Kendall Marshall Injury: UNC Needs PG vs. Kansas in Elite 8

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IMarch 25, 2012

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 18:  Kendall Marshall #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels prepares to play against the Creighton Bluejays in the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 18, 2012 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

North Carolina's offense is much worse without starting point guard Kendall Marshall, and against Kansas in the Elite Eight on Sunday, the Tar Heels will need their floor general to advance to the Final Four.

Marshall missed the team's Sweet 16 matchup against Ohio on Friday while recovering from wrist surgery he underwent earlier in the week.

According to ESPN, Marshall participated in some non-contact drills at practice on Saturday and hasn't been ruled out for Sunday's battle with the Jayhawks.

"I don't know," Marshall said in the locker room at the Edward Jones Dome, his right wrist and elbow wrapped in ice. "We'll see tomorrow. We'll see how I feel after shootaround. ...

"As of right now, it's like yesterday: I'm not playing. But if I do continue to feel better, there's no telling -- I could be out there playing."

While many people thought that North Carolina didn't need Marshall against Ohio, his absence was a huge reason why the Bobcats nearly upset the Tar Heels.

The UNC offense was abysmal for most of the game versus Ohio and Marshall's playmaking ability was badly needed. Their offense was so bad that Marshall's absence proved how valuable of a point guard he is, and it might have improved his draft stock.

No one helped their draft stock more than Kendall Marshall. 6 HS All-Americans struggled to score without him running the show

— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) March 24, 2012

Ohio forced 24 Tar Heels turnovers on Friday, the most that North Carolina had committed all season. Backup point guard Stilman White is a good player, but he only had six assists and two points against the Bobcats in 32 minutes.

Marshall is not only the leader of the UNC offense in terms of getting everyone involved, he also can add his own offense, as seen by his 29 points in two tournament games this year.

If North Carolina doesn't have Marshall on Sunday, they will find it very difficult to score against the talented Kansas defense.