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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Keegan

Carolina drama intrigues

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— Kendall Marshall. Kendall Marshall. Kendall Marshall. Stilman White. Stilman White. Stilman White.

There, now you don’t have to watch Roy Williams’ news conference today. You just heard all the questions, and Roy won’t have any answers. If he knows the odds of Marshall, North Carolina’s gifted sophomore point guard coming off wrist surgery, participating this weekend in the Edward Jones Dome, he won’t share them.

While the police-interrogation lamp shines on the coach, the spotlight of speculation zeroes in on Marshall and the more mysterious White.

The fascination with the Carolina point-guard uncertainty enabled Kansas to arrive quietly at its downtown hotel Wednesday night with all the Jayhawks’ attention trained on North Carolina State, Friday night’s opponent.

On the other hand, nothing in Roy’s world is quiet at the moment. Williams faces difficult decisions that go beyond how to exploit Ohio University in Friday’s regional semifinal. Should Roy put the ball in the hands of smooth sophomore wing Harrison Barnes, a better scorer than facilitator? Or should he let the untested White take on the challenge of getting his first shot at running the Heels?

If Dexter Strickland had not been lost for the season in mid-January, Marshall’s wrist injury wouldn’t be as big a deal. Other than Strickland and Marshall, Carolina doesn’t have a player on the roster averaging more than 1.3 assists.

A 6-foot, 160-pound freshman out of Wilmington, N.C., White is scheduled to leave for two years on a mission for the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

It’s tempting to liken Carolina needing to play White at point guard to Kansas needing to play Naadir Tharpe at the point if Tyshawn Taylor suffered an injury, except that Carolina doesn’t have an Elijah Johnson to slide over to lead guard.

Otherwise, the Tharpe-White comparison does have some relevance. Tharpe was more highly recruited than White, who drew interest from Brigham Young.

Tharpe played 175 minutes, shot .289 from the field, .273 from three, .500 from the line, attempting just two free throws. He scored 29 points, had 21 assists and 22 turnovers. White played 136 minutes, shot .283 from the field, .200 from three, .500 from the line with 20 attempts. White had 19 assists and just five turnovers.

Williams said Justin Watts, a 6-5, 210-pound senior from Durham, N.C., also will spend some time at the point, but Watts has just five assists (and seven turnovers) in 246 minutes. He’s no playmaker, no scorer, considered a better defender than anything.

Kansas doesn’t have seven McDonald’s All-Americans on the roster, as does North Carolina, in fact it doesn’t have any, but it does have two guards whose confidence never has been healthier. Should be a fascinating few days in the Edward Jones Dome.

Comments

phogphan2000 2 years ago

I'm not sure what to think about UNC-Ohio, Ohio was giving up way too many easy buckets to USF in the post so UNC should be able to own them down there, but on the other hand UNC is most likely going to look terrible getting into their offense. Current line around 10.5, I know enough to put some scratch on the Bobcats with that kind of spread working in my favor.

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clinkmd 2 years ago

I was talking with a surgeon with significant hand experience today and he said a scaphoid fracture has a significant risk of non-union (basically a failure to heal that requires another surgery and bone grafting). Anyone concerned with this kid's long term interests should probably advise him to not play.

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Steve Brown 2 years ago

Kansas doesn’t have seven McDonald’s All-Americans on the roster, as does North Carolina, in fact it doesn’t have any..

Oh crawp, guess we better pack it up and head home, oh wait, I'll double check my cards, I'll play these, I'm all in. If you get by Ohio, I'll see you sunday at sundown.

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jaybate 2 years ago

If our starters play 30 minutes per starter, or less, of fast tempo against NCSU, then we'll beat Baja KU. We were as good, or better before their injury problems. Now we are for sure the better team.

But if we really have to empty the gas tank to beat NCSU, it will be very tough to beat Baja KU. I don't foresee Baja KU having a knock down drag out in their warm up for us.

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Steve Gantz 2 years ago

So there's an ad selling Sweet 16 shirts on this site? Huh? Sweet 16 is something to sell shirts about? Not at KU.

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HawkKlaw 2 years ago

"Kansas doesn’t have seven McDonald’s All-Americans on the roster, as does North Carolina, in fact it doesn’t have any, but it does have two guards whose confidence never has been healthier."

That is one of the ugliest run-ons I've seen since fifth grade. It should be written something like this:

"Unlike North Carolina, Kansas doesn't have seven McDonald's All-Americans on the roster. In fact, it doesn't have any. However, it does have two guards whose confidence has never been healthier."

