Unc's Marshall Has Wrist Surgery

Posted: March 20, 2012

THE FATHER OF North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall said yesterday his son is recovering from surgery on his broken right wrist and it's unclear whether he will return for the NCAA regional games in St. Louis.

Dennis Marshall said the procedure done in Chapel Hill, N.C., to insert a screw into his son's wrist lasted about 35 minutes. He said when Kendall plays again would be based on "what would be best for Kendall in the long term" and that he didn't know whether the sophomore would be ready to play in the round of 16 against Ohio on Friday.

"I don't know because Kendall's just coming out of his anesthesia, we haven't talked and I don't know how he'll feel 4 days from now," Dennis Marshall said. "We just don't know.

"Is it impossible he plays this weekend? No, it's not. Is it likely he plays next weekend? It definitely is. It's something we just don't know."

The school also said Marshall's status was unclear for Friday's game in an update yesterday afternoon. The Tar Heels (31-5) are the No. 1 seed in the Midwest.

The lefthanded point guard fractured the scaphoid bone - located near the thumb - when he was fouled driving to the basket during the second half of Sunday's win against Creighton at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Marshall popped right up, then came out of the media timeout and hit one of two free throws. He left briefly, then returned again and played about 7 minutes before leaving the game late with the victory secured.

"I didn't want my team to worry about me," Marshall said Sunday night. "So I tried to pop up as quick as possible and get to the free-throw line. I didn't want to make a big deal about it. I just want to keep playing and find a way to win."

Marshall, from Dumfries, Va., is a second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference pick who has 351 assists in 36 games, the best season total in league history and fourth most in NCAA history.

The pass-first point guard is averaging about eight points and 10 assists, though he has stepped up his offense recently and scored in double figures the past six games. He had 18 points and 11 assists in the 87-73 win against the Bluejays, his fifth double-double in that span.

Marshall has been the Tar Heels' most irreplaceable player, leading the fast-paced offense with his see-everything court vision and perfect pitch-ahead passes in transition.

The Tar Heels lost No. 2 ballhandler Dexter Strickland to a season-ending knee injury in January. If Marshall can't go, the job would fall to freshman Stilman White and versatile senior Justin Watts.

Noteworthy * 

Despite Mark Gottfried entering his first season as the North Carolina State coach, players were intent on not allowing 2011-12 to become a season of settling.

"One of the first things I said when I met coach Gottfried was I don't want this to be a rebuilding year," said forward Scott Wood, whose 11th-seeded Wolfpack is in the round of 16 after upsetting No. 3 seed Georgetown, 66-63, on Sunday. "I think we have the talent and the pieces for this to be a dominant team."

N.C. State will take on Kansas, which survived the second round despite shooting only 33.9 percent in beating Purdue, 63-30. The Jayhawks also connected on a mere 25 percent of their three-pointers (six of 24) and 65.2 percent of free throws (15 of 23).

"I've been around long enough that usually teams that have great success in the tournament, they figure out to win a game when they don't play their best," Kansas coach Bill Self said.

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