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    Then & Now: Harvey Marshall

    Then & Now: Harvey Marshall

    Compiled By Dave Brandon

    (Photo Courtesy NU Media Relations)


    Marshall played for Nebraska for two seasons (1984-1985

    and 1985-1986.) Marshall, an athletic guard and threat

    to score from anywhere on the floor, was one of the

    leaders of Nebraska’s first ever NCAA tournament team in

    1985-1986.  His leadership especially shined after Dave

    Hoppen’s injury.

    Marshall recently joined HHC in the

    twentieth anniversary season of Nebraska’s first ever

    NCAA tournament team, to discuss then and now.

    HHC: Harvey, we want

    to start by thanking you for talking Husker Hoops with


    HM: My pleasure.  I

    think this site and feature is great for the program.

     Getting former players back together and in contact

    with each other is a great recruiting tool for the

    university and can only help the program.  It’s what

    many of the top programs do, and I think it’s a way to

    really help the basketball program at Nebraska.

    HHC: You are originally from Jackson,

    Tennessee, and began your collegiate career by playing

    two seasons at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling,

    Colorado.  While at Northeastern, you were a first team

    JUCO All-American, and averaged 23 points per game.

     Your stock was tremendous at this point, and many were

    surprised that Nebraska landed you.  Can you tell us

    what made you choose Nebraska over all of the other

    great schools that were recruiting you?

    HM: Probably first

    and foremost was that my head coach at Northeastern JUCO

    was Lowell Rumph, who was from Nebraska and went to

    college there.  So, he was a huge Big Red fan, and I had

    a lot of respect for him.  He nudged me in Nebraska’s

    direction a little bit and they ended up recruiting me

    the longest and hardest of all the schools, which

    numbered over fifty, and included Missouri, Colorado,

    Wyoming, and Tennessee-Chattanooga.  It actually came

    down to the wire between Nebraska and Colorado.  I know

    Colorado didn’t have much of a basketball program at the

    time, but they had a really good coach who recruited me

    in Alvin Gentry.  He’s still on the coaching scene in

    the NBA.

    HHC: Many current

    fans don’t know much about Moe Iba, other than the fact

    that his teams played great defense and really slowed

    the tempo.  How would you describe his beliefs, both

    offensively and defensively?

    HM: You just did.

    (laughs)  But really, he was a very defensive minded

    coach, and really emphasized playing aggressive, in your

    face defense.  Most teams that we played against were

    not capable of effectively scoring on that style of

    defense.  I think a lot of the old school coaches use

    that philosophy as well, and it obviously worked well

    for Iba, who was definitely one of those types of


    His offensive, like you said, was

    to slow the ball down and I guess when I was there, to

    dump the ball into our big guy, Dave Hoppen.  He liked

    to let Hoppen get at least one touch every time before

    someone took a shot.  He was very strict on that.  His

    father was a legendary college coach, obviously, and he

    definitely used his father’s philosophy, which was

    aggressive defense and strict offense.

    Moe was a really good coach, but he

    wasn’t very good at communicating with people.  So, I

    think that’s kind of where he struggled, but he had that

    old school mentality.  I do think its kind of unfair

    that the fans and media forced him out, because I always

    think that when people that are outside the program

    dictate things, its not good.  I have a problem with

    that, because you have to look at his record, and I

    think his record states that he’s a pretty decent

    coach.  I think the fans got tired of his style of play

    more than anything else because the game was changing,

    so I think that had more to do with it than anything.

    HHC: And what about

    Harvey Marshall?  Tell us what kind of player he was,

    and what he brought to the team.

    HM: I think the first

    thing that I was, was a team player, first and

    foremost.  At the suffering of my own individual goals

    and aspirations, I think I did what was best for the

    team.  I think that I came to Nebraska with a bright

    future because of the skills that I had developed up to

    that point, and not really understanding the style of

    play that Nebraska played.  I think I was a little

    stifled within their offense; I was turned into an

    excellent defensive player, but offensively I think that

    I suffered quite a bit.  I think if you look at the

    statistics, from when I was in junior college versus

    Nebraska, I was an excellent rebounder at the two-guard

    position, and ,as a matter of fact, at the JUCO

    tournament I was in the top ten in scoring and


    What I didn’t realize when I went

    to Nebraska was that in Iba’s system, the guards were

    forced to get back on defense, and were not allowed to

    go to the offensive boards to get easy points and

    rebounds.  That was probably the strongest part of my

    game, so I think that suffered as a result of the

    system.  But I always put the team first and did what

    was best for the program.

    HHC: Your first

    season at Nebraska was 1984-1985, and the team did as

    well as you did, as Nebraska was 8-1 in games in which

    you shot over 50%.  You were also third on the team in

    scoring, and scored in double digits in twenty games. 

    Before we get to the more memorable season of 1985-1986,

    tell us what you remember about your first season at

    Nebraska, in which the Huskers went 16-14.  Do you feel

    that team underachieved at all, and what specific games

    or feelings do you remember?

