Tag:Kendall Marshall
Posted on: February 15, 2012 3:25 pm

UNC's Marshall: We didn't know how to close games

After the Duke loss, UNC's Kendall Marshall said the team had never been taught how to close out games. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Ever since North Carolina collapsed in the final two and a half minutes against Duke last week, we’ve been hearing that the Tar Heels don’t have a killer instinct and can’t put away teams down the stretch.

Sophomore point guard Kendall Marshall’s quote to the Durham Herald-Sun won’t help matters.

Marshall said former Tar Heels guard Shammond Williams came by practice on Friday and talked to the players about finishing games out.

“He just asked us, ‘Has anybody ever explained to you all how to manage a game? You know, how to win a game?’” Marshall said. “And as weird as the question sounds, no.”

Let’s be clear: I don’t think Marshall is saying that the Tar Heels have never practiced late-game situations or run plays to get baskets late in the game. Every team does it (no matter what Larry Drew said two years ago.)

It seems more along the lines of executing down the stretch, having the mental toughness to turn a close game into a comfortable lead late in games. Not letting lesser teams back into games – things that championship teams do on a regular basis.

This season, North Carolina is 1-2 in games decided by three points or fewer. Interestingly, the Tar Heels went 8-1 in those games last season – when the lineup was a year younger and less experienced.

Marshall also added that UNC worked on using the clock late in games after the Duke game – and it worked against Virginia over the weekend. They turned a close game into an 18-point win, ending the game on a 13-2 run.

If the Heels can get the mindset to essentially step on a team’s throat when they’re down, their Final Four aspirations will get a nice boost. 

Posted on: November 16, 2011 4:11 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2011 4:20 pm

UNC's Marshall becoming an online star

By Gary Parrish

North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall started a mini-controversy Tuesday when he Tweeted the following: "I feel like I'm watchin an AAU team when I watch Memphis." Some, if not most, of Marshall's followers took that as a shot at the Tigers' style of play, but Marshall later told me he was merely commenting about how watching Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, Tarik Black and Adonis Thomas play together in college reminded him of when they played together and won the Adidas Super 64 event in Las Vegas as high schoolers.

Either way, by then, perception was reality. Word travels fast on Twitter. But Marshall took it all in stride -- proof being his Tweet that came moments after Kentucky's John Calipari said his Wildcats looked like an AAU team during their win over Kansas late Tuesday. Mashall's Tweet read this way: "Haha Coach Cal said they were playin like its an AAU game. I wonder if I had said that what woulda happened? Oh wait..."

And it served as the latest bit of evidence that suggests Twitter isn't all bad for student-athletes. Yes, it can get a high-profile player in trouble (or even start in NCAA investigation), but it's also a really good way for fans (and writers) to get to know the people and personalities inside the jerseys. From a distance, Marshall is just a great point guard with a unique ability to create scoring opportunities for teammates. In reality, he's a great point guard with a unique ability to create scoring opportunities for teammates ... and a pretty personable, well-rounded, typical college student. He proved that further by hosting an online chat Wednesday. You can read the full transcript here. My favorite part came when the college sophomore addressed comments from UNC assistant Steve Robinson that indicated Marshall is going bald. Already. "Coach is totally right," Marshall said. "It runs in my family. I tried to hide it last year but it's part of life. I also don't think Coach Rob has a lot of room to talk."

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: October 24, 2011 1:02 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 1:11 pm

Goodman Preseason Tour: Thoughts from UNC

By Jeff Goodman

Now that I've returned home and had an opportunity to catch my breathe from my Preseason Tour, I'll try and run through my thoughts from each practice I attended. I've already done so for Ohio State.

Here are my thoughts and observations from North Carolina - where I was for Midnight Madness:

1) Harrison Barnes will pick up where he left off last season and then some. The Tar Heels sophomore has that swagger back and while he isn't exploding to the basket, he's certainly more assertive. He's also far more comfortable playing with his buddy and roommate, Kendall Marshall.

