Is it just me or does it feel like Groundhog Day for the North Carolina Tar Heels? Way back in 1984, with North Carolina heavily favored to win the national championship, a point guard with a broken wrist helped to derail the pursuit. Eerily similar circumstances, to those of point guard Kendall Marshall, produced a non-dominant fracture to the wrist of then guard Kenny Smith. Few would question the fact that North Carolina’s team is made up of stars this year. However, you might have a hard time convincing me that the 2012 team stacks up in superior fashion next to 1984’s loaded team, which included Michael Jordan Sam Perkins. They couldn’t get it done in 1984 and that leads me to wonder if it is possible in 2012.
Kendall Marshall’s fracture, over the weekend, involved the scaphoid bone of his right wrist.
The scaphoid bone is located on the thumb side of the wrist and is said to resemble a cashew. Nearly 60% of all wrist fractures involve the scaphoid bone. The angle at which contact is made, during the injury, determines where on the scaphoid bone, the fracture occurs. The majority of fractures occur in the middle or lower portion of the bone.
Kendall Marshall had a surgical stabilization of the scaphoid bone in his right wrist on Monday and let everyone know, today, that his cast had been removed.
Fortunately, with Marshall being a lefty, the injury and subsequent surgery involves the non-shooting hand. North Carolina hasn’t ruled him out to play in St. Louis, but no one really expects him to be able to play in the Midwest regional semi-finals, on Friday. Factor in the fact that Dexter Strickland, the number 2 ball handler for the Tar Heels, was lost to a knee injury in January, and it makes most people who put the Tar Heels victorious have to fight the urge to send their brackets up in flames.
The media is making a big deal about the fact that Marshal tweeted he got his cast off. That’s truly secondary to the fact that Marshall required a surgical stabilization. There is no doubt that he is still sporting a soft, removable splint. It’s possible that Marshall’s orthopedic surgeon could put him in a bubble split, which would allow him to play this weekend. It is unlikely, however, that he could create the same chemistry of play we’ve become accustomed to seeing from the guard.
“I have no idea,” Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said when asked specifically about the chances of Marshall playing.
“I’m being truthful with you. If he comes running in here now and says ‘God I can play’ I’ll say ‘Well, let’s talk about this.’
I think they’ll do more than just talk. I can see Williams jumping for joy. Then again, how much faith can you put in a college player who is competing on the biggest stage of his collegiate career? What he thinks he is capable of and what he is really capable of are, most likely, two completely different things.
Time will tell if we see Kendall Marshall in the Tar Heel’s game on Friday. I’m on team “there’s no way, North Carolina can win the national championship without Marshall”. Then again…my bracket has Kentucky in the center position.