State-West Plains on Jan. 27. He corralled season-highs of seven rebounds and five assists on Dec. 22 at Richard J. Daley and also was responsible for nine multi-steal performances, including a season-best four swipes against Southwestern Illinois on Nov. 9.
Thompson prepped at Memphis Central High School under head coach Ricardo Patton, who formerly oversaw the University of Colorado and Northern Illinois University men’s basketball programs from 1996-2011.
Thompson helped the Warriors post a 17-11 record while reaching the District 16-AAA championship game as a senior, tallying 13 points in that outing. He was spotlighted by Tennessee recruiting guru Andre Whitehead as an 8AAA All-Region performer in 2014-15 and was also a “Best of the Preps” Class AAA honoree by the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper.
“Darius plays the game the right way and his best basketball is ahead of him,” Stewart said. “He had a relationship with our assistant coach Jermaine Johnson and that was key in his decision to come to UT Martin. We welcome Darius to the Skyhawk family.”
A 6-6, 195-pound forward, Marshall is entering his senior season at Southwind High School in Memphis. Playing for head coach Paul Edwards, Marshall was named a Class AAA all-state honoree by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association after a stellar junior campaign. He also earned a spot on Andre Whitehead’s All-Region 8AAA squad after helping the Jaguars to a 24-9 record.
Marshall showed a knack for big games last season, dropping 37 points against Hazel Green, 33 points (on a perfect 14-of-14 shooting) against Sheffield, 33 points against Wooddale and 31 points against Ridgeway in a district semifinals win. He was named the Memphis Commercial Appeal Boys Basketball Player of the Week on Jan. 20 after his big game against Sheffield and a 19-point, 14-rebound effort against Ridgeway.
Ranked as the No. 5 prospect in Tennessee by BigShots.net, Marshall made a name for himself playing for Team Thad for the past two seasons on the prestigious Under Armour Association in the AAU circuit. He poured in 27 points on 9-of-11 shooting in Team Thad’s first win of the 2016 season – a 70-59 victory over the Philly Pride. He averaged 10.8 points on 49 percent shooting, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game over 16 summer contests last year. He also averaged 12.6 points on 48 percent shooting, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals for Team Thad in 2015, scoring a season-high 23 points in a win over Sports U 52-50.
“Carlos has a world of potential and we are looking forward to getting him here and being able to work with him on a daily basis,” Stewart said. “He is a remarkable young man who has a plethora of talent and he is a great fit for our program.”
Photos courtesy of Mineral Area College and Team Thad/Under Armour Association