Season tips Nov. 7
2) Speaking of Marshall, his perimeter shot has improved. That, along with his quickness, were the areas of focus this past offseason. However, Marshall's most important attributes will continue to be making his teammates' lives easier and also leading this team vocally. I wouldn't be surprised if he leads the nation in assists and also averages double-figures this season in scoring.

3) It'll be interesting to see which one of Reggie Bullock or P.J. Hairston emerge. Both are terrific perimeter shooters - arguably among the Top 50 in the nation - but Bullock has the edge - when healthy - because he's further along defensively.

4) James Michael McAdoo may come along slowly since he has been on the mend due to tendinitis for a month or so. The positive is that, barring an injury to one of the frontline guys, McAdoo will be a piece this season. A damn good piece. Then he will turn into a star as a sophomore.

5) Dexter Strickland will be a huge key for this team and its national title hopes. He's a glue guy, but his perimeter shot appears to be more consistent - and his ability to run the team has improved as well. He will likely split his time between both backcourt spots, but the critical component for Strickland will come on the defensive end where he'll need to become a lock-down defender.

6) John Henson's offensive game is a work in progress. He's still raw on that end of the floor, but I still say he's as important on the defensive end as just about anyone in the country due to his length and ability to both block and alter shots.

7) Tyler Zeller is vastly underrated and is also the biggest beneficiary (Barnes is a close second) of Marshall and his floor game. Zeller, one of the best big man "runners" in the country, should be the recipient of a couple fastbreak baskets per game from the pure point guard.

8) Leslie McDonald said he hasn't ruled out playing this season, but it appears far-fetched. He tore his ACL this past summer in a Pro-Am game and said there's a chance he could be back on the court shortly after the New Year. My guess is he winds up redshirting.

9) Spent some time with ex-Tar Heels Tyler Hansbrough and Bobby Frasor. Psycho T is completely healthy after a brutal offseason a year ago in which he wasn't cleared to do anything - and Frasor is trying to break into college coaching.

10) Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes need ping pong lessons.
Posted on: September 27, 2011 9:35 am
Edited on: September 27, 2011 9:51 am

Psycho T's thoughts on his UNC Tar Heels

By Jeff Goodman

Tyler Hansbrough, in preparation for the NBA lockout, has spent the entire offseason in Chapel Hill.

Unlike a year ago, the Indiana Pacers forward is healthy.

"Last year and this year are totally different," said Hansbrough, who wasn't able to do anything a year ago prior to the season. "Last year I sat out pretty much the whole year."

Hansbrough, who is living with Bobby Fraser in Chapel Hill, has been able to get an inside look at this year's North Carolina Tar Heels group - which has been tabbed by many as the preseason No. 1 team in America.

Here are a few thoughts:

- The player who has impressed him the most? Freshman P.J. Hairston. "I'm really high on him. He's way more athletic than I thought. He can really shoot it and he's exactly what we need. If he can play defense ... I'm a little worried about his defense."

- On Harrison Barnes: "When he first came in last year, he forced some shots and you could tell that he felt as if he had to do things himself. Now he's more relaxed, he's smooth instead of forcing things to go his way. He's letting the game come to him. ... He's just not one of those guys who is going to blow you away, though, and take over a game. He's just smooth in how he does it."

- On Kendall Marshall: "He's not the most athletic guy, but he's really good at what he does - passing the ball and getting the ball to people in the right spots to score. He's just very smart about the game and can really find people ... and he never seems to get rattled."

- On who are the leaders of this team: "I'd say Kendall. He's a vocal guy and tells his teammates what they need to do. I think (Tyler) Zeller leads by example, kind of like I did when I was there, but he isn't as vocal."

- on John Henson: "He can really rebound and block shots. He's still improving his offensive game - and it's still a little raw. He's definitely put time in the weight room, but John's never going to be a physical guy. That's just not his game."

- On freshman James McAdoo: "I really like him, I think he's got a chance to be really good. I want to see him develop a few moves. He needs to get a feel for the system. I don't think he's ever played in an up-and-down pace like what Coach Williams runs. I think he'll be a big-time player, but it may take until the middle of the season for him to break out."