Can I have a job as proofreader?

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Scott Smetana 2 years ago

I don't think this will affect UNC's ability to score, especially with Hensen and Zeller inside. However, this will make their already shaky defense worse.

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Tony Bandle 2 years ago

Brak has hit the nail on the head...all I am hearing from the Tiggers surrounding me is " you Chickenhawks get every break..first three rounds of double digit seeds then a fourth round against the weakest #1 with major injury issues."

I simply reply, "Wouldn't you like to be in our sneakers???" :)

Frankly, because of the unique relationship between Kansas and Carolina and Coach Williams and Coach Self, his successor, I think the timing of the article is totally appropriate, since we are in the same regional and there is a better than 50/50 chance that we play will face each other.

C'mon guys and gals, if you haven't believed by now that this year's team has learned to take no one for granted, you haven't been paying attention.

Enjoy the ride, watch us dismantle NC State Friday then sit back Sunday and watch the drama!!!

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Brak 2 years ago

So basically if KU finds a way to beat NC St. then go on to beat NC to head to the final four all we will hear is that KU got a lucky break just like when we beat OSU without Sullinger.

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El Jay 2 years ago

Im not a big Keegan fan but I do think all the "this is premature" talk is ridiculous. The point of the article is just to point out that in STL, all the talk is on the PG issues of UNC, which has allowed KU to fly under the radar a bit. I find nothing wrong with that at all. Its essentially, the news of the day. The only part that might - might - be a bit premature is the very last paragraph but even that doesnt talk directly about a potential matchup with UNC. You people need to chill out a little bit

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iamakufan 2 years ago

So why is this premature? Are you a Kansas fan only or a basketball fan, as well? Those of us who are basketball fans do like to read about other programs.

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bballwizard 2 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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nuleafjhawk 2 years ago

Forget NC State and NC -

Who are we playing in the Championship game? Let's concentrate on them!
And next years game too.....

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BruceWayne 2 years ago

Very premature article. Guess Keegs needed something to do while the staff switched from breakfast buffet to lunch buffet.

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jhox 2 years ago

I sort of hope, if we advance and play Carolina, that Marshall plays. There is no way a point guard can be effective this soon after the kind of surgery he had. Yes, it is his off hand, but a point guard needs that off hand regularly. It's not like a power forward who could get away playing much of the game with one hand. Tyshawn and Elijah would eat him alive.

But like everyone points out above, one game at a time. I'm not overly confident about this NC State game.

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Janet Scott 2 years ago

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Santa Claus will be starting at the point for Carolina this weekend.

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Alohahawk 2 years, 1 month ago

BTW, who is the starting point guard(s) for KU's 'next' opponent, N. C. State?

One game at a time, Hawks. (And T. K.)

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Bob Forer 2 years, 1 month ago

My guess is that Williams will give most of the PT to Watts, who at least offers some senior experience and defense. The other four players on the floor are athletic enough to make their own plays. No way does he thrust an unheralded and inexperienced freshman into the point guard slot in the sweet 16.

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Kye Clark 2 years, 1 month ago

Kind of ironic how so many (myself included at times) have been critical of Self not playing Tharpe, often harping on the "what if...?" scenarios that could thrust Tharpe into some "crunch time minutes" and yet here Roy Williams has basically done the same thing, and is now in fact faced with that "what if...?" situation. I'm not one for saying "he's the head coach and they know better than you/us" but maybe we (myself included) should cut Bill some slack, as the practice of not playing inexperienced freshman point guards is not exclusive to him.

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 1 month ago

On a different note, the structure structure of this story's last paragraph and the errors it contains are a joke. Who proofreads this stuff before it gets published?

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 1 month ago

Woah! First time I've noticed video ads in a story on this website that start playing without me clicking on anything. Just watched one about Lysol, then it forwarded to another video ad. This is bull. I shouldn't have to keep my computer on mute out of fear of ads playing sound without my authorization.

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ancient_hawk 2 years, 1 month ago

I find it hilarious that Keegan, in his video interview with Tait, completely pooh poohed all the UNC/KU hype, and pointed out that the focus should be on NC State/KU.

And then.........he couldn't help himself. He wrote an article about that very same hype. Bloated Bloviater is Bloated Bloviater, film at 11:00

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coloradojayhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

I'll read this column if/when KU gets past the Wolfpack. This is premature, to say the least.

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