Friday, March 30, 2012
3-point shot: What could have been for UNC
By Andy Katz
1. It’s really a shame that Kendall Marshall's last game was against Creighton in the third round and not Kansas in the Elite Eight. We never really saw the full potential of this Carolina team. Had Marshall been able to avoid injury then the Tar Heels would likely be in New Orleans competing for the title. But that’s the beauty as well as the cruelty of sports. Now Marshall is declaring for the NBA draft with John Henson and Harrison Barnes, too. Roy Williams has had three sets of elite teams in his brief time at North Carolina. Two of the three won titles in 2005 and 2009. This one was destined to win one, too. But it will always be remembered for what could have happened, instead of what they did -- finish a game short of the Final Four.
2. A decision on Butler going to the A-10 isn’t final yet, but all indications are that it’s still pointing in that direction. Butler was once in a league with Xavier and Dayton and with Saint Louis nearby it’s a slam dunk for basketball and the overall athletic department. The hurdle for the department would be to ensure that it’s not too much of an added cost for the non-revenue sports. A-10 sources and Colonial Athletic Association sources all said there was no truth to George Mason and VCU moving to the A-10, too. They’ve gone public with that, as well. The A-10 shouldn’t go to 16 anyway at this juncture. All it needs to do for now is replace Temple for Butler. If Charlotte were to leave for the CUSA-MWC merger then the A-10 can deal with that loss later.
3. Pat Kelsey took over the job at Winthrop in a surprising move since Kelsey had resigned from his Xavier assistant position to spend more time with his family last year. I spoke with Kelsey a few times and he legitimately feared that he was not spending enough time at home and that he was going to miss his children’s lives. Kelsey was deeply troubled by the death of his mentor, former coach Skip Prosser. But the year off did wonders for him. The hope is that he has his priorities set and can allow himself at a smaller, less intense school like Winthrop to stay grounded and keep the balance necessary in his life.