WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Seahawks have seen plenty of transition. But despite changes to staff, players and days on the calendar, one thing has stayed consistent at UNCW for the past four years; Marcus Bryan.
“I tell everyone I feel pretty old being out there. I hope it’s not showing but I definitely feel like I’ve been there that long.”
Bryan is now in his senior season with the UNCW Seahawks. In his time with the team, he’s had plenty of success including two conference titles. But that’s the past, Bryan and the squad are focused on the here and now.
“Nobody’s really focused on what we’ve done in the past. It’s a different system with different coaches. We’re more focused on playing how we’re capable of playing and when the time comes, focusing on each game at hand and see what happens.”
The season saw some early bumps in the road as the McGrath era started at UNCW. As the year continued, you could see the team continue to fight and never quit no matter what the result was. Bryan attributes that the heart of this team comes from the heart of their coach.
“McGrath is really motivating. No matter what, he encourages you to keep playing and trying. Hearing that from a head coach helps me play better while I’m on the floor.”
Bryan never had many opportunities to get on the floor and show of the skillset that he has this season. The change in offensive mindset and system with this staff as opened up chances for Bryan and the big guys.
“With Keatts, he was playing small ball. So with me playing the position of 4, I didn’t really get in too much. With McGrath, he likes playing with two bigs which gets me in the mix a little bit more. We’re still trying to force tempo and go up and down.”
In order to get that right tempo and pace, the work gets done in practice. Bryan has the unique opportunity of practicing against some of the best in the conference on a daily basis, which only helps him get better.
“Coach McGrath does a good job of switching up the teams. So playing against Tae or Trey is a different look. Tae is a little more quick and athletic, but Trey is 7 foot and it’s hard to get used to and playing against that. It’s a different look and both are tough opponents.”
Both of the guys he just mentioned, as well as Bryan, all work under Coach Joe Wolf. In just a short amount of time, the former NBA star has taken Bryan’s game to the next level.
“He’s very knowledgeable with technique. I’ve never been able to shoot a hook shot and with his help I can. He’s fixed my form and have a more consistent jumpshot so that helps as well.”
Coach McGrath calls Marcus Bryan the “glue guy” on the UNCW roster. As players develop around him, he too continues to grow and get better week after week. This was especially true in his career day in the win against Towson.
Midway through the conference season, you can see the Seahawks turning the corner and proving once again they are a force in the CAA. When a team is losing, bad teams point fingers. But Coach McGrath has created a culture that is proven to be championship worthy, one Marcus Bryan is happy to be part of.
“McGrath is a little more laid back, which everyone enjoys and it gives everyone freedom. But at the same time it holds other people responsible for what they do and what our teammates do. It’s a good thing for us and it seems to be working so far.”