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Journeyman Center Mike Marsh Asked to Lead Highly Touted Brandon Garrison, Isaiah Miranda

Marsh brings experience to pair with Garrison’s and Miranda’s star power.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — From a recruiting stars standpoint, Oklahoma State’s frontcourt will be as talented as it has been in a long time this upcoming season, but those star recruits are young.

Out of a 1.000, Brandon Garrison’s 247Sports Composite rating was a 0.9863; Isaiah Miranda’s was a 0.9830. That puts the pair among the best high school recruits in program history. But Garrison is a true freshman, and Miranda is a redshirt freshman after enrolling early at NC State and entering OSU without having played in a college game.

Their mentor is on the other end of the spectrum in a more ways that one.

Mike Marsh is 24 years old. He didn’t have a 247Sports Composite ranking.

Out of Gray Collegiate Academy in South Carolina, Marsh spent his freshman season at junior college USC-Salkehatchie playing on a court that wasn’t even wood. He then transferred to Dodge City in Kansas before finding his way to Jacksonville and now Oklahoma State.

Not that Garrison and Miranda didn’t work their way to Stillwater, but there are experiences that Marsh has that those two haven’t had to go through. And OSU coach Mike Boynton apparently wants Marsh to lead that young frontcourt.

“He’s actually been on my a– about it,” Marsh said. “He wants me to lead those guys the best way I can because I’ve got a better relationship with them than the coaches. He’s been on me about that a lot lately.”

Among OSU’s bigs, Marsh brings the most girth at 6-foot-10, 250 pounds. That’s five pounds heavier than the 6-11 Garrison and 30 pounds heavier than the 7-1 Miranda.

Marsh’s experience was on display in the 30 minutes of practice the media was able to watch Tuesday when he bullied away rebound from Garrison to keep possession for his team before hitting a cool jump hook over the McDonald’s All-American later in the practice.

“Physicality — you really can’t teach height — physicality, being a leader, being vocal, all those things really, really matter in today’s game, especially in the Big 12,” Marsh said. “Just helping them polish up their skill level has been really, really a pleasure for me to work with those young guys.”

All this talk of leadership isn’t to say that Marsh won’t also make an impact on the stat sheet. In two seasons at Jacksonville, Marsh averaged 9.4 points and 5.2 rebounds a game while shooting 54% from the field. He has four Division-I double-doubles. Garrison and Miranda haven’t played one Division-I minute.

But the ceilings for Garrison (a rim-protecting, ball-distributing center) and Miranda (a 7-1, jump-out-of-the gym, 3-point-shooting unicorn) are NBA high. And Marsh bestowing experience on those young pups can help get them there.

“You don’t know until you go through this stuff how hard it is,” Boynton said. “You look, even at the beginning of the schedule, you play a really good team and you gotta come back and have a good practice the next day because the next team is also good. You may not know as much about that team or you may know a lot about them, but you can’t go [up and down] with the emotions.

“Younger people are more emotional. They’re more tied to the results and outcomes as opposed to the process. Mike’s experience with the process, meandering his way here will be really, really good for those guys as adversity hits in some way shape or form throughout the year to kind of keep us grounded.”

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