Kendall Marshall was so close to finishing a dream season at UNC, but in a freak accident the point guard broke his wrist after hitting the deck hard during the dwindling minutes of an 87-73 win over Creighton . The injury left the Tar Heels without their star point guard for the remainder of the NCAA Tournament, subsequently causing Marshall’s draft stock to slip in the process. However, he has still shown that he is a very capable passing point guard with 9.7 assists per game last year. There are several teams in the first round desperate for some youth at the point guard position and expect Marshall’s name to be called very early. Below is my full draft grade on the UNC place-setter:
2011-12 College Average: 7.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 9.7 assists, 1.2 steals, 2.8 turnovers
Scoring: B+ Marshall started his sophomore season out slowly by averaging a very ordinary 6.6 points per game. He was hardly taking shots, because he was so focused on passing the ball, and when he was taking shots they were hurried.
However, Marshall picked up his game dramatically during the last couple weeks, as he was dropping 12.7 points in his last nine games, before his ill-timed wrist injury in UNC’s third round game against Creighton. Marshall still needs to polish his jump, but most teams would be drafting in the first round for his ability to lead the league in scoring.
Rebounding: C+ There are not many point guards in the NBA who can rebound consistently, and unfortunately Marshall happens to be in the majority. He has a chance to average a modest amount of rebounds at the next level, but he does not possess the rebounding ability of Boston’s point guard, Rajon Rondo , who is averaging a strong 4.9 rebounds a game from the one-spot.
Size: B+ At six-foot-four, Marshall has great size for a point guard. Many of the shooting guards in this class, like Florida’s Bradley Beal (6’3”) or Illinois’ Brandon Paul (6’4”), are actually the same size or smaller then Marshall. The UNC star has decent weight as well at 195 pounds, but he may have to lose a couple pounds to keep up with the faster place setters of the NBA.
Athleticism: B+ Last year, Marshall occasionally on defense looked like his feet were stuck in quicksand. Marshall is still very young and will now have the best athletic trainers in the world at his exposal, so expect him to get in better shape as he matures. Marshall may not be the most athletic option at the point, but his impressive ability to distribute the ball will help scouts look past some of the less appealing attributes.
Projection: Top Fifteen