NBA Draft

Kendall Marshall: NBA Draft 2012 Highlights, Analysis and Pro Projections

ST LOUIS, MO - MARCH 25:  Injured point guard Kendall Marshall #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels supports his teammates from the bench against the Kansas Jayhawks  during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Midwest Regional Final at Edward Jones Dome on March 25, 2012 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJune 8, 2012

In my opinion, Kendall Marshall is the best pure point guard in the 2012 NBA draft. He helped lead the North Carolina Tar Heels into the NCAA Tournament. He suffered a wrist injury in the team's Round of 32 matchup with Creighton.

The loss of Marshall was too much for the team to overcome in the Final Four.

It is sensible to consider Marshall the nation's best playmaker; his 351 assists were the most in the nation, and his 9.8 dimes per game was second.

He made himself eligible for the NBA draft on March 29, and he should be the first or second point guard taken.

What Marshall doesn't have in raw athleticism he makes up for in basketball IQ and leadership. Chad Ford of ESPN considers him the second best point guard in the draft behind Damian Lillard.

While Lillard may be a more dynamic player that happens to play the point guard, Marshall is the best at running a team.

Wherever Marshall goes, he'll make his teammates better, and that is what many general managers will be looking for in a point guard.

Here is a scouting report on Marshall that highlights his strengths and weaknesses.

(Height, weight and stats per statsheet.com)

 

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 10:  Kendall Marshall #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts after a basket against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during the semifinals of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Conference Tournament at Philips Arena on March 10, 2012 in
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Profile:

Height: 6'4" 

Weight: 195 pounds 

School: North Carolina

Date of Birth: August 19, 1991

Best NBA Position: Point Guard

College Stats: (Key Stats Underlined) 8.1 PPG, 33 MPG, 46.7 FG%, 35.4 3FG%, 69.6 FT%, 9.8 APG, 2.6 RPG, 0.2 BPG, 1.2 SPG

 

Skill Grades:

Athleticism - B-

Size - A

Intangibles - A

Rebounding - B-

Ball Handling - A+

Defense - B

Shooting - B+

Passing - A+

Post Game - C+

Basketball IQ - A+

Upside - A-

 

Strengths:

Marshall has great size for the point guard position at 6'4", and his vision is stellar. He wants to set up teammates more than anything. He's a natural leader; you could see how much UNC missed him during the latter parts of the NCAA tournament.

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Kendall Marshall #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks to pass against Venoy Overton #1 of the Washington Huskies during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 201
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Marshall knows how to get the ball to the right man in a way that allows them to succeed. Even though he prefers to set teammates up, he is a decent shooter from distance, so he will keep teams honest. On defense Marshall has very quick hands; he is adept at the reach-in pilfer.

He uses this skill, his ball-control and a great basketball IQ to counter his lack of foot speed. 

He is such a good passer and creator that I expect Marshall to be in the top 10 in assists by his third year in the NBA.

Here is a highlight reel for Marshall displaying his playmaking ability:

Weaknesses:

Marshall is not a freakish athlete, and while I think he'll get by on size and vision offensively, defensively he will have issues with smaller, quicker guards.

He isn't exactly a defensive liability, but teams can't expect a lockdown defender either. Marshall can seem gun-shy at times when he has the ball on the perimeter. His shot is more of a set-shot than a jump shot, and he seems content to only shoot it when absolutely necessary.

Because Marshall has good size at the point without a ton of athleticism, it would be smart for him to shore up his post game. This would open another aspect of his offense.

 

NBA Player Comparison: 

20 Apr 1996:  Point guard Mark Jackson of the Indiana Pacers fends off the defensive pressure applied by guard Michael Jordan of the Chicago bulls during the first quarter of the Bulls game against the Pacers at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Man
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Bigger, Better Shooting Mark Jackson

Jackson, of course, is the current Golden State Warriors' head coach. But before that, Jackson was one of the most prolific assist men in league history.

In his 17-year career, Jackson averaged eight assists and 9.6 points per game. I believe Marshall has the ability to be that type of player. Jackson had to depend on his savvy and vision, as he also was not a blow-by-you athlete.

But Marshall is bigger, and early on, he has a better jump shot than Jackson had at this stage in his career..

Jackson won Rookie of the Year in the 1987-88 season, and he made one All Star game (1989). I don't see Marshall winning the Rookie of the Year, but I do believe he will have a solid career.

 

Draft Projection:

Mid to Late Lottery

 

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