Some weekly news conferences are about filling the blanks after a game, while others tend to be about delivering a message.
For UL men’s basketball coach Bob Marlin, his routine Monday availability ended up achieving a little in both categories.
First things first, Marlin relayed his regret that he won’t be able to personally take part in the Tony Robichaux memorial events scheduled to take place this weekend at Russo Park because his team plays in Alabama on Thursday and Saturday.
“Good luck to coach (Matt) Deggs this weekend as they open the baseball season on Friday in a special night of remembrance for the Robichaux family — Colleen and their entire family,” Marlin said. “I know it’s going to be a great occasion this weekend. I certainly would love to be here, but unfortunately we’ll be at Troy.”
When you’re still four games under .500, all wins are important.
Next on his agenda was to publicly apologize for getting two technical fouls and ejected at the 14:08 mark of the first half of Saturday’s 86-79 loss to Georgia Southern, requiring multiple escorts before exiting the arena.
“Secondly, I’d like to apologize for my unsportsmanlike behavior the other night,” Marlin said. “It got a little bit out of hand. Certainly not my intentions. I apologized to our staff, our team and certainly our administration. A deserved apology also goes to our fan base and our university because that’s not the behavior that I normally exhibit.
“I thought I knew what I was doing, but evidently not.”
Marlin said it was the fourth time it happened in his 26-year coaching career. Ironically, his son, Matt, was in the building Saturday and was there to keep his father company in two of those four ejections.
Marlin said he followed the end of the first half in the locker room and then went to his office at halftime, because he wasn’t allowed contact with his staff or players.
Going into the Jan. 29, 2018 game at Southeastern, things were going pretty well for UL men’s basketball coach Bob Marlin.
“You get frustrated,” Marlin said of the experience. “You look and see a one-handed pass that’s stolen. ‘Why are we doing this? We didn’t work on it.’ You can yell at the TV a little bit what you wouldn’t yell at the game probably.”
Marlin didn’t volunteer any details of the actual ejection until later in the press conference when asked about the early timing of the technical fouls.
“I don’t know,” Marlin said. “You’d have to ask the official. I didn’t curse. I thought a play on the other end was out of bounds on them. When our crowd is super demonstrative, they’ve got a good beef usually.
“I asked the crew chief for a ruling, or did he see it. He said it’s not in his area. It’s in the other guy’s area. I asked him to open his eyes and I got a technical because of that.”
Marlin gave details of his first ejection during his Sam Houston State days. It involved a player diving on a pile-up — “that’s now a foul” — and an official originally scheduled to be in College Station not Huntsville, Texas.
Marlin explained he was “going to get his money’s worth” with an official he didn’t think would throw him out when the new referee on the scene did.
His plan Saturday in the Cajundome didn’t work either.
“I didn’t get a chance to get my money’s worth,” Marlin said.
“To be honest, that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to talk to the other guy.”
Splitting a weekend against two teams in the top four spots in the Sun Belt race isn’t normally a bad thing when you’re fighting for a spot in…
Naturally, there’s no way of knowing if UL would have won with Marlin on the bench for all 40 minutes. He suggested a few things, such as substitutions and defensive changes, might have been different.
“Some substitutions and a couple things would have been different for sure, but when our coach that has a scout is responsible for making the decisions afterwards,” Marlin said. “It was coach (Neil) Hardin and he had a great game plan in place.
“That’s something we take pride in. We really do a good job scouting, so it really doesn’t change. You can change defenses a little bit, just on a whim.”
It didn’t require a view from the bench to know that careless turnovers were the biggest culprit in Saturday’s loss.
“We had worked all week, but especially Friday and Saturday morning on protecting the ball and not giving them easy opportunities,” Marlin said. “And we did it.”
The other common theme was solutions for tired players with a shorthanded roster.
Marlin did reveal the status of point guard Trajan Wesley has improved.
“With Mylik (Wilson) coming off an injury and Cedric’s (Russell) feet are really bothering him to play 40 minutes, that’s a lot to ask from a young man,” he said.
If you like the 3-point shot, the Cajundome is the place to be at 7 p.m. Thursday evening when UL faces bitter rival Georgia State.