Perry Sparks Bills’ Defense and Offense

When senior point guard and defensive menace John Redden went down with a broken bone in his foot in the first game of the season, Saint Louis University men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar asked his players who was going to get the job done on defense now.

Freshman Marque Perry answered Romar’s call.

“When John got hurt, he (Romar) said he needed somebody to step up on defense,” said Perry, a graduate of Prosser High in Chicago, Ill. “And I said I’ll be the one. John, he always got steals. So, therefore, I have to step up and get steals and maybe get a block here or there.”

Although Perry stands only 6’1″ one shouldn’t put it past him to block a couple of shots this season. Perry has been a nice addition to the Billikens’ squad, which is off to a 3-2 start.

“He’s done a nice job,” Romar said. “He deserves it.”

Perry has sparked the Billikens in place of Redden. Perry’s primary responsibility is putting the clamps on the opposition’s point guard, to disrupt their offense.

Along with senior Dave Fergerson, Perry and Fergerson have taken care of that. The two point guards have shut down the opposition’s starting point guards, limiting them to 24 points in four games.

As Redden’s replacement at the point in running the offense, Perry has provided a punch at the point that SLU hasn’t seen since H Waldman in the 1994-95 season. Waldman had the ability to shoot the trey or drive, draw and dish to another perimeter player.

Perry has shown that he has that ability as well. Perry has the speed to pull away from a defender and take a 15-foot jump shot, and he can dribble past his defender and pass the ball to a teammate. He has averaged 13 points per game and 4.3 assists per game in the three games since Redden went out.

“Personally, I like a point guard that can get the offense involved and get themselves involved,” Romar said.

“His game is breaking down defenses and making things happen.”

SLU saw Perry make a lot of things happen in the competitive and talent-loaded Chicago Public High League, and that’s why the Billikens offered Perry a scholarship.

He averaged a triple-double his junior year, posting numbers of 20 ppg, 13 apg and 11 rebounds per game.

During his senior year, Perry averaged 23 ppg, 12 apg, eight rpg and two steals per game.

Romar’s up-tempo style fits into what Perry was looking for in a college basketball program.

“I didn’t want to come to a college to sit in a half-court offense because I wouldn’t like it,” Perry said.

“I feel comfortable with everyone. Coach Romar makes it very comfortable.”

Perry’s transition to the college level has been a smooth one so far, but he knows he faces a challenge on every game night.

“Other teams play better defense than in high school. Everyone plays defense in college,” Perry said. “In college, everyone is a threat on the floor. In high school you have two or three people on the court that are a threat.

“Everybody crashes the boards. Everyone is a lot stronger.”

Despite Perry’s good numbers and good play, he still has a long way to go to understanding the offense.

“He’s still learning (the offense),” Romar said. “He’s going to get better at it.

“If you tell him something needs to be done, he’ll get it done.”

While trying to learn the offense and guide the Bills to wins, Perry is taking a laid-back approach to his first season in college.

“It’s just fun out there,” Perry said. “I just like everything right now. Everybody likes each other. We’re a family.”