    HM: I remember that

    being a tough year as a team; it just didn’t seem like

    we meshed.  I just kind of remember struggling.  For me,

    it was a tough year because I was going from being the

    focal point on every team I had played on up until that

    point, and thinking that I would still play a very

    important role, to that not happening.  I struggled with

    realizing “now I’m not the main focus of the offense. 

    How do I still be a productive player and play within

    the system?”  So, for me personally, it was a tough

    year, and I felt like the team itself had a tough year

    as well.  Whether it was chemistry wise, I’m not sure, I

    can’t quite put a finger on it, but it was a difficult

    year for us.

    HHC: After your first

    season, and be totally honest, did you have any clue

    that your senior season would lead to the NCAA


    HM: To be perfectly

    honest, no, I didn’t think it would lead to the NCAA

    Tournament.  But, I felt like we were a few good players

    away from being a quality team.  I felt if we brought

    some big players in to help Hoppen inside with presence,

    we’d be a quality team.  I think we got Bill Jackman

    that year, and we had some bigger players that stepped

    up as opposed to my previous year.  I felt that our

    forwards, especially power forward spot, were our

    weakest spot.  I felt that our strength was on the

    perimeter, although we weren’t exactly deep at the guard

    spot, as Brian and I had to play a lot of minutes.  I

    still felt like we were a very solid team at those


    HHC: Before we talk

    about your senior season, we have to ask you about the

    infamous Moe Iba illegal practice at Mabel Lee.  Tell us

    what you remember about the incident, both during and


    HM: To be honest with

    you, I was really disappointed in the people behind the

    school newspaper who brought that all out, because

    obviously it was a vendetta to get Moe Iba fired, that

    was pretty obvious.  We weren’t doing anything that

    every other college program wasn’t doing.  It was a

    long-standing practice that teams get together before

    the season for conditioning.  It gives the coaches a

    chance to see what kind of shape the guys were in, and

    to oversee you getting in shape.  It also gave them an

    opportunity to look at the new players they were

    bringing in, and to see how they fit in with the guys

    that are coming back.  I don’t think what we were doing

    was anything unusual.  So I was really disappointed in

    the school’s newspaper.

    There was quite a bit that went

    into that, (laughs) but its probably best that we leave

    it at that. But there was definitely a lot of political

    stuff that happened as a result of that incident. 

    Because I don’t want to tarnish the school in any way,

    that’s all I can say.

    HHC: No problem, you

    knew that question was coming I’m sure. (laughs)

     Anyway, 1985-1986 would prove to be Nebraska’s first

    ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and can best be

    described as a year of overcoming adversity.  Talk to us

    about the distractions you guys had to overcome to

    achieve this success, as far as distractions from Moe

    Iba and Dave Hoppen’s injury in the game against


    HM: I know I

    personally came into the second year with some fire, and

    completely ready to go.  The team itself brought in some

    quality people, not that they were tremendously skilled

    people, but quality individuals and solid players.  We

    bonded together as a team, and I think we made something

    really fun happen together, almost magical.  We all came

    together as a group, and I think it was more of a

    testament of the character to the team.  Had we won a

    couple of games in the tournament, it would have drawn

    national attention and been something truly special.

    The beginning of the season, we

    were all optimistic since we brought in Bernard Day at

    the small forward position, he was an excellent player. 

    We also had Bill Jackman around, who transferred back to

    Nebraska from Duke, so he was 6’9” and another big body

    that we really needed.  John Matzke was a great guy and

    really good friend of mine, a really religious guy. 

    With him and Jackman, Day, and Chris Logan, along with

    Brian Carr and of course Hop, we had some quality

    people.  Nobody gave us much chance for being

    successful, and I think we surprised a few people.

    Maybe the newspaper article and

    getting into trouble with the NCAA motivated us, and I

    know that not a lot of people had high expectations of

    us.  I think we kind of decided to block that out and it

    almost felt like we wanted to come together as a team to

    show everyone that we were capable of doing something

    special.  I certainly know that was the feeling before

    Hoppen got hurt, and after, a tremendous change occurred

    in people’s attitudes, especially with Moe Iba.  I saw

    him change his philosophy, which freed guys up and

    allowed them to just go out and play basketball/have

    fun.  I think that was the main reason we were able to

    go ahead and still be successful after Hoppen’s injury. 

    We were quality people, and all good basketball players,

    not great, but all took pride in what we were doing and

    in ourselves.

    HHC: The last game

    you played in was against Western Kentucky in the NCAA

    Tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Tell us what

    you remember about the game, and what happened

    immediately after the game?  Was the team shocked about

    Iba’s resignation as several accounts have stated, or

    did you have a good idea it was coming?

    HM: I think I expected it to happen.  The

    game itself was pretty typical for the last eight to ten

    games we played without Hoppen.  I believe we won like 7

    of those 10 games.  In the WKU game, Iba again

    relinquished his tight control of the team and let us

    play.  He finally allowed us to go out there and utilize

    the skills we were blessed with.  Instead of holding

    guys back from utilizing skills to conform to his

    system, he finally conformed to our skills.

