Marquise Carter Works Hard this Summer, Plans for Big 2011 Season


It does not take long for an athlete’s career to come to an end when you are a JuCo transfer at Gonzaga. But, Marquise Carter {his friends call him Quise} plans on going out with a bang. He has put a lot of effort into what will be his senior campaign over the summer and looks forward to seeing the hard work pay off for him and his teammates. I had a chance to interview Quise recently about the upcoming season and we’ll get to that in just a minute. But first, let’s take a quick refresher.

Marquise Carter came to Gonzaga via the unconventional route, as a junior college transfer. He attended Three Rivers Community College located in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where he was named All American two years consecutively. He averaged 17 ppg, shot 85% from the free throw line, and led his team to the national championship game. Suddenly, the 6’4 SG became a hot commodity and had looks from a number of Division 1 schools. The decision as to where he would finish his college career came down to a split decision between Oklahoma and Gonzaga. He chose Gonzaga, and for the first half of last year you could hear the grumblings. He was too slow, could not shoot, and acquiring him was a big mistake. Then, about midway through the year something changed. He became basically our MVP and helped turn around what had looked like a lost season, became Mr. Clutch at the free throw line, and had such a magical second half that he was named W.C.C. Newcomer of the Year.

It’s now his turn to be a senior leader and leave a lasting legacy at Gonzaga. Is he up to the task? I had some general questions for Quise and also asked about the upcoming season, here we go:

Gaz: You chose Gonzaga over Oklahoma, why? I also heard that your brother Nate was unhappy with your decision, did you make the right decision and did Nate come around to your way of thinking?

Quise: I liked the coaches, campus, students, and it felt like a good fit for me. Yes, I made the right decision, most definitely. I knew I wanted to go to Gonzaga but I had some pressure from my older brother Nate, he just wanted me to go to Oklahoma and do a visit because he knows everybody there so he figured they could help me out. He went to college there and was just excited is all. He is happy for me and with my decision.

Gaz: Can you elaborate on how your brother’s experience at Oklahoma helped you decide on choosing G.U?

Quise: Sure, I felt like if I went to Oklahoma it might have been made easier for me because of my brother already having gone there. I did not want the easy way. I felt like at Gonzaga it would be harder, and I did not want any special treatment, I wanted to earn it.

Gaz: What’s the biggest difference between the junior college game and Division 1?

Quise: It’s the speed, most definitely. Plus, there is so much to learn in our system. At Junior College it’s more free style.

Gaz: You injured your wrist late last year. How is it? What are you doing to help heal it?

Quise: Yeah, it was bothering me quite a bit but I feel like it’s about 85% right now. I am not using any medications or anything like that. Just icing it down and it will be 100% by the time the season starts for sure.

Gaz: You seemed to struggle for roughly half of last year and it looked like you were frustrated, but then suddenly it was as if something clicked. You found your groove about midway through the season, what changed?

Quise: Man, I was like this two time All American coming in and I thought I was just going to do my thing but it didn’t happen like that. I thought I was going to start and play more but I wasn’t really ready yet. I didn‘t know the system well enough and I was definitely frustrated. I got more comfortable as the season went on.

Gaz: But, can you pinpoint anything in particular that helped you turn the corner?

Quise: Umm, I think what helped me was when late in a certain game I had like 4 fouls and coach Few put me in with about four minutes left. I did well, my shots fell, and my confidence went up from there.

Gaz: So, it was partially a confidence thing?

Quise: Yes, Coach putting me in with the game on the line like that made me realize that he believed I could get the job done and had confidence in me. It helped me to stop worrying about whether I was going to mess up or not and just play.

Gaz: You won the W.C.C. Newcomer of the Year Award last season after struggling for half the year. What does that mean to you?

Quise: I was totally surprised by it. I never expected that at all. It was the biggest accomplishment in my life so far. Even bigger than wining the two junior college All American Awards.

Gaz: Will you be running the point this season? Starting at the 2? Or maybe play a mixture of both?

Quise: I think it will mostly be at the two, even some at the three, we are also working some at the point. I‘ve been doing pretty good there, so we will see, but mostly the two spot I think. Coach might possibly slide me over to the point and if he does I’ll try to do a really good job so he will possibly keep me there.

Gaz: What’s going on with you this summer? Anything in particular you’ve been working on with your game?

Quise: It’s been a busy summer for me. Not only was there the school work, but I also have worked very hard hitting the weights, practicing, doing the scrimmages, and spending a lot of time with the kids at the camps on campus. I also worked with Derek Ravio, he’s a gym rat and he pushed me and he gave me a lot of pointers. We worked out in the weight room and he also helped me with my shot. It really helped a lot. He told me to keep working and never be satisfied.

Gaz: How far can Gonzaga go this year?

Quise: We have very high expectations. All of the pieces are there and we have been putting in serious work this summer. We can do something very special and I‘m looking forward to an exciting year. We’re playing really well together, pushing each other, and looking to make a run and go deeper in the tournament than last year.

Gaz: When it’s all said and done, can you play at the next level? Is Europe an option?

Quise: All I know is that I am focusing on this season. If it comes, it comes. The N.B.A. would be great, maybe Europe, we’ll see. I have a couple of friends that play in the league and they told me my best shot would probably be at the point guard position. But, I really don’t want to think about that right now. My focus is on Gonzaga and what we can do this season. The focus is on our team and we have worked very hard to accomplish some special things.

Gaz: What can you tell me about your recent visit to Camp Good Times?

Quise: It was definitely the highlight of my career at Gonzaga so far. I really enjoyed being able to spend time with the kids at Camp Good Times. Going there, spending time with the kids, seeing how excited they get just does something to you. You can feel the love and happiness, seeing all the kids smiling and having fun was awesome. Being able to help add a little sunshine to their day is a real blessing, it brings me happiness as well. (Note: this camp is a place where children who have, or who have had cancer go to fellowship, unwind, and have some fun in the sun with their peers. It is located in Post Falls, Idaho along the Spokane River.)

Gaz: Ok, one last question and it’s for my wife. She says that you really don’t know someone unless you know what their favorite cereal is. So, I have to ask. What’s your favorite cereal?

Quise: {laughter} Oh man, it’s definitely got to be Captain Crunch with the crunch berries, I just love the stuff and can‘t get enough of it! I can eat like 5 bowls at a time!

Gaz: No kidding, I’ll let her know, and guess what? Amazingly enough, it’s her favorite too!

Gaz: Oh, I almost forgot, is there anything you want to add or let the readers know?

Quise: Hmmmm, just tell them that we appreciate their support, coming to the games and all the positive vibes. Oh, and can you remember to mention to follow me on Twitter?

Gaz: Gotcha, I wouldn’t forget that promise I made to you, hahaha. I know you want to catch Sam Dower. I’ll let you know when this runs. You already mentioned that you read Slipper Still Fits but I’ll still let you know. There is a lot of buzz in town already in anticipation for the season. It’s going to be an exciting year and we wish you the best of luck. We’re pulling for you to do your thing and have a spectacular final season at Gonzaga. Thanks for taking the time to do the interview.

Quise: Don’t mention it, I’m very excited to get started, and thank you. Glad to hear your Mom is doing better too.

I promised Quise that I would throw up his Twitter so he can whip Sam Dower in total followers. He wants to beat all of his teammates too, so let’s help him do it. After all, he is very competitive…and that’s a good thing.

Let’s all follow Quise on Twitter at: @SnapBackCarter

This post does not reflect the views of the blog authors or SB Nation.

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