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Mag Minute with Gregg Marshall

3/7/2014
Marshall's "play angry" strategy made his undefeated team anything but angry. Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports

This is an extended version of a story that appears in ESPN The Magazine's March 17 Conspiracy Issue. Subscribe today!

LAST SEASON Gregg Marshall's "play angry" mantra was the driving force behind Wichita State's Final Four run. This shouldn't be a surprise, really. Throughout his career, Marshall, 51, has had to fight for everything he has. The former undersized (6-foot-2, 145 pounds) D2 guard, who has a number of fake teeth thanks to past physical altercations, didn't have a future Hall of Fame coach to help pave his way. Nonetheless, things have turned out just fine. Marshall's Shockers recently completed college basketball's first undefeated regular season in 10 years and seem primed to earn a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament, proving last season was no fluke. Their coach can't be angry about that. When Marshall visited ESPN's Bristol campus on Feb. 12, we sat him down for an off-the-court, on-the-record chat.

Carl Carchia: What is your most irrational fear?
Gregg Marshall: Falling in a sinkhole -- being sucked up by a sinkhole. They're real!

Carchia: What is your guilty pleasure?
Marshall: A big glass of red wine with my wife, Lynn. And some dark chocolate.

Carchia: What reality show would you want to be a contestant on?
Marshall: Back in the day, it would have been "The Bachelor." Those guys have it made! But I'm happily married now.

Carchia: What is your favorite car?
Marshall: I love the look of a BMW 740Li.

Carchia: What was the last thing you Googled?
Marshall: Probably RPI rankings. I was looking for our end-of-year RPI from the past five years.

Carchia: Who would play you in your biopic?
Marshall: Jim Carrey. Because we look alike. At least that's what my mother-in-law says.

Carchia: What was your most unrealistic New Year's resolution?
Marshall: To work out every day.

Carchia: What is the most embarrassing music you listen to?
Marshall: I like '70s and '80s light rock, some Steve Winwood or Steely Dan.

Carchia: What is your idea of a perfect day?
Marshall: I'm with family and friends at the beach on a beautiful 75-degree day. We go out and walk our dogs in the morning, play golf midmorning, and late afternoon have a cerveza or two on the beach and watch the sunset.

Carchia: Which living person do you most admire?
Marshall: Charles Koch. He's a Wichitan who owns the second-largest privately owned company, Koch Industries. He and his brother [David] are tied for the fourth-richest man in America, and he's done it with great integrity and commitment to the community. He's incredibly brilliant.

Carchia: We've all seen your reaction to then-2-year-old Trick Shot Titus showing off his moves. Are you going to offer him a scholarship? 
Marshall: Titus! He's on a great trajectory. I hope he continues, and if so, yes!

Carchia: Will you still be coaching in 15 years?
Marshall: That I don't know.

Carchia: If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, whom would it be?
Marshall: It would have to be Jesus. I think I'd have a lot to learn from him.

Carchia: What is your least favorite household chore?
Marshall: Probably vacuuming.

Carchia: What was your proudest moment?
Marshall: Probably the birth of my first child, Kellen.

Carchia: What movie have you seen more than any other?
Marshall: "The Shawshank Redemption."

Carchia: How tired are you of people asking about an undefeated season?
Marshall: I'm pretty tired of it, but it's a great problem to have.

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