On ESPN’ Mike & Mike in the Morning on Wednesday, North Carolina coach Roy Williams reiterated that he doesn’t expect point guard Kendall Marshall -- who is in a cast up to his elbow after surgery on his fractured right wrist Monday -- to play on Friday in the NCAA Regional semifinals.
“What we’re going to do is just practice every day, and if something weird happens that they say he can play, I’m probably going to let the guy play. But I just do not foresee that happening,” Williams told the radio show.
Marshall's injury, suffered Sunday, will take eight to 12 weeks to completely heal, the coach said. But the team has not completely ruled out the possibility of the sophomore playing when the top-seeded Tar Heels play No. 13 seed Ohio in St. Louis.
“One thing I’m trying to get them to understand is, you can help us by not hurting us,'' Williams said. "Don’t try to be Kendall Marshall; be what you are. Secure the basketball, don’t put the ball in jeopardy, and move the ball up the floor as quick as you can by dribble or pass. Make the easiest play.
"… I think it will kind of be like a quarterback in football: ‘We’ve got other good players, don’t you try to be the dominating factor in the game; get the ball to those other guys and let them make plays.”
The coach also said he doesn’t think he will use small forward Harrison Barnes to run the offense, “but I do think we’ll ask him to be more aggressive, to be more of a scorer. … We’re saying, ‘It doesn’t have to be one guy, it has to be everybody.’"
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.