Friday, June 29, 2012

Will Kendall Marshall Become Phoenix's Favorite Sun?

(Bob Donnan/ US Presswire)

The NBA Draft green room was filled with Tar Heels Thursday night.  Coach Roy Williams was there to support Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller and John Henson, as all were expected to go early in the 2012 NBA Draft.  The lone Tar Heel that did not receive an invite to the green room was Kendall Marshall.  The NBA could have been worried about a Jameer Nelson, Aaron Rodgers or Brady Quinn situation where ESPN cameras are there to capture a heart break slide on draft day.  The NBA would not have had to worry about that because Marshall was selected 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns, and the second Tar Heel selected.  The Suns starting point guard and former MVP, Steve Nash, is expected to sign elsewhere as a free agent.  Unless the Suns are very active in the free agency market they appear to be in a rebuilding phase and could have just landed their floor general of the future.  Marshall and Sebastian Telfair are the only point guards that are currently on the Suns' roster, as Aaron Brooks is a restricted free agent. Marshall is an unselfish player that makes his teammates better.  Suns General Manager Lance Blanks said Marshall "was the guy we were targeting all along." Marshall was actually number eight on the Suns draft board.
Marshall will be able to talk about Tar Heel basketball with Suns TV analyst Scott Williams who played in Chapel Hill in the late 80's and was an undrafted free agent who had a  15 year career in the NBA.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Former Tar Heel, Adam Warren, Makes His Debut In New York

Adam Warren is scheduled to make his first Major League start for the New York Yankees on Friday against the Chicago White Sox.  Warren will fill in for Yankee ace C.C. Sabathia, who was placed on the 15 day disabled list earlier this week.  Warren becomes the 16th Tar Heel to make a start in the MLB since Mike Fox has took over as manager in Chapel Hill.  Warren was a fourth round draft pick of the Yankees in 2009 and he has a record of 5-5 with an ERA of 3.86 and 59 strikeouts with the Triple A team Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.  If Warren performs well this could turn into more than a temporary call up as the Yankees also lost Andy Pettitte this week for six weeks due to an ankle injury.  Warren's first game will not be easy as the White Sox rank in the top 8 in runs scored and home runs.  The game will be shown on the Yes Network Friday at 7:05 EST.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NBA Scouts Weigh In On Four Tar Heels

Seth Davis, of CNNSI, spoke with six NBA scouts, coaches and executives over the last two weeks leading up to the NBA draft.  This is what they had to say about the four Tar Heels that will be drafted in the first round Thursday night:

Harrison Barnes, 6-8 forward, North Carolina: "I can't figure him out. I want him to be better than he is, yet what he is is pretty good. His biggest problem is he doesn't have enough toughness. This is a man's league and I don't know for sure if he's the type of guy who will step on you when you're down."

John Henson, 6-10 forward, North Carolina: "His body has gotten better, although he still needs to work on it. He's a solid rotation player. His shot is greatly improved from his freshman year. He's not Ray Allen or anything, but he's not Reggie Evans anymore, either. I worry about kids who have high centers of gravity, because that usually means they have poor balance."

Kendall Marshall, 6-4 guard, North Carolina: "I don't think he's going to make a poor team a lot better, but if you put him on a team like Oklahoma City or Philadelphia, where he's surrounded by a bunch of athletes, then he can really make them better. He's not a bad shooter. If someone leaves him open, he can knock down a few jumpers. My concern about him is the other side of the ball. Will he be capable of defending quick point guards? He doesn't have great speed, but he knows how to play fast."
Tyler Zeller, 7-foot center, North Carolina: "Beast. I personally have him in the top seven. He's a 13- to 14-year NBA center. He can shoot, he's strong, he runs. Everybody complains they can never find a center. Well, here he is. There's absolutely no scenario where he's not going to succeed."

