Virginia Wesleyan College over the years has accumulated hundreds and hundreds of victories with an undersized team. In the past, the Marlins normally carry multiple guards and a handful of post players. I, for one, believe that could be the one chink in the Marlins’ armor.
The Marlins contend for the ODAC Championship year in and year out. The only time a Marlin team runs into trouble is when they are faced with an actual college post player. Not because of a lack of talent but due to lack of size.
The Marlin post players are very athletic finishers and have great athletic ability. For example, Kaelin Poe, forward, is 6’6’’ and 180 pounds and can absolutely jump out of the gym. But when faced with a 6’6-6’7 220 pound opponent, he may run into trouble due to the fact he is smaller in weight than the other player.
We saw the Marlins shine in the Tip-Off Tournament because the other teams in that tournament played like the Marlins do. They run a four guard one forward set. With the mentality of who can get down the floor the fastest or who can make the most 3-point jump shots.
I’m not knocking that style of play by any means. It has worked for the Marlins for years, even dating back to when the Marlins won the NCAA Division III National Championship. They won with average to undersized post players. It also works for teams with an abundance of shooters. Such as a team like the Warriors. The Warriors play that run and gun undersized, who can get down the floor first style offense.
We as the fans of Marlin basketball have also witnessed the other half of this argument. Which are when the Marlins are faced with big-men that are fundamentally sound and know how to draw fouls and get points.
When the Marlins took on the Seagulls of Salisbury University a few weeks ago, we saw first hand what could happen. The Seagulls ran a traditional two guard three forward set against the Marlins four guard one forward set. Despite the effort shown by the post players for the Marlins, the Seagulls Wyatt Smith, a 6’6 220 pound forward, still managed a double-double in the game. Smith ended the game with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The game that followed the Salisbury game was the Marlins taking on Emory and Henry. The post play was again something that stood out. Emory and Henry’s Alic Wynn gave the Marlins trouble down low, dropping in 20 and grabbing 7 boards. That does not seem like a lot of rebounds but being able to work the ball down low and get 20 points off of high quality looks is something that could help any team on the offensive end of the floor.
Imagine if we had another player that could complement the athleticism of Kaelin down low. With a bigger body alongside Kaelin, we would potentially be able to dominate the game on the glass as well as control the post a lot more efficiently.
The Marlins would take their team play and abilities to another level, while also growing their offense to allow more weapons. Adding a big man who demands attention could open up many more open-shot opportunities for the many shooters that the Marlins have on their roster.
(Photo: Val Miller | Marlin Chronicle)