Isaiah Marin.. Remember the Name!
"I am going to watch Corona Del Sol play Copper Canyon tonight at Copper, meet me up there." That is what a long-time friend told me because I just had to see this sophomore, 6-foot-6 2020 guard Dalen Terry from Corona Del Sol. I agreed and said I would be up there as soon as this car accident on the dreaded I-10 freeway broke up. I walked into the gym late in the first quarter to see then-UCLA coach and local coaching legend, David Grace, there with several local basketball "heads of state."
I watched Dalen Terry do his thing and looked magnificent doing it. But he wasn't the only long and smooth point guard I saw on the court that night. There was a name I hadn't heard before, Isaiah Marin from Copper Canyon playing for a Head Coach I had known since he was taking Agua Fria to state championships, Paul Murphy. At that time, he looked about 6-foot-2 but long. In retrospect, Dalen looked somewhere around 6-foot-4. In the last few months, both of them have grown about two inches and still look to be every bit the playmakers they were that night for the high school team. Terry with the Compton Magic 16U Gold Gauntlet team and Marin with the Powerhouse 17U UAA team. While neither player had much help from a personnel standpoint, both shined that game. Corona Del Sol came out on top and I came out of it understanding why Terry's name was starting to ring some bells in AZ. But I walked out of that gym also remembering the other name in the home jersey. ISAIAH MARIN!
It is hard for a player to keep his name in discussion during the high school season when not only do you play in the far West Side of Phoenix, but you also play for a team where you are the only next-level prospect and the team is not adding many numbers to the win column. But that is no fault of Marin. He came out of the season averaging just over 18 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds per game.
For his efforts, he was selected to take part in the 2018 Relentless Arizona All-Star Game held at the Westgate Entertainment District. To say the least, he earned that.
Marin was selected to play for the Powerhouse UAA circuit team, the only 17U circuit team in the state. When I would recite the roster to somebody and got to his name the overwhelming response was, "who? where does he go to school at?"
It took about a month for people to realize who Isaiah Marin was and recognize his game. He is not flashy and does not bring much sauce to the court. But at 6'4" he is very long at the point guard spot and knows how to play big at his position. He allows defensive rotations to move and not have to disrupt the flow of movement because you have to place your guard in an area so that he does not get overwhelmed in a mismatch with a forward. He is smooth and has a great feel for the game. He plays at his speed and is very difficult to rattle with the ball in his hands. He uses his height on the perimeter to see over defenses and is a pass-first point guard who embraces the role of being a playmaker and setting up teammates for easy scoring opportunities. A real point guard that likes to run an offense in an era where that is close to extinct. He doesn't have the greatest handle, but he contorts his body in ways that prevent defenders from getting into him and ripping him.
While he protects the ball pretty well for a guard his size, I would like to see him tighten up that handle. His biggest area of work needs to come on his outside shot. While he has the ability to knock it down when left open, he still isn't a very consistent shooter which is probably due to the fact that it is a pretty flat shot with little lift.
He does not work with any kind of skills trainer just yet. He does it the semi-old school way. He grabs his shoes, drives over to a random LA Fitness and walks in the gym. If it's empty, he puts up shots. If it's not, he laces up and runs in some pick-up games.
In the last game I watched of his a well-respected and one of the longest-tenured scouts in all of America said he had watched him play 4 or 5 times now and he is a jump-shot away from being a high-major. I can't say I disagree. The tools and the size are there. The fundamentals mixed with just enough juice that makes him, if nothing else, extremely effective on the court.
From a character standpoint, he is a respectful but soft-spoken kid. Though he turns up the volume a little bit on the hardwood.
So stay tuned, there will be much more on the horizon for Isaiah Marin. He will play next on Memorial Day in the West Coast Elite Memorial Day Classic in Las Vegas on May 26-28th.
BIG S/O TO CHAPTER NEXT MEDIA FOR THE FOOTAGE AND PHOTOS, PARTNERS OF RELENTLESS ATHLETES.