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Tuesday, March 6, 2012
UNC's Williams: Marshall all about the team

By Robbi Pickeral

North Carolina coach Roy Williams’ reaction to point guard Kendall Marshall not making the All-ACC first team: He’ll be fine.

“Kendall Marshall’s about one thing: Kendall Marshall’s about his team winning," Williams said Monday night during his radio show. “I had a talk with him this afternoon for just a couple minutes. In this league, there’s a lot of good teams, there’s a lot of good players, there’s a lot of guys that do, quote, 'deserve' it. But there’s only five [spots]. Everybody can’t make it.

“But I’m happy with those guys [who did], I’m very proud of them, I’m very pleased for them and their families. And again, Kendall’s going to be fine, and he can handle that, and he’s only about winning. Which is what everybody wants out of a point guard, anyway.”

Tar Heels Tyler Zeller, John Henson and Harrison Barnes all made the first team, as voted by the dues-paying members of the ACC’s sports media association. But Marshall — who is five assists away from breaking the league’s single-season record, and could make some All-America teams this season — came in two points behind Barnes, leading the second team. The other two members of the first team: Virginia’s Mike Scott and Duke’s Austin Rivers.

UNC was only the second squad to get three players on the first team.

“The fact of the matter is, probably eight or nine guys did [have first-team caliber years],’’ Williams said. “[Florida State’s] Michael Snaer [a second-teamer] had as good a year as you can have — he had two game-winning shots at the buzzer, and when you make those kinds of shots, that’s important. Mike Scott was great … I’m extremely pleased that those guys made it, I’m extremely pleased that Kendall was the leading vote-getter on the second team.”

Williams was also pleased with Henson's selection to the All-Defense team. He said sophomore wing Reggie Bullock “has the chance” to be a player who can make the All-Defense team in the future.

And, “I would not have been surprised for Tyler Zeller to have made it, because Tyler is just a fantastic defender for us, but John making it, being the leading vote-getter ... that’s great for those guys.”

Henson is a favorite to repeat as ACC Defensive Player of the Year when individual awards are announced Tuesday; Zeller and Scott are expected to be the top vote-earners for Player of the Year.

Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.