- Hansbrough said that former teammate Bobby Frasor, who played overseas last season, is leaning towards trying to getting into coaching.

Photo: AP
Posted on: March 20, 2011 2:34 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 4:09 pm

Quick analysis from UNC's escape in Charlotte

Posted by Chip Patterson

CHARLOTTE -- We've got more controversy in regard to officiating. It was a dogfight, all the way down to the very end. North Carolina and Washington had the feel of an Elite Eight game, not a second-round pod matchup. Roy Williams' teams are often well-known for their offense, but on Sunday afternoon in Charlotte it was their defense that advanced the Tar Heels to the Sweet 16. North Carolina withstood a barrage of attempts by the Huskies to reclaim the lead that they lost in the final minutes of the second half. But possession after possession, the Tar Heels came up with either a turnover or defensive rebound to seal the victory.

After showing no fear the entire game, the Huskies looked overwhelmed in the final minute. With an 84-80 lead and the ball, Barnes worked the shot clock down before driving the lane and falling short on an attempt to ice the game. Terrence Ross got the rebound and quickly pushed the ball to Thomas. Thomas found Scott Suggs for three to bring the Huskies within one and take all of the air out of the arena.

Things only continued to surge as Kendall Marshall missed the front end of a one-and-one. Possessing the ball down one with 15 seconds left, things got strange.

Instead of putting the ball in the hands of Isaiah Thomas, the Huskies' giant-killer, Venoy Overton drove the lane and fell short on a layup. But the ball was knocked out of bounds on the Tar Heels, so Washington was still alive.

John Henson stands at a long 6-10. But guarding the inbounds pass with seven seconds left, he appeared 15 feet tall. Henson tipped the inbounds pass up in the air and Dexter Strickland recovered. After making both free throws, the Huskies had one last chance with five seconds left.

Once again, instead of getting the ball to Thomas, Overton took charge. He let a runner fly from around 35 feet to try and send the game into overtime. The attempt fell way short, but Henson (who had just supposedly saved the day) touched the ball before it went out of bounds. With .5 seconds, they finally put the ball back in Thomas' hands for three on the baseline, only Thomas had a foot inside the line. His attempt fell short, and speculation about whether Henson goaltended Thomas' shot bubbled up. Didn't matter though: the shot was a two-pointer.

Keep it here at CBSSports.com for more reaction from Charlotte, where the story has become more about another wild, controversial ending than the team that got the victory.

Photo: US Presswire

More NCAA tournament coverage
Posted on: February 6, 2011 4:12 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 4:13 pm

Larry Drew who?

Dexter Strickland and Harrison Barnes have UNC humming

Posted by Eric Angevine

I hope Larry Drew isn't holding his breath, waiting for UNC to fall apart without him.

He'll turn blue waiting for anyone to regret these numbers: 89, 69, 16, 3, 3.

The first number is UNC's points scored, the second belongs to Florida State. The next three represent freshman point guard Kendall Marshall's assists, turnovers and steals.

Thanks to Marshall's largesse, the numbers were healthy all around. John Henson had 16 points and 11 boards. Harrison Barnes 17 and 9. Ty Zeller scored 16 and Dexter Strickland had 15.

Despite all the drama surrounding his lineup changes and the sudden departure of Drew, Roy Williams has his Tar Heels right where he wants them at this time of year - contending for the ACC lead.

Heading into Wednesday's trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium, UNC is right behind the Duke Blue Devils in ACC play at 7-1. Marshall, whose elevation to the starting lineup seems to have catalyzed Drew's decision to leave, had a school-record-setting passing performance against the same tough Florida State defense that humbled Duke on January 12.

His fellow freshman, Barnes, played with a hard-won sense of poise that allowed him to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous message-board fans long enough to become a valuable part of the Tar Heel offense. Where some other athletes might have crumbled under the pressure (perhaps Drew did?), Barnes displayed mental toughness in working toward being the player he wants to be, rather than the player the nation's fans and pundits want him to be.