There are really no surprises with the scout's evaluations of the four players. There is not a census opinion any of the Tar Heel players.  Roy Williams said on the Dan Patrick Show that he thought Marshall could be the best pro.  Jay Bilas has said he thinks Zeller will be the best pro.  Marc James, sports radio personality in Charlotte, believes John Henson is best former Tar Heel to pick in this draft.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Harrison Barnes Impressive In Workout With Bobcats

Harrison Barnes returned to North Carolina on Thursday as he was in Charlotte to work out for the Bobcats.  The Bobcats have the second pick of the NBA draft and are in the early stages of a rebuilding process.  Many in Charlotte believe Barnes is the best pick for the Bobcats.  He is a good shooter and extremely athletic and would instantly be the best scorer on the team.  Barnes worked out in front of Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, General Manager Richard Cho and new head coach Mike Dunlap.  It seems that Barnes made a good impression as Dunlap said, "He played to his strengths. He shoots the ball well. He is a very good athlete and he has a good attitude."  Former NC State player CJ Williams also worked out for the Bobcats and had nothing but positive things to say about Barnes.  He said, "Barnes just isn't a jump shooter but an overall scorer."
The Bobcats were the fourth team to work out Barnes, along with Cleveland, Toronto and Washington.  According to an NBA source Barnes cancelled his workout Friday with Sacramento.  So that makes me think that Barnes will not make it past the Cleveland Cavaliers, who pick 4th.  The Bobcats work out Kansas' junior standout Thomas Robinson on Friday but it seems Barnes is the front runner to be the second pick right now.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Vote Kyle Seager Into the All Star Game

(Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images North America)

Former North Carolina Tar Heel baseball player Kyle Seager is having a quiet but productive year.  Seager and his stats may get overlooked playing on the West Coast but he has proven himself time and time again for the Seattle Mariners.  Seager is batting .272 with 7 home runs and 37 RBIs.  He ranks second among third baseman in the American League with those 37 RBIs only trailing the Tigers Miguel Cabrera.  Seager was drafted in the third round of the 2009 draft and joined college teammate, Dustin Ackley, who was the Mariners first pick.  So far in their young careers Seager has been the one playing like

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Harrison Barnes' NBA Draft Preview

Photo: Wilmington Star-News Online

Now that the NBA lottery has been decided Harrison Barnes and other Tar Heels can get a better idea of where they could end up.  Barnes has great size for a small forward in the NBA.  He also has a high basketball IQ and is fluid athletically which will help him adapt to a more physical game at the next level.  Barnes will need to work on improving his outside shot which was inconsistent last season.  He also will need to find a way to penetrate and create his own shot. 

Barnes is considered to be in a group with Bradley Beal, Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist,  Andre

Rashad McCants Released

In two games with the Powerade Tigers of the Philippines Basketball Association, Rashad McCants averaged 25.5 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and one steal a game.  He was rewarded with these solid numbers by getting released.  The Tigers started the Governor's Cup losing their first two games.  The team seemed to panic by releasing a player that was producing very solid numbers.  McCants had a short stint in

John Henson's NBA Draft Profile

During John Henson's three years at Carolina he improved his offensive game every year and grew into a low post threat.  He is a superb defender and has incredible length.  During three years he went from a 180 pound kid to a 6'11" 220 pound NBA player.  Henson still has a lot of room to develop his offensive game, but deciding to stay in school for three years instead of one has improved the likely hood he will be able make it to a second contract in the NBA.
Henson was in New Orleans earlier this week, with former teammate Tyler Zeller among others, to work out for the Hornets.  Although many draft experts believe he will never make it to their tenth pick because the Detroit Pistons (Pick 9)  have shown a lot of interest in Henson.  If the Pistons make Henson their first round pick who will team with rising star center Greg Monroe in the front court.

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Kendall Marshall's NBA Draft Preview

Kendall Marshall''s college career ended disappointingly at the hands of a hard foul from a Creighton player.  A healthy Marshall could have ended the college basketball season a little differently.  Marshall is considered by many as the best available "true" point guard.  No other player in recent Carolina history improved their draft stock as much as Marshall.  He came to Chapel Hill as a four star recruit by most recruiting publications, and now appears to be a late lottery pick.

Marshall has great court vision and is a leader on the court.  He plays very unselfish and possess a high basketball IQ.  He will need to work on becoming a stronger scoring threat. He showed glimpses last season that he could become a good scorer.  He also will need to work on his quickness which will also help him improve his defense.

To prepare for the draft Marshall has been working out in Florida and he is expected to attend the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.  After the combine Marshall plans to work out with up to six unnamed NBA teams they will potentially all be in the lottery.  Marshall is uncertain at how much he will be able to participate in predraft workouts due to his wrist and elbow injuries.

A few teams that have expressed interest in Marshall are the New Orleans Hornets (Pick 10), Portland Trailblazers (11), Houston Rockets (14 and 16) and the Phoenix Suns (13).  I would think these are four teams would include Marshall in for a workout.

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