North Carolina advanced to the NCAA regional finals this weekend, but not without some battle wounds; point guard Kendall Marshall was injured during Sunday's match against Creighton when he was fouled hard by Ethan Wragge in the second half, fracturing a scaphoid bone in his right wrist. After a timeout, Marshall continued to play--even managing to make a free throw--before taking a break. He came back in briefly but complained of pain in his wrist every time he tried to dribble with that hand, and left the game for good after scoring 18 points for the team.
"Our players have a will to win, and the last thing a player's going to do is let a sickness or injury get in the way of a game that they want to win. So, I didn't want to come out. Coach asked me if I wanted to, I said no, I was good. But, obviously late in the game it tested me a little bit," Marshall said on Sunday. He later tweeted about his love for his teammates.
16 is so sweet! love my team, wouldn't trade them for the world.
Early reports say Marshall will probably be able to play with a cast on his wrist, mostly because he's left-handed, but it will be painful. The star's father, Dennis Marshall, told CBS Sports that his son will have to have a screw inserted into the wrist and that his ability to play in Friday's game is yet to be seen. Updates are expected early this week.
"We'll speak to the hand specialist tonight with Kendall and his family, and we'll see what happens after that," UNC coach Roy Williams said after the win.
When asked to comment on the blow to one of the top-seeded teams in the country, Kentucky coach John Calipari told ESPN.com's Andy Katz, "What I hope is that it's not as bad as it sounds and that he can be able to play for him, for the program, and for the tournament. I can't answer what they'll do because this has never happened to me this late in the season. It becomes an opportunity for someone else but it can change their team."
Twitter users certainly seem to be pulling for the point guard, as evidenced by the flood of updates about his injury and speculation on what it means for the game.
Terrible news for UNC (and for college basketball). Reported that PG Kendall Marshall broke his right hand v. Creighton. Just awful news.
@JayBilas possible to play with that injury?
@JayBilas Any chance UC can get through Kansas without Marshall??