Everyone knows Kendall Marshall means a lot to the North Carolina Tar Heels. There’s no doubting the point guard’s ability to control the Tar Heel offensive attack and become the centerpiece upon which everything else in the offense moves. However, head coach Roy Williams believes he’s as essential as perhaps the single most extreme example of a team falling apart after a single player injury.
“It’s just one player, but I think this is the best example,” Williams said, pausing before he continued. “I understand the Indianapolis Colts were in the playoffs [in 2010], then they lose Peyton Manning, and they got the No. 1 pick in the draft [after going 2-14 in 2011 without Manning]. That’s how important Kendall is to us.”
Manning, of course, failed to play for the Colts and everything was lost. A franchise that was once an automatic bid for the playoffs suddenly is choosing first in the draft and blew up the entire roster in the process. That’s quite an overstatement on Williams’ part considering his team moved on through the Sweet 16 without him.
Can they face the Jayhawks without him or even with an injured version? It will be a tough call today.