Redshirt junior center Linsey Marchese is set to make her debut on Kent State University’s women’s basketball team this season.
Marchese played two seasons in the Big Ten Conference at Indiana University, averaging 1.5 points and 1.7 rebounds per game.
Coach Todd Starkey was on the staff that recruited Marchese to Indiana before becoming head coach at Kent State.
“She’s a really talented low post player who knows how to play physical, but also has a really good basketball IQ and good size,” Starkey said. “When we recruited her at Indiana we thought she had the talent to play in the Big 10.”
When Starkey found out she was looking to transfer, he started working to bring her to Kent.
“I was excited about the possibilities of her coming to Kent and didn’t know if they (her and her family) would be interested or not,” Starkey said. “I reached out to her dad after she decided to transfer and I was really excited to try to recruit her to Kent State.”
Marchese said she was nervous about going into the transfer portal.
“Going into the transfer portal was kind of scary because you have to start all over with new people and a new system and things like that,” Marchese said. “Coach Starkey called me and he recruited me when I was in high school, so I already knew him and felt comfortable with him. When I came here on my visit it felt like it was right to be here.”
Because of the NCAA transfer rules, she had to sit out last season. But she says that time watching helped her learn a lot about Mid-American Conference basketball.
“Coming from the Big Ten into the MAC is very different,” Marchese said. “There’s different people, different ways they play, different styles and things like that. Sitting out allowed me to watch other teams, so I can better my knowledge and be able to imagine myself in certain situations and in the games as well as learn my team and grow more of a connection with them.
Marchese was still able to participate in practices, though.
“It was very beneficial for me to participate in the practices because if I had to sit out and not do anything at all it would have been awful,” Marchese said. “Participating in practice allowed me to fall in love with the game again.”
Marchese stands at six feet four inches which will add some height to the team this season and makes her a threat in the post.
“I think she has the talent to be one of the best low post players in the league and she’s going to have the opportunity to play a good bit,” Starkey said. “I think she should be one of the top field goal percentage leaders in the conference. She’s a scorer and rebounder around the basket and somebody who has the ability to really defend the paint and defend the post.”
Her height gives her an advantage to be a defensive threat, making it difficult to shoot over her and get the ball into the paint.
“Players are going to have trouble finishing over her around the basket and I think she’s going to have the ability to not necessarily be a shot blocker, but more of a shot alterer,” Starkey said. “From a defensive standpoint, I think she’s going to have a big effect on making it hard for the opposing team to finish around the basket.”
Along with her height and defensive skills, Marchese brings leadership and experience to the team.
“I bring my vocal skills which allow me to help teach them (teammates) my knowledge as well as helping them out on and off the court,” Marchese said. “I am experienced because I am a redshirt junior, but I’m really a senior, so I’ve been in college and on the court for four years and I’ve been around a lot of players and a lot of different things.”
Playing in the low post is a physical position that has shaped her into the player she is today.
“My style of play is tough and physical,” Marchese said. “I am a post player, so I play down low and all the big kids are down there. My mind is really focused on the game and I’m hardworking.”
Starkey would like to see Marchese’s confidence and connectedness improve throughout the season.
“I think that comes from being on the court and getting game minutes, so I think that will be a natural thing,” Starkey said.
Kathryn is a sports reporter. Contact her at email@example.com.
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Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.