Feature: UNC Player By Player Review: PG Kendall Marshall


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Over the next week I’ll take a look at the entire UNC roster from top to bottom.  What the team needs from each player, who will deliver and how each player fits into the team. 

Kendall Marshall enters his sophomore season as maybe UNCs most indispensable player.  While Harrison Barnes is the most talented, the team is far more talented on the wings and are loaded down low with the nation’s top front court.   Point Guard is the only position the team cannot claim great depth right now.  Behind Marshall is only 3 star freshman Stillman White and junior shooting guard Dexter Strickland who is not a natural point.  The team took off when Marshall replaced Larry Drew III last season but will need more out of their floor general this season.

Marshall will be utilized largely the same way he was after Drew III left the team (like a total coward, late in the night without telling anyone to run home) anyway Marshall will be on the floor most of the game and will be expected to play a huge role on this team.  It cannot be understated that more may be on Marshall’s plate than anyone else on the team.  Marshall will be expected to log big minutes in Roy Williams constant high tempo offense all season long.  Aside from playing time, Kendall will have to distribute the ball to many star players and keep the high powered UNC offense in synch.

Page 2: What the team needs from Marshall and if he will deliver

What the team needs most out of Kendall Marshall is for him to work hard and continue to progress as a point guard.  The team has plenty of scorers and Marshall doesn’t need to assert himself as a big time scorer.  Marshall is a fantastic passer, maybe the best in college basketball but he needs to make himself a scoring and maybe more importantly a shooting threat that defenses must respect.  Marshall shot just 41% from the field last season though his 37% from three looks promising the reality is he didn’t shoot enough to call him a threat from down town.  Last season Marshall was an average defender and could rely on Dexter Strickland to play the opposing team’s best player.  Defense is another thing Marshall needs to improve his game as a sophomore, too often his freshman year he found himself trapped in screens and failed to recover in time to challenge an open shooter.  His on ball defense needs improvement and while he plays the passing lanes well a couple of veteran teams caught him cheating too often last year.

Kendall Marshall is a very mature player for his age with his old school, Jason Kidd like-pass first mentality.  It’s refreshing to see a player with his selfless team first approach.  I find it sad in today’s game that everyone marvels the scorers and nobody dreams of being John Stockton or Jason Kidd.  Marshall’s mature approach to the game has me convinced he will absolutely deliver in all facets this season.  By all reports Marshall has worked hard this offseason to improve and refine his game and I expect nothing less than for that to translate onto the court this season for UNC.  Expect Marshall to average close to 10 assists per game and between 10-13 points shooting about 45% from the field.

Check Back Tomorrow For Another Edition Of Player Review

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