Mandy Mitchell

Marshall's game deserves appreciation

Posted March 6, 2012

I’ve always been a fan of the “true” point guard. Maybe it’s because I am short. I don’t know the exact origin of my complete excitement over a guy who can pass, but I know it started early.

I was a John Stockton fan from the day I can remember becoming a basketball fan. I watched every Utah Jazz game possible from my home in South Florida. There was no reason for me to be a Jazz fan other than the guy wearing number 12 who could really pass the basketball.

Kendall Marshall is one of those guys.

Obviously, if you are reading this, you have some knowledge of Marshall’s abilities. I will provide you with another prospective.

When I cover North Carolina games, I sit on the court. I am talking my rear end on the baseline under the basket. It’s not a bad place to be when you have a camera on your shoulder shooting highlights for the news. Because I have this seat, I have an interesting view of what Marshall does on the court. It is unrivaled.

There are times when I have a hard time following the ball because it comes out of his hands so quickly. He is the definition of a guy who makes his teammates better and he’s fun to watch because you can tell he truly loves the craft.

“When I was about six or seven, my Dad said he would get mad at me because I wouldn’t shoot,” Marshall said. “Ever since that day I’ve taken great pride in passing the ball.”

Opposing coaches absolutely love Kendall Marshall. It is not uncommon for a coach to open his post-game press conference praising the UNC point guard. I saw it happen often this season. Clemson coach Brad Brownell called Marshall one of his favorite players. Brownell spoke with pure admiration in his voice for the player who tore up his team.

From my spot on the floor for that game, I can tell you another story. At one point in the Clemson game, UNC had six men on the floor. Marshall stopped the inbound pass and waved one of his teammates back to the sideline. Things like that are hard to pick up on when you are watching the game on TV. Marshall takes charge in so many ways. That is why coaches love him.

Most fans really like to watch a guy who can score consistently. That’s why many feel Marshall is overrated. Duke and NC State saw a player who is capable of putting up some points. When he does that, the Tar Heels become scary good.

No matter what team you root for, I hope you take a minute this postseason to appreciate a guy like Kendall Marshall. Watch him pass. Watch how quick and accurate he is. Guys like him don’t come around too often.

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  • rosemarymcdonald23 Mar 6, 5:21 p.m.

    All true and I am a Stockton fan myself. There is nothing more beautiful than a true really good point guard. Should have made first team all ACC to me. If it wasn't for him none of the other Carolina players would be what they are today!! Go Kendall, I will enjoy watching you in the tournament!

  • wallhokievt94 Mar 6, 6:45 p.m.

    Marshall is the best passer that I've seen in the college game to my memory. And, I have watched a bunch during my time. He has an uncanny ability to see the floor like a hawk. This is a gift. His shooting has totally impressed me when he dicides to take the shots. He should have made 1st team All-ACC. He is the glue for the Heels, and he's is the engine that makes it happen.

  • bench Mar 7, 10:16 a.m.

    I wish I had a clip of it; I watched it over and over on my DVR: Last year, Marshall passed the ball BETWEEN THE LEGS of a running Florida State player, to Zeller in the post. WOW!

  • Zaknow Mar 7, 7:55 p.m.

    I totally agree that Marshall is one of the best I have seen at getting the ball where it needs to be. He should have been first team ACC!

  • SuperStuff Mar 8, 3:38 p.m.

    Kendall is the man! That team functions smoothly because this guy delivers the ball for easy baskets.

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