DAYTON, Ohio - As he took the long walk back to the locker room Wednesday in Las Vegas after his Boise State Broncos lost in the Mountain West tournament, Derrick Marks couldn't find a garbage can fast enough.
Sure, he was plenty sick about losing. But he wanted a place to toss away the stat sheet in his hand - the one full of ugly numbers.
Marks missed his first 12 shots, went scoreless for the first 27 minutes and finished 4-of-22 from the field against San Diego State in the Broncos' 73-67 loss.
It has been a week, and Marks is as anxious as anyone to get back on the floor Wednesday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against La Salle (7:10 p.m. MDT, 630/670 AM, truTV).
"Yeah, that wasn't really one of my better games," Marks said with a smile. "You can't it let it affect you too much. Same thing with a good game. But I'm definitely looking forward to playing again. I'd love to bounce back."
Marks had 14 points in the conference tournament loss to the Aztecs, but another game like that will be a surprise. In the six games he has shot worse than 36 percent this season, Marks shot 47 percent or better in the next one five times.
"It eats at those guys when they don't play as good as they think they can play," said Boise State coach Leon Rice, refering to Marks and wing Anthony Drmic.
"When we lost to San Diego State, he wanted to hurry up and get back on the court. I think that's another reason why (an NCAA berth) meant so much - to be able to get in right away and have this opportunity."
La Salle expects more of the Marks who can score points in bunches than the one who started so slow a week ago.
"I think you've got to prepare as if he can go off at any given moment," La Salle guard Tyreek Duren said. "You don't tend to focus on his bad games. You try to look at his good games to find out what he can do, what he likes to do.
"The game that he scores 30 is the game we're going to pay attention to so we can see his whole arsenal."
Marks, who has scored at least 23 points eight times this season, has shown he can lead in different ways. His 22 shots were a season high. In February, he had 24 assists in a three-game span, a stretch when he took a combined 19 shots from the field.
"He can shoot it and he can go by you," La Salle coach John Giannini said. "He's a complete player."
The Explorers have played strong perimeter defense this season, allowing only 122 3-pointers, the seventh fewest in the nation.
Marks also will face a tough defensive task against the Explorers' talented guards in Ramon Galloway (17.0 points per game), Duren (15.1 ppg), and Tyrone Garland (12.7 ppg).
"I'll do what the team needs me to do, I don't need to go out there (Wednesday) and shoot a bunch if that's not going to help us," Marks said.
"I know for this team to keep playing well, I have to do my part and play well. I know it's something I need to do, and hope to (Wednesday)."
Perhaps a little extra motivation for Marks will be sitting in the stands. His parents, sister and aunt will be visiting from Chicago, about 300 miles from Dayton.
His parents have seen him play on the road this season Nov. 20 at Michigan State, Nov. 28 at Creighton and Feb. 6 at San Diego State. And they've seen quite a show. Marks had 75 points in those three games, 63 in the second half.
"It's probably a coincidence those games turned out pretty well for me," Marks said.
Marks' sophomore year in Boise has turned out pretty well, too. He is averaging 16.3 points and 3.9 assists per game, and he hopes playing in the NCAA Tournament is something that becomes a bit of a tradition.
"We've got a good thing going," Marks said. "I'm blessed to be here, and I hope we can win some more games and come back again."