Today's result -- indeed, the results of the past two weeks -- prove that Drew's departure was a matter of addition by way of subtraction. With Dexter Strickland, Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock running the floor with big men Barnes, Ty Zeller and John Henson, every Florida State miss became a race to the opposite end of the floor. Forced to react on the fly rather than establish a half-court bulwark, the Seminoles were caught flat-footed far too often. Even when FSU had defenders in place, Marshall's passing was crisp and heady enough to result in points anyway. This looked a lot more like the Carolina teams we've seen in the past.

The Heels can't expect the Devils to give them as many opportunities to start the break with defensive rebounds, but they've found their mojo just in time to make the upcoming Wednesday matchup the most intriguing game in the country again. That's good for both teams, good for the ACC, and good for college basketball.
Posted on: January 28, 2011 10:15 am
Edited on: January 28, 2011 10:19 am

Barnes and the UNC freshmen are starting to click

Freshmen Reggie Bullock and Harrison Barnes celebrate a win at MiamiPosted by Eric Angevine

It's still bad news for UNC fans that the Tar Heels need late-game heroics to beat mediocre teams like Virginia Tech and Miami. The good news is, they're getting those heroics, and they're getting them from the guy they've banked so much on this season: freshman Harrison Barnes (right, celebrating with fellow freshman Reggie Bullock).

In last night's 74-71 road win over the Hurricanes, Barnes was hot down the stretch, scoring five points in the final minute and a half to preserve the win. The most spectacular shot was the game-winning three he drilled on a broken-play assist from fellow frosh Kendall Marshall. Not only did Barnes calmly execute the play in spite of being ridden all night by the home crowd, but he acquired a nickname in the process, according to the Charlotte Observer.

"He's a special kind of player," said freshman point guard Kendall Marshall, who made an improbable assist on Barnes' 3-point shot. "That's the Black Falcon. He wants the ball at crunch time, he wants to make the big play. He wants to put us on his back."

Marshall, who has somewhat steadied a murky point-guard situation in Chapel Hill, obviously has confidence in Barnes, who has suffered from unwanted backlash from a pre-season listing on the All-America team, a first for a freshman. I've often wondered if Barnes and President Obama could have a comforting discussion about the dangers of receiving too much outside praise too soon.

I sat next to an NBA scout when Barnes and the Tar Heels came to Charlottesville, and I couldn't resist fishing a bit during a time out. "Sometimes, I forget Barnes is in the game." I said. "Yeah, that's a big part of his problem." my neighbor replied. We're used to seeing one-and-dones like Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley and Carmelo Anthony: outsized personalities who demanded the ball and came through more often than not. After watching Barnes for a few weeks, I think we may just not understand his self-contained personality. The skills are clearly there.

While that unphased exterior can be frustrating to viewers who want a show, it's worth noting that Barnes is in a different situation than any of the players I mentioned above, who were clearly in charge of their teams from day one. UNC needs to get touches for Tyler Zeller and John Henson on a nightly basis. Those two sizable veteran players are not assets to be wasted. Barnes' freshman campaign to date reminds me quite a bit of Xavier Henry's one season at Kansas, albeit with a much higher degree of pressure. Henry was knocked for a lack of aggression on a veteran team, but started to find his stroke midway through conference play. Barnes may be on the verge of a similar breakthrough.

Barnes' mental makeup is encouraging. He personifies the Haters Gonna Hate mentality I urged on Roy Williams in an earlier post. You can almost hear the nonchalant shrug in his voice when reading this quote from last night's postgame presser: "That (over-rated chant) seems to be a usual thing I'm starting to hear. At the end of the day, we won the game. They're entitled to say and chant whatever they want."

This may not become the Black Falcon's team overnight. He may be a complementary piece for the rest of the season, in fact. But the kid has his head screwed on straight, and he has the support of his teammates. Don't be surprised if this team is right in the thick of things come ACC tournament time.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com