Before North Carolinas 86-74 victory against N.C. State on Tuesday night, Eric Hoots approached Kendall Marshall with a copy of an article from The News & Observer. Hoots is the director of player relations and the video coordinator for the Tar Heels basketball program, and he had something he wanted Marshall, the Heels sophomore point guard, to see.
It wasnt an article from The N&O, really, but instead a position-by-position breakdown of the Tar Heels and Wolfpack. At point guard, it listed N.C. States Lorenzo Brown with having the edge over Marshall.
Lorenzo Brown is still a great point guard, Marshall said after his teams victory. And Eric Hoots, our video coordinator, he brought an article to me today in The News & Observer shout out to that paper, the article they wrote today. I guess it gave me some extra incentive just to go out and play well and try to win a game and get the win.
Marshall appeared motivated, indeed. He scored a career-high 22 points, made a career-high four 3-pointers and also had 13 assists. Amid all the things he did, there was also what he didnt do: Marshall finished the game without a turnover, though if you read my story here, you know that UNC coach Roy Williams thought Marshall should have been credited with at least two turnovers.
Even so, Marshalls stat line 22 points, 13 assists, 0 turnovers is the kind rarely seen in any level of basketball. His production, and particularly his point production, also helped Marshall prove that hes more than just a one-dimensional passer. Though Williams isnt likely counting on Marshall to duplicate any time soon what he did against the Wolfpack, Marshall has shown an ability to score this season.
If a player does one thing exceptionally well, people are going to focus on that one thing, Marshall said. So I try not to take it as a bad thing, but rather just work on other parts of my game. And again, when I have great scorers on my team its not my job to score 20 a game.
Brown, meanwhile, scored 18 points and finished with four assists against the Tar Heels. It wasnt a bad game for him, either, though he attempted 21 shots from the field, while Marshall needed just eight shots from the field to finish with 22 points.
Before the teams met for the first time, last month, Marshall said he believed Brown was having the best season of any point guard in the ACC.
Ill leave that up to yall to decide, Marshall said. I guess you could say whatever team wins the ACC has the best point guard.