Men’s Basketball: Rimmer delivers again – Technically Speaking – Tackling Hecklers – Good Friend
Tim Buckley, Daily Advertiser, Feb. 12, 2014
UL’s Xavian Rimmer is coming off a big shooting night. / Leslie Westbrook/The Advertiser
A game-winning 3-pointer that Xavian Rimmer hit with 11.6 seconds remaining in UL’s one-point victory last Saturday at Texas State isn’t the first big shot this season that the junior shooting guard has made.
For the sake of his Ragin’ Cajuns, coach Bob Marlin hopes there are more.
Rimmer – from the Jackson, Miss., area – was 6-of-9 from 3-point range while scoring a season-high 21 points in UL’s non-conference tournament win last Nov. 24 at Coastal Carolina.
A few weeks later, Rimmer – who started his career as College Madness SWAC Freshman of the Year at Alcorn State, then transferred to UL from Pearl River (Miss.) Community College – was 4-for-7 on trey tries at Jackson State. One of those four makes came with nine seconds left to tie the game, but the Cajuns wound up losing 73-70.
“Xavian has played well all year,” said Marlin, whose club plays host Thursday night to Arkansas-Little Rock.
“His confidence is high right now,” the Cajun coach added, “and we need to continue to push forward and ride off his confidence.”
When Marlin was tagged with a technical foul on Saturday at Texas State, it wasn’t exactly a new thing.
The Cajun coach said he typically gets “two or three a year, and I usually ask for them.”
“But I’m gonna defend our guys,” he said.
“The officiating has been a challenge this year for all our NCAA programs and referees,” Marlin added. “We’ve tried to change some things, and it’s not been very consistent, and it’s been frustrating at times.”
UL’s comeback from 12 points with just less than eight minutes to go Saturday was sparked by a technical foul – called on one of the Bobcats.
Responding to a question on the subject prompted by Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart’s three-game suspension for shoving a heckling Texas Tech fan, Marlin this week suggested he is not a fan of his players being heckled while on the road.
But he apparently is OK with visitors to the Cajundome being heckled.
“We had a guy in Little Rock that sits behind our bench every year, and all he does is yell negative remarks at me and the players,” Marlin said. “And it’s very discouraging. And the student section’s right besides us. I hope our guys get their licks in, because we get plenty on the road.
“You know, it’s works both ways. I think fans have responsibility too,” he added.
“And these guys are students. I think coaches can take it, to a certain degree. But I don’t like people yelling at our student-athletes.”
Marlin said he’s spoken briefly, but not extensively, to his own players on how to deal with hecklers and not let them get in their heads.
“It’s not something you spend a lot of time with,” he said. “You’re more concerned about your game plan, trying to make baskets and stop them from making baskets.”
Smart and UL point guard Elfrid Payton were teammates last summer in the USA Basketball squad that won gold at the FIBA U19 World Championship tournament in the Czech Republic.
UALR head coach Steve Shields is one of Marlin’s former assistants at Pensacola Junior College in Florida.
“He is a close, personal friend,” Marlin said. “Certainly I’ll pull for him when we’re not playing. He knows that, and I think the feeling’s mutual.”
UL is offering a ticket promotion for its home game Saturday night at the Cajundome.
Spectators who attend either the Cajuns’ baseball or softball games Saturday can bring their ticket stub to the Cajundome box office to buy one ticket and receive three more at no cost for the men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader vs. Arkansas State.
For more information, call (337) 265-2357 during business hours.