DRAFT PROFILE: KENDALL MARSHALL
By: Calder Hynes, Hornets.com
Vitals: 6-4, 180 lbs., point guard
Birthdate: Sept. 19, 1991
College: North Carolina (2 years)
Stats: 8.1 ppg, 9.8 apg, 2.6 rpg, 1.2 spg, 46.7 FG%, 35.4 3FG%
While many speculate that point guard may be the weakest position in this summer's NBA Draft, one thing is certain: Kendall Marshall is at the top of 2012's crop of playmakers. Moreover, while some question Marshall's overall game, one thing is for certain: Kendall Marshall can pass.
No additional evidence is needed to support that claim than the fact that the 2012 Third Team All-American led the NCAA last season with 351 assists and was second overall with 9.8 assists per game. Furthermore, the sophomore's 10.7 assists per 40 minutes in 2011-12 was the best mark for a collegian in at least the past decade of NCAA play and his 3.48 assist-to-turnover ratio ranked third-best in that time.
"When looking at Marshall's game from an NBA perspective, his passing ability is clearly his greatest selling point, and it's hard to overstate how good of a passer he is and how great a feel he has for managing a game," opines Joseph Treutlein of DraftExpress.com Marshall's leadership and intangibles are also strong selling points, as his insertion into the starting lineup as a freshman was credited with North Carolina's turnaround in 2010-11. Additionally, the No. 1 seeded Tar Heels fell from the NCAA tournament in March just two games after the 2012 Bob Cousy Award recipient succumbed to a broken bone in his left wrist during an 18-point, 11-assist performance in the round of 32.
"Marshall could be the most precise and timely passer we've seen in years. He owns the vision, pass-first mentality and ability to consistently hit his target on the move that should land him a starting gig at the pro level," notes Jonathan Wasserman of NBADraft.net.
But there are some lingering doubts about Marshall that make critics take pause before assuring future success in the league. Wasserman: "Though 6'4 with a mature mindset, Marshall lacks the upside of your typical first point guard off the board due to the inability to create his own offense and uninspiring athleticism."
However, the questions of athleticism have been mitigated somewhat by the recent success of non-traditional fleet of foot guards who have had success, as Treutlein notes.
"The recent seamless transition of Ricky Rubio, a player with a similar strength/weakness profile in many ways, will help the case for those wondering how Marshall's game could translate to the pros, as will the continued success of Andre Miller, another guard he somewhat resembles."
*The information and opinions expressed about players referenced in this section are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the Hornets organization's preferences for the June 28 NBA Draft.