The most indispensable player to North Carolina's national title hopes may be unavailable for the rest of the NCAA tournament.
Kendall Marshall, North Carolina's starting point guard, suffered fractured right wrist driving to the rim late in the Tar Heels' round of 32 victory over Creighton on Sunday. North Carolina is officially listing his status for the rest of the NCAA tournament as "unknown," which suggests the school hasn't yet ruled out Marshall trying to play through the injury since it is his non-shooting wrist that's hurt.
"Kendall has a fractured wrist and that's all I can tell you," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. " We don't know. He's got a fracture of the scaphoid bone of the right wrist. And you can ask any question you want, but I just told you all we know. We do not know anything else. So be intelligent and don't ask. We'll speak to the hand specialist tonight with Kendall and his family and we'll see what happens after that."
If Marshall is done for the season or plays at far less than full strength, it's very difficult to envision North Carolina even challenging for a national championship.
North Carolina's other primary ball handler, Dexter Strickland, suffered a season-ending right knee injury against Virginia Tech in January, as did combo guard Leslie McDonald during the summer. That leaves seldom-used reserve Stillman White as the only other player with experience at point guard on the roster.
[ Pat Forde: Kentucky still going strong on run for title]
White has done a serviceable job spelling Marshall for a few minutes per half in Strickland's absence, but it's difficult to envision North Carolina playing him 30 minutes per game the rest of the tournament. Instead what the Tar Heels may have to have either small forward Harrison Barnes or shooting guard Reggie Bullock handle the ball more frequently and play out of position.
Marshall, one of the nation's top point guards, did not leave the game after suffering the injury on Sunday, scoring 18 points and dishing out 11 assists in 36 minutes. The only sign of injury he showed was that he shook hands with Creighton players left-handed after the game to protect the wrist.Read More »from Kendall Marshall’s status in doubt due to fractured right wrist