UNC Point Guard Kendall Marshall Out in Elite 8 Game vs Kansas
The North Carolina Tar Heels’ staff could not get Kendall Marshall ready to play in tonight’s Elite 8 game versus Kentucky. Kendall has been officially ruled out of tonight’s game. Stilman White is expected to make his second start in a row, according to reports.
With the winner of UNC vs Kansas earning a trip to the Final Four in New Orleans, LA, next Saturday, Marshall was doing around-the-clock rehab to try and be out there with his teammates. But in the end, it wasn’t enough for him to be cleared to play.
After seeing him participate in limited practices, there was some hope that the starting point guard might be able to go, but it wasn’t to be. Marshall has been listed as a game-time decision for this game, but the news came much earlier. Thus, 2012 NCAA tournament oddsmakers have listed UNC as the betting odds underdogs to be eliminated tonight by the Jayhawks.
“Today is the first day he bounced the ball, today is the first day he caught a ball, today is the first day he shot a ball,” said UNC head coach Roy Williams after Saturday’s practice. “We kept him out of all the live stuff. One, he has to feel comfortable that he’s not hurt, and two, I have to decide can he be effective in a game with his situation.”
In his place, Williams is expected to start freshman Stilman White for the second consecutive game. White played 32 minutes against Ohio, but only scored two points and dished out six assists.
This is obviously a huge loss to for Tar Heels, who were barely able to escape an upset at the hands of the Bobcats. On Saturday, Marshall told reporters that even if he’s not able to play, his knowledge of the offense could be enough to help those picking up the slack in his absence.
“If it comes down to I’m not able to help my team and the best thing is for me to be in a suit, then that’s what it’ll be, and I’ll still contribute the best I can,” he said. “The range of motion is getting gradually better every day, and that’s a positive sign. There’s been tremendous improvement every 24 hours.”