While Southwest Mississippi Community College women’s basketball can be remembered for its perimeter shooting, especially this past season, the Bears’ post play and interior presence in the paint cannot be overlooked.
And a big part of that success can be attributed by the stellar play of center Alexus Marsh.
Following a solid two-year run in Summit, Marsh is moving on to play at a four-year school, as she recently signed on to play with the William Carey Crusaders.
“Honestly, I’m excited to see where these next two years bring me, I’m glad that I am closer to home now,” said Marsh, a Gulfport native.
Marsh chose William Carey over offers from Southeastern Louisiana University and Mississippi Valley State.
For Marsh, signing with the Crusaders is more than just being closer to home. It is also about thriving in the system, something she believes she can do in Hattiesburg.
“I wanted to go somewhere that had a great environment,” she said. “I couldn’t really visit any schools because of the virus. I knew a couple of people that went there, so I asked them how it was, getting their opinion and thoughts on it. So I took it into consideration and I already wanted to be closer to home.”
She added that she has been to William Carey before, for a game, and loved it. Another aspect of her decision is academics, as she will continue her pursuit for a degree in business management.
And while she didn’t get much playing time as a freshman during the 2018-19 campaign, she took advantage of her minutes this past season to improve her statistics. During her freshman year, she averaged 1.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Last season, however, those numbers rose to 5.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
Her season-high in scoring came in the final game of the season, where she recorded 11 points in a 71-66 loss to LSU-Eunice in the opening round of the Region 23 tournament at Mississippi College.
“By me actually getting more playing time this year, it made me actually believe in myself,” she said. “I didn’t believe in myself last year. I honestly didn’t know where I would be without my teammates and my coaches believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself.”
As far as the types of schemes William Carey runs, Marsh believes she will fit in nicely based on what she has learned recently at SMCC.
“I honestly feel like it is the same as Southwest,” she said. “Being the 6-foot center that I was at Southwest, I honestly think that I have to put in more at William Carey, not just being that 6-foot center, but being more of a player that they can’t count on for different roles."
SMCC head coach Brent Harris echoed this, adding that he believes Marsh is a very versatile defender.
“Alexis can block shots in the post but she can probably switch out and guard almost anybody on the floor,” he said. “Anytime somebody can help you defensively, they will find a way to use her.”
When she gets to Hattiesburg and suits up for the Crusaders, she says the fans there can expect a lot from her.
“They can expect a hard-worker, someone who is enjoyable to be around,” she said. “Somebody who is curious, somebody who is willing to work and is willing to show up every day."