    I think nowadays, if you look at

    some of the top coaches in the country, that’s what you

    see them do.  They take players who are talented and

    they adapt their coaching philosophies to the team, so

    they don’t necessarily force the team to adapt to their

    coaching philosophies.  I saw him change that, and maybe

    he was just giving up and throwing the towel in.  But I

    don’t think he necessarily threw the towel in, I saw him

    adjusting his coaching style. That last game was no

    different; we stayed in the game but we were really

    outmanned big time in the middle without Hoppen. 

    Western Kentucky was just so big, and I just remember us

    keeping it reasonably close during most of the game.  It

    seems like toward the end of the game we came back, but

    right at the end we kind of ran out of steam.

    I remember after the game, with him

    announcing his resignation. Matzke and I went and talked

    with Moe after the press conference was over, although I

    can’t remember exactly why we went to talk with him, but

    it had to do with him resigning. We just kind of went

    and cleared some things up that I think we felt as a

    team. We were just kind of representing the team by

    talking to him.

    HHC: Talk about your

    memories of UNL and Lincoln. What sticks out when you

    reminisce, and when was the last time you were in


    HM: Last time I was

    in Lincoln was two years ago on my way to Atlanta. I

    drove through and stopped up at the university – drove

    over to the Devaney Center, which looks a lot older now.

    The campus looks a lot older in general than when I was

    there. When I was there, the Devaney Center was a brand

    new facility. So, it surprises me how fast time flies.

    I didn’t get a chance to spend a

    lot of time in Lincoln, and my times there…Oh my

    goodness.  You sure you want to know this? (laughs)

    HHC: (laughs) Only if

    it involves women.

    HM: (laughs) Well, I

    don’t think I want to incriminate myself that bad!  But,

    it was quite an experience for me. Looking back on it, I

    went to JUCO in Sterling, Colorado, which is in the

    middle of nowhere.  I went from a small school to a

    major university and it was somewhat overwhelming, in

    that the sheer number of students, and how large the

    campus was.  Just sitting in a class of over 100 hundred

    people was mind boggling, and you felt like a really

    small fish in a huge pond.  I felt like that was kind of

    tough for me.

    You’d think if you were around more

    people you might get to know more people, but it seemed

    like in the sports world, you mainly kind of hung out

    with the guys on the team or affiliated with the

    basketball program.  You might have gotten to know a few

    students that you went to class with, but you mainly

    hung out with athletes, whether it was football players

    or what have you.  I had quite a few classes with Neil

    Smith, and we became pretty good friends.

    Looking back on that, I wish I had

    more exposure to regular fans and students.  I stayed on

    campus when I first got there, and I only stayed there a

    short period of time.  I had one roommate from Nebraska

    for a short period of time, but other than that I really

    didn’t get a chance to see the average guy on campus.

     For me, I think it took away experiencing college life,

    and what its all about, because you’re so focused on

    participating on whatever sport you are in.

    HHC: And today, where

    will we find Harvey Marshall, and what is he up to?

    HM: Harvey Marshall

    today is in transition.  I just finished up five-year

    trade school in the construction world.  I’m probably

    waiting to pursue opportunities with that industry,

    where I can combine my trade school knowledge with my

    business education that I got at UNL.  I’d like to get

    into some kind of project management role, as I’ve been

    a project coordinator before.

    I’m currently living in Portland,

    Oregon, and the big thing that I have going on right now

    is that I’m officiating in the American Basketball

    Assocation, (ABA) and going into my second year as an

    official.  I’m also a high school official out here in

    Vancouver, Washington, which is right across the Columbia

    River from Portland.  I’ve been officiating high school

    for five plus years, and I’ve been involved with YMCA

    Sports as well, all the way down to the third grade

    level.  So, I’m still very active in basketball and I

    get more enjoyment out of it now when I watch the

    younger kids develop.

    HHC: Well then, we’re

    sure you’ll really like our new feature called “Heckling

    101” if you are a referee.

    HM: (laughs) I’m sure

    I’ll enjoy reading that.  But its kind of like when you

    play ball.  When you’re out there on the court, you are

    so focused on what you are doing that you don’t really

    pay a whole lot of attention to what’s going around you

    in the stands.  The guys that aren’t as mentally strong

    will focus on that and get distracted.  But, most of the

    guys who play most of the time are focused, and I find

    that I do the same thing when I’m officiating.

    HHC: Awesome.  We’ve

    set you up an e-mail at

    [email protected] so that Nebraska fans

    can e-mail you.  Would you be willing to take some

    e-mails from the fans

    HM: Absolutely.  Like

    I said, this is the best thing that could happen to the


    HHC: Thanks for the

    plug, and for talking Husker Hoops with us.  We feel

    there is a huge void in the Cipriano and Iba eras, so we

    plan to be addressing that in the near future, as well

    as promoting a reunion for your senior year team soon.

    HM: Thanks a lot – I hope so.  Look

    forward to talking more soon.<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">

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