‘Underrated’ Spaniard continues to rise

The word that has been unanimously used to describe the career of junior guard Marco Porcher Jimenez is “underrated” by his coach, his teammates and himself.

“I think that it is true that he is underrated,” Head Coach Anthony Evans said. “I think Marco has a skill not a lot of people have to shoot the basketball, but he has got a pretty good basketball I.Q., is a solid defender and is decently athletic. When you look at him you don’t think he could jump but he can.”

“I’m definitely underrated I think. I can shoot but there are things that I can do more than just shoot. I sometimes just get stuck on shooting but I’m going to keep working and next year, and with the few games that are left this season I can show everything that I have and what I can do. It’s all on me. The mental part of the game to have confidence in all of my abilities and go out there and play,” Porcher Jimenez said. “I like the style this season because [Evans] gives us freedom on offense and he tells me to shoot the ball when I am open. Then, defensively, he pushes me. Like, on days when I don’t feel like defending but he makes it fun for me to play defense. I get excited a lot and he is stressing defense and that is good because I’ve always been told defense can get you anywhere and there is always room for a defender on a team.”

The Malaga, Spain native is playing the sport that he picked up secondarily as well.

“When I played in Spain, my dad was the assistant coach and it was fun playing for him. That is when I first started playing basketball, that is when I first started getting into it,” Porcher Jimenez said. “Before that I loved baseball and I’m a New York Mets fan. Before I moved in Spain I played baseball and it was a new experience to me [to play basketball] and back then it was just fun, I didn’t take it that seriously.”

Porcher Jimenez admitted it was like a playground feel when he was a child playing the game of basketball.

When he was a junior in high school, he moved to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. There he met Keith Hornsby and Juwan Staten. Both of those young men were his teammates on the basketball team, and those self-proclaimed “Three Amigos” all play Division I college basketball.

Staten is currently at West Virginia University after a brief stint at Dayton University. Hornsby also took a major upgrade in collegiate choice going from the University of North Carolina, Asheville to currently sitting out due to transfer rules at Louisiana State University.

Hornsby, who is one of three key people in his family, as his brother Russell runs track at the University of Oregon and his father is famous musician Bruce Hornsby, added on that he believes Marco is underrated.

“Marco could always shoot the lights out and I thought he always had a lot more talent and skill than he got credit for,” Hornsby said. “I’m glad to see he’s been turning heads.”

Hornsby also shared a little info on the relationship that the three athletes had.

“He was one of my best friends my junior year. We [Porcher Jimenez, Staten and Hornsby] were the “Three Amigos” and we all got along,” Hornsby said. “He was funny and a laid-back dude, and I could easily relate to that because I figure myself the same way. We had similar interests and a similar sense of humor as well. I knew if we went to the same college that we would be best buds but we didn’t end up doing that.”

“Marco once had a sty for about a month and we all made fun of him for that. We called him ‘The Sty and Jay Sean’ because we thought he looked like the recording artist of the same name,” Hornsby jokingly added.

Porcher Jimenez is averaging 16.7 minutes a game and has seen action in 18 of the 19 games as of Jan. 24. He has a 41.8 field goal percentage and 31.8 percent from behind the three point line. He has nine steals and four blocks on the season.

“I think he is still developing,” Evans said. “He is becoming more comfortable and he knows what I want from him and what my expectations are. I think as the season keeps going on he will get a lot more comfortable and he has the opportunity to come back next year and finish with his senior year.”

“I will need to step up next year as it is my last but I’m still taking this year very seriously,” Porcher Jimenez said. “When it comes to the seniors like Tymell [Murphy], Rakeem [Buckles] and Ivan [Jurkovic] this is their last year and I would think it is disrespectful to just take this year as practice. We should work hard as their teammates and be productive because that is better for them and their futures.”

As of Jan. 24, the Panthers were 10-9 overall and 2-2 in Conference USA play. There are 11 games remaining in the season not counting this past weekend’s game against the Owls of Florida Atlantic University on Jan. 25. The next game up will be a matchup against Marshall University in WV on Jan. 30.

About the Author

Rhys Williams
: Sports Director, Class of 2016, Physical Education: Coaching (Major), Communication Arts (Minor), Sports Enthusiast with a Focus on Football and Track & Field.

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