Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 | 2 a.m.
- Pittsburgh transfer forward Khem Birch ready for a fresh start at UNLV
- About 3,000 tickets remain for Saturday’s home game against New Mexico
- UNLV’s Mike Moser named to The Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list
- UNLV falls two spots to No. 14 in Associated Press rankings
- UNLV’s poor shooting and lapse on defense combine for loss at San Diego State
- 2011-12 UNLV Men's Basketball Schedule
- All UNLV Men's Basketball Coverage
They flow in steadily, 140 characters or less at a time.
“anthony marshall #youdisgustme”
“I really don’t like Anthony Marshall. Cocky beyond belief.”
Most people go out of their way to avoid bad things that are written or said about them. Marshall favorites them, filing the negativity away so that he can read it at any time with the click of a button.
“Every other day, when I’m on Twitter or I just have some down time I read some comments that people say about me,” Marshall said. “It just adds motivation, fuel to the fire.”
The vitriol was especially voluminous after Saturday’s 69-67 loss at San Diego State. On Wednesday, Marshall and the Rebels (16-3, 0-1) get a chance to turn that negative energy into positive results when they host TCU (10-6, 0-1) at 7:30 p.m. It’s the Rebels' first game at home since a historic 124-75 victory against Central Arkansas on Dec. 28.
Marshall’s motivational tactic ramped up after his 0-for-7 debut in a 71-67 victory over Nevada-Reno, a performance he said he still thinks about. However, the practice dates back to high school.
“Some people say you shouldn’t read comments like that, but it’s something I’ve been doing since high school, even articles in the newspaper you see something that someone had to say,” Marshall said. “That’s something I’m accustomed to doing.”
He’s certainly not the only one. Athletes are known for using perceived slights to drive them to work harder and improve their game (see: Jordan, Michael). The only thing that’s changed is the technology.
“You just had to make mental notes,” Marshall said, “so now that you have Twitter it allows you to favorite those tweets.”
The thing about this tactic is that almost anything can be perceived as a negative comment if you want it to be. And that’s what makes the practice such an effective tool in the proper hands.
If you can emotionally detach yourself from the attacks most of the time, as Marshall said he does, and then use them when you need an extra boost, it’s a perfect solution.
After all, living well is the best revenge.
The key is to keep your composure and rely mostly on positive support or constructive criticism, especially when it comes from your coach.
“Offensively, we got away from how we’ve played most of the season,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said of Saturday’s loss. “We were not selfish, but I do think that we had some guys that probably tried to do a little bit too much instead of relying on each other.”
Bellfield and Marshall, who was 8-for-17, took the most shots on the team in San Diego. Marshall kept the Rebels in the game with a team-leading 26 points, but antagonists could also point to his team-leading five turnovers.
The Rebels are never going to please all the people all the time. They know that. This is about getting better by any means necessary.
Whether it’s a tweet or a comment on a story, if you’ve written anything about Marshall on the Internet, there’s a good chance he’s read it.
And if it was negative, or even just perceived to be so, you probably helped make him better.
“I read comments, I go to different message boards in my free time, and just read things people have to say,” Marshall said. “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, but just for me, I use that as motivation to prove those people wrong.”