UNC Basketball: 5 Reasons Kendall Marshall Is Key to Tar Heels' Success

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UNC Basketball: 5 Reasons Kendall Marshall Is Key to Tar Heels' Success
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

One can never underestimate the impact of a top-notch point guard. There is a reason these guys are called floor generals. Fortunately for the North Carolina Tar Heels, they have that in Kendall Marshall.

Remember when the New York Knicks didn't have Jeremy Lin running point? They were a dreadful 8-15 and had lost 11 of their last 13 games. It wasn't because there was no talent—they had Tyson Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. What they didn't have was a point guard. Now 17-17, the Knicks went from bottom-dwellers in the East to potential playoff contenders.

That is just the most recent and most publicized example of what the point guard means to a basketball team. One example that may hit closer to home is the Larry Drew II factor.

With Drew running point, the Tar Heels were 20-17 in 2009-10 and lost the NIT Championship to Dayton—embarrassing. In 2010-11, North Carolina was 16-5 before Drew left and Marshall stepped into the full-time role. Kendall Marshall dished out 16 dimes in his first game as the starting point guard. UNC only lost three games from that point and advanced to the Elite Eight before being taken down by Kentucky.

“Come on now, Rollin. Can a point guard really make that much of a difference?” Absolutely—unless the team is coached by Phil Jackson. In this case, it is not. And much like the Mike D'Antoni system in New York, the Roy Williams system needs a true point guard.

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