Screen Shot 2012-03-25 at 11.18.31 AM

Roy Williams compares Kendall Marshall to Peyton Manning; wrist still in question

Leave a comment

Yes, one is a 20-year-old point guard and the other is a 36-year-old quarterback, but North Carolina coach Roy Williams sees similarities between the two.

“It’s just one player, but I think this is the best example,” Williams said. “I understand the Indianapolis Colts were in the playoffs [in 2010], then they lose Peyton Manning, and they got the No. 1 pick in the draft [after going 2-14 in 2011 without Manning]. That’s how important Kendall is to us.”

Williams has a point.

Without Marshall, it took overtime for North Carolina to beat pesky Ohio in the Sweet 16, turning the ball over an astounding 24 times.  Were it not for a clutch performance by guard Reggie Bullock, who went 5-for-10 from three-point range, we may have been looking at an Elite Eight Ohio team.

Point guard and quarterback are often analogous positions, but Williams may need to give more credit to his Tar Heels, as they are far from a team like the 2-14 Colts, but it’s difficult to deny the impact Marshall has when he’s on the floor.

He is perhaps a Top 3 point guard in the country, and his nearly 10 assists per game are part of what allows the Tar Heels to average over 80 points.

What are some other buzzwords? Basketball IQ. Court vision. Intuition. There’s the list.

Marshall status remains as questionable for North Carolina’s 5 p.m. tip with Kansas on Sunday.

As far as a matchup would go, were Marshall to play, Kansas’ Tyshawn Taylor has struggled in the NCAA tournament, including just 6 points and committing five turnovers in a win over NC State in the Sweet 16.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Sun Belt approves new scheduling format

Sun Belt Conference
Sun Belt Conference
Leave a comment

With an 11-member setup the Sun Belt Conference has played a 20-game conference schedule the last couple of years, which may be seen as a positive when it comes to determining the regular season champion (home-and-home between every team). But for a conference that spans from North Carolina (Appalachian State) to Texas (UT-Arlington, Texas State) travel was far from easy in that setup.

And with Coastal Carolina joining next season, it was clear that the league needed to do something with its scheduling.

Thursday the Sun Belt members approved an 18-game conference schedule, which will begin with the 2016-17 season when the league consists of 12 members. Included in the agreement is the assignment of travel partners (similar to setups in the Pac-12 and Ivy League), and teams playing no more than three consecutive conference games on the road.

Schools will also be guaranteed at least five weekend home games during conference play, and there will be no more weekends in which teams play conference games both home and away (thus cutting down on travel). Obviously with the addition of Coastal Carolina the Sun Belt needed to make some changes in their scheduling, and this week the conference made the moves they needed to make.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
1 Comment

Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.