Candidate #2: Bob Marlin Brings the Heat to Athens

Bob Marlin built two programs up and coached NBA talent.  Give him a call!

Bob Marlin’s success at Louisiana-Lafayette (or as they call it the University of Louisiana – because it is the flagship campus of the University of Louisiana) and Sam Houston State is difficult to ignore when considering potential coaches at Georgia.  Marlin has put Sun Belt talent into the NBA and built up two programs.  The Cajundome is rocking and Bob Marlin is the big fish making it all happen.  He’s a coach with a style of play that is hard to ignore.

Playing Style is Fast and Aggressive

Bob Marlin likes to press a little bit, but he’s not necessarily a pressing coach per se.  His teams to play at a very fast pace.  His defense plays with great intensity on the defensive end to force turnovers and his teams can rebound very well.  Offensively, the Ragin’ Cajuns play with a motion offense and some sets.  Marlin calibrates the offense to fit how his team responds to the game, which means there is offensive freedom and sometimes there is a bit more structure, but it is never designed to be disjointed.  The offense gets a lot of scoring opportunities from transition opportunities and secondary break.  Turning turnovers into fast breaks is a hallmark of Marlin’s teams.

Metrics During Marlin’s time at Louisiana-Lafayette:

2016-17 Louisiana-Lafayette Metrics

Marlin’s team was shorthanded in this season due to graduations and incoming transfers who had to redshirt (Malik Marquetti formerly of USC, Marcus Stroman formerly of South Carolina and Jakeenan Gant formerly of Missouri).  The offense still was strong, but defensively wore down due to their depth issues.

2017-18 Louisiana-Lafayette Metrics

With the influx of talent and greater depth, Bob Marlin’s team owns the distinction of Sun Belt Regular Season Champions.  However, this is a team with much more to play for and they have improved as the season progressed.

All of the losses this season have been on the road or on a neutral site.  Louisiana-Lafayette’s losses were the opening night loss at Ole Miss, a loss at Clemson, a loss at Georgia State and a loss to Wyoming in that disgraceful Cayman Islands Classic.  Marlin is the second suggested coach to take part in that debacle and there is another coach to be mentioned in a future article who participated in it to be recommended as well.

(Georgia will be in the Cayman Islands Classic this upcoming November.)

Efficient offense, fast pace of play and lots of turnovers forced.  2017-18 Metrics as of February 26, 2018.

  • This team gets to the Free Throw Line a lot
  • The team can score efficiently inside and this group of Ragin’ Cajuns is above-average from 3 point range.
  • Opponents struggle with ball movement, but Marlin’s guys do not.

Look at that beautiful shot distribution, Marlin’s squad is the polar opposite of Georgia.  Louisiana-Lafayette gets shots attempted in the restricted arc 45% of the time (9th best in the country).  Off the dribble or off an assist, the shots are going to be attempted in high probability or high value locations on the floor (9th best in the country at doing so).  It’s no wonder that this team has such a strong Adjusted Offensive Efficiency per KenPom.

24.6% of their shots are taken in transition, which is 53rd highest in the nation.

This is an excellent rebounding team and the team also forces turnovers (live ball and dead ball).  Their high number of possessions per game means that their turnovers per game will be higher, but on an adjusted basis, their turnovers per play puts them towards the upper third of the country.

Bob Marlin is a Winner

The current Louisiana-Lafayette team is projected to be a #12 seed on  Good luck to their unsuspecting opponent in the NCAA Tournament should they win the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

Bob Marlin put his guys in the NBA

Ever heard of Elfrid Payton?  He was an under-the-radar prospect who became a lottery pick and now he’s starting for the Phoenix Suns.

Shawn Long had a good run in Lafayette and he ended up making the Philadelphia 76ers roster in 2016-17.  Long is currently in the NBA G-League with the Philadelphia 76ers “farm team” – Delaware 87ers.

Also in the G-League are Shooting Guard Brian Williams (Class of 2015) with the Wisconsin Herd and Jay Wright (Class of 2017) with the Lakeland Magic.

Bob Marlin should get a call

Marlin checks all the boxes and an NCAA Tournament appearance would justify calling him.

  • Put his guys into the NBA.
  • Wooed transfers to come to Lafayette and they performed better.
  • Fast-paced style of play.
  • Aggressive defense.
  • Blended offense and strong feel for the game.
  • Left Sam Houston State on top and if he leaves Louisiana-Lafayette would be leaving on top again.
  • No NCAA or FBI issues.
  • Engaged in local community.

With the talent that Georgia has, Marlin should be able to accomplish so much more.  Marlin only has 40% of a major conference program’s lineup, imagine what he can do with 100%.


  1. Great breakdown. I agree Marlin would bring an exciting style of winning basketball to Athens. My only concern is he’s 59 yrs old.

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