HAMMOND, LA (WVUE) - The SLU Lions are peaking at the perfect time of the season. With March Madness right around the corner, SLU is riding a five-game winning streak. A major reason for their success, the play of Helen Cox alum Marlain Veal. His 12 points per game, and leadership on the court are contributing to the Lions sitting in second place in the Southland.
"Marlain we think is pound-for-pound is the best player in Division I. Certainly there's a lot of great players, there's a lot of first-round NBA players and so forth. But Marlain at his size, he's not the biggest player in the world, but incredible athlete. He sets the tone for us not only offensively but defensively," said SLU Head Coach Jay Ladner.
Veal is listed at 5'9", and that scared away the big programs. He says no problem, just adds fuel to his burning fire.
"A lot of schools said I was too small. They would tell my AAU coaches he's not going to do that on the Division I level," said SLU guard Marlain Veal. "I was doing it against the top competition, Adidas tournaments. I led the tournament in scoring actually, and they still said the same things. He's too small. That's why I play with a chip on my shoulder."
The main goal for the SLU Lions is to win the Southland Conference Tournament championship. You grab that title, you get an invite to the "Big Dance." A feat not accomplished around here in 13 years.
"I didn't have a chance, since I didn't get any offers from the big schools. Making that tournament, and getting there, bringing my team. To accomplish that great goal, that would be something that would be great," said Veal.