Make no mistake about it, Kendall Marshall makes it happen for the UNC Tar Heels. Marshall recently broke the long standing Tar Heel NCAA tournament game assist record (14 assists) held by Kenny Smith as the Tar Heels squeaked by the University of Washington. Interestingly enough the knock on Marshall all year was that he didn’t have the foot speed to compete against premier guards in college basketball. Marshall has disproved that myth and stepped his game all the way up competing and doing well against the likes of Isaiah Thomas and Nolan Smith.
Everyone has become more productive for the Tar Heels since Marshall has become a permanent fixture in the lineup. It is obvious that Harrison Barnes is doing better, but when you look at the numbers, Henson and Zeller have been the beneficiaries of better field goal percentages and points scored. In fact even Leslie McDonald who struggled to get shots in the Drew led offense is even shooting at a better clip with Marshall distributing the rock.
Fourteen assists in a NCAA tournament game is pretty good, especially when you can throw in another double figures of scoring and you are also productive on the boards. Carolina fans have to know that if they are going to continue to win games, they are going to have to ride the backs of a couple of freshmen (Marshall and Barnes) all the way to the finish line.
Marshall's play at point guard has been among the most important factors for the Tar Heels success in the East Regional in Charlotte. Marshall, a freshman, has limited experience dealing with postseason pressure, in fact the only experience he has is the recent ACC tournament.
There is no doubt Marshall is ready to be great and that he will be prepared for what might come his way in the tournament. If he plays like he is capable in subsequent rounds should UNC keep advancing.
Stay Breezy ~ I’m Out!