UNC's Barnes, Henson, Marshall entering NBA draft
(AP) - North Carolina underclassmen Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall will enter the NBA draft, the school said Thursday...
North Carolina underclassmen Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall will enter the NBA draft, the school said Thursday.
The school didn’t state whether the three planned to hire an agent in its release announcing the departures, though it appears the three are in the draft to stay.
“It’s a great day for three youngsters who are taking another step toward their ultimate goal of playing professional basketball,” coach Roy Williams said in a statement. “On a very small stage, it’s a sad day for me because I won’t get to coach them again. All Tar Heel fans will miss them greatly, as well.”
Barnes, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, averaged about 17 points to lead the team. Henson, a 6-11 junior, averaged about 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
Both Barnes and Henson put off entering the NBA draft last spring for another shot at a national championship despite being likely first-round picks. But the preseason No. 1 Tar Heels (32-6) fell in an NCAA regional final for the second straight season amid a dizzying run of injuries, including wrist injuries to both Henson and Marshall.
“I wish we’d have been able to bring our fans a national championship, but it wasn’t meant to be,” Henson said in a statement. “I am proud of what we accomplished, especially the last two years.”
Both Barnes and Henson said in their statements they planned to continue working to complete their undergraduate degrees.
Marshall, a 6-4 sophomore, won the Cousy Award presented to the nation’s top college point guard earlier Thursday.
Marshall set the Atlantic Coast Conference’s single-season assists record. He missed the last two NCAA tournament games after breaking his right wrist.
Marshall, a pass-first point guard, had upped his scoring late in the year and reached double-figures in his last six games to improve his draft prospects.
“It’s been the greatest two years of my life,” Marshall said in a statement. “I have always put the team before myself and I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished. My lifelong dream has been to play basketball at the highest level possible and I feel now is my greatest opportunity to fulfill this goal.”