CARBONDALE — Marcus Bartley is known for his long range shooting ability. Bartley has used that same sort of marksmanship to zero in on the academic side as well. This Saluki grad student is giving himself plenty of options for when his playing days are over.
When a guard is trying to set up an offense, they use their vision of the court to see what play is going to work best. For guards such as Marcus Bartley, that ‘Basketball IQ’ comes from years of studying the game.
"Soaking in a lot of information from all the different coaches that I’ve had, and just being a student of the game, watching film on my own, and things like that. Kinda just natural for me, I kind of see things before they happen. The way defenses are playing, I can kind of tell what will be open, what play we should go to," said Bartley.
That on-court intelligence transfers off the court for Bartley, who is pursuing his Masters degree in Business Administration.
"I’m in the online program, so it’s not too bad. I just got to complete my assignments by Friday or Sunday depending on the class, and it’s not too much," said Bartley.
Bartley was named an academic All-American at the end of last year, earning a 4.0 GPA in his final semester of his undergrad.
"I mean I really don’t look at it as something as that amazing, but my parents are really proud of me for it, so it’s a good honor. I got all A’s in high school and things like that, So I was kind of used to it. At the end of the day, academics are important, but I’m more concerned with the basketball aspect," said Bartley.
Bartley has also been a major factor in the team improving it’s overall GPA.
"You know, last semester we fell just short of our goal of being a 3.0, we were right there. We think we can have over a 3.0 team GPA this semester. And then you look at last year, they had the best team GPA that we’ve had in the history of this program. So a guy like Marcus Bartley setting that standard for not only himself, but those other guys as well," said SIU Director of Basketball Operations John Clancy.
That 4.0 GPA is nothing new to Bartley, who says his parents always made sure his education was a top priority.
"It’s always came natural to me. My parents really stressed academics when I was younger, so it just kind of came along with the territory," said Bartley.
Though a lot of it came easy for him, there were some subjects he was never fond of.
"I didn’t like chemistry. That’s one thing I really didn’t like, but if I put my mind to it, I can learn anything," said Bartley.
Luckily for Bartley, chemistry is much different subject when it comes to basketball, which is the field he wants to work in, even after his playing days are done.
"Definitely trying to play basketball for as long as I can. Whenever that’s over with, I’m thinking about becoming a coach, or working for a front office of a professional team. Still kind of deciding, but I want to be at the best at whatever I do. So that be a head coach of a division 1 team, or a general manager of an NBA team, something like that," said Bartley.