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Marlin and the Cajuns…Opening Night

Since becoming Louisiana’s head basketball coach, Bob Marlin has been a busy guy. He understood from the beginning that he needed to play catch-up.
He had to put together a staff.
He had to learn about his returning players.
He had to get a schedule put together.
He had to recruit.
And, as you get to know Bob Marlin, you’ll realize that shortcuts aren’t part of his scenario.
Paying attention to detail, however, is.
Call it the Marlin way.
Marlin has been meticulous in attacking the job before him; take Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns and turn them into winners. He knows that the process won’t happen quickly. But he still expects results. This year. Not necessarily a championship, but Marlin expects his team to give maximum effort every day at practice, which he hopes will translate into winning basketball. And, each day he stresses the same thing.
Pay attention to detail.
Marlin has taken his approach of paying attention to detail to his basketball team. And, they’re starting to understand exactly what that means.
Take care of your business in the classroom. Represent your University and your teammates the right way, both on and off the court. Be exact in your approach at practice. Do it until it’s done right. Bring your lunch bucket to work. Every day.
That’s the Marlin way.
Marlin replaced Robert Lee, who replaced Jessie Evans. Evans wasn’t exactly what you would call a disciplinarian. In fact, as long as the Cajuns were winning, Evans didn’t care much about the other stuff. Lee, relatively speaking, was a breath of fresh air in that department. His players went to class. His players graduated.
But, the returning players on the Louisiana basketball team are learning what the term discipline really means. And, they’re buying in.
Marlin has named senior guard Randell Daigle, forward LaRyan Gary and junior wing player Josh Brown as his tri-captains for the season. Why these three? They not only understand the Marlin way, they have embraced it.
At Marlin’s press luncheon yesterday, Daigle was interviewed by the media. But before he stood at the podium, Marlin spoke quietly to Daigle. “No problem coach,” he was heard to say as he removed his diamond stud earrlings and put them away before he got up to speak. Daigle was sure of himself, he was confident and he looked and sounded like a leader. Two years ago, Daigle was named a team captain, but this was a different Daigle. He was mature. He was confident, but not arrogant. He talked of togetherness, of team, of leadership.
That’s the Marlin way.
Louisiana opens the 2010-2011 season tonight against New Mexico State at the CAJUNDOME. Six other teams in the Sun Belt are opening at home….none of them are playing a Division I opponent.
The Cajuns opponent was an NCAA Tournament team a year ago and came within three points of knocking off Michigan State in the first round of March Madness. Michigan State went on to the Final Four. The NMSU Aggies are picked second in the Western Athletic Conference.
Go ahead, coach, take a bite out of that sandwich.
The Cajuns will get tested early and often. They travel to Creighton this Wednesday and return home to take on a Cleveland State team that was a second round NCAA participant two years ago. Then it’s off to Houston for a meeting with the Cougars. Marlin will find out a lot about his team in the next ten days. But right now wins and losses don’t concern him much.
What does?
Working hard. Playing hard. Playing together. Leadership. Teamwork.
Oh, and paying attention to detail.
That’s the Marlin way.

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