|(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)|
“I just know the kid tells me he can’t brush his teeth yet. How the dickens can he play a basketball game if he can’t brush his teeth?” North Carolina head coach Roy Williams said Thursday. “I mean, he can go out there with bad breath, but you’ve still got to be able to play the dadgum game.”
Well, at least Ol’ Roy is in a better mood.
Evidently, injured point guard Kendall Marshall watched his teammates from the sidelines occasionally dribbling with his good hand.
It might be the closest he gets to handling the ball for the Tar Heels.
Marshall said he would not be able to play if top-seeded North Carolina’s game were last night and Williams said he has a “strong, strong inclination” that he will not be in the lineup for Friday’s game against 13th-seeded Ohio (29-7).
The wrist is improving with each day, Marshall said, but his range of motion has to improve and the pain has to decrease before he’ll be ready to play again. He has not practiced since getting hurt and said he hasn’t tried dribbling.
“Kendall Marshall is the best point guard I’ve ever had in several areas,” Williams said. “One is after the other team scores, he can attack with the basketball and pitch ahead, and we can lay it up while everybody is still celebrating, hoping their girlfriend is watching them run back down the court. He can attack you after you score better than anybody. He pitches ahead better than anybody I ever had. He thinks pass first, second, third, fourth—maybe not fifth, but at least the top four.”
As tough as the injury has been, Marshall said he’s been encouraged by all of the people who have posted pictures to his “Pass Fir5t” Facebook and Twitter pages. Tar Heels fans are being asked to show their support for Marshall by wearing his No. 5 on their right wrists.