Rare does a team improve so much within the course of one season. Underrated at the beginning of the year, North Carolina proved to be a pretty good team, and then exploded when Roy Williams finally saw fit to bench the underwhelming Larry Drew in favour of greatly superior freshman, Kendall Marsall. Drew wasn't helping the team; he couldn't create his own shot, shoot, impede anybody defensively due to his lack of size, and made a huge number of mistakes with the ball for an upperclassman point guard. It's a shame that he decided to get his dad to tell Williams that he was transferring, rather than sticking around to backup Marshall. But it doesn't really hurt the team.
There's an element of Jason Kidd to Kendall Marshall. That is not a talent level comparison - considering that Kidd is one of the top 5 point guards in the history of the sport, it's definitely not in any way a talent level comparison. But it is a style of play comparison. (And such things are definitely possible. For example, Kendall Gill used to play like Michael Jordan. He even ran in the same way.) Marshall is the purest of pure point guards, an exceptional passer who sees the angles no one else does. He bleeds the "makes his team mates better" cliche, and can find players who didn't even know they were open, in both half court and transition situations. K-Marsh is rather slow, and, as a scorer himself, rather lacking, although he uses his size advantage to play physically on defense, which counters his lack of speed that would otherwise be exposable.
[...] Despite being young, and after missing the tournament last season (breaking a jillion panellist hearts in the process), UNC quickly proved their talent. They are deep, athletic and talent, with perimeter play, guard play and wing play. Once they made the long overdue swap of Marshall and Drew, they joined the nation's elite teams. This is not so much a character assassination of Larry Drew as much as it is a love letter to Kendall Marshall.
Pick 13: Phoenix avoids picking an inferior sibling (Marquis Teague) by picking a different point guard, Kendall Marshall, who managed the rare feat of recording more assets than points last season. Others to have done this include Dontell Jefferson and Doug Gottleib. But Marshall is not those guys. Marshall isn't readily comparable to anyone at all, really. He plays like Jason Kidd, yet to compare him to Jason Kidd instantly reads as though you're saying he's as good as Jason Kidd, which can never be true. What he is the ultimate pass-first point guard. Who just so happens to be a little slow.
Marshall is not at the draft, so the camera cuts to his college coach Roy Williams, whose teeth are so white that they're actually a little blue. I can't help but wonder how this must feel to those who ARE here, when a player considered unlikely enough to be drafted high that he wasn't even invited to appear still somehow gets picked ahead of you. I also wonder why anyone who knows they are guaranteed to be drafted, if not where exactly, would not go to the draft. Party with your family later. Just get there and do the damn thing. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
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