LAFAYETTE — Former Southern California guard Malik Marquetti was looking to make a basketball decision when it came to his future.
On Monday, the former Trojans captain made that decision: Marquetti will continue his playing career at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Proud to say I've found a new home at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/4rcLoF7hNW— Cubano (@MalikBOMAYE) June 27, 2016
“It was the best basketball decision for me,” Marquetti said. “I felt like the program will help me grow to be the player I want to be. And I thought it would be good for me to get away from California.”
A four-star recruit coming out of Millikan High School in Long Beach, Marquetti averaged 2.0 points and 7.3 minutes in 27 contests last season. He started 15 games as a freshman, averaging 3.3 points.
The 6-foot-6 guard chose the Cajuns over Cal State Northridge.
When he looked at the Cajuns, he saw a program that put two players into the NBA in the past couple of seasons: Elfrid Payton and Shawn Long.
“They produced a lottery pick (Payton) a couple years ago, (and) they had another player get signed (Long) a week ago,” Marquetti said. “I just felt it was the best decision.”
He plans to arrive in Louisiana about a week before school starts in August to get accustomed to his new surroundings. He’ll have a place to stay before he makes his way to Lafayette: Marquetti said he has family in Alexandria, Marksville and Baton Rouge.
Marquetti will sit out the 2016-17 season under NCAA transfer rules, then will have two years of eligibility remaining. He doesn’t see it as a wasted year, though.
“I’m going to work as hard as I can,” he said. “I’m going to treat the preseason as if I’m playing and, during the season, I’m going to focus a lot on lifting weights and being ready for when my time does come.”