Season Ends in Disappointments Due to Injuries


Season Ends in Disappointments Due to Injuries

 

North Carolina’s season and fans had extremely high hopes for this season and championship. However, throughout the season many injuries led to most of their players sitting on the bench while the opportunity to go to the Final Four slowly slipped away. After Carolina’s loss on Sunday night, it is hard not to think about what would have happened if their players were healthy. What if Kendall Marshall, injured sophomore point guard, had been just a little bit healthier to play? What if Dexter Strickland hadn’t suffered a season-ending knee injury against Virginia Tech, or Leslie Mcdonanald hadn’t been lost months before the start of the season due to a similar injury? How about if John Henson, who played Sunday with a hurt wrist and sprained ankle, was fully healed? All of these questions are haunting the players and fans of the Tar Heels… what if, what if, what if.

Marshall is not a flashy player, however, it is almost impossible to overemphasize his magnitude to the team. He is the smartest passer in college basketball, averaging 9.7 assists per game this season, which at college level is exceptional. He is a vital player to the Tar Heels, and was responsible for controlling the flow of the offense. He is the most crucial player in North Carolina’s tournament offense and Tar Heels’ most significant player. Given Marshall’s absence, the Tar Heels didn’t have high hopes for their game against Kansas. However, its hard not to think about if Marshall could have played, would Carolina be in the Final Four? It’s a puzzling concept for fans and players that the result of so many injuries throughout the season has caused them the championship. His absence in the game against Kansas will forever sit in the back of Heels fans, coaches and players.

Given all of the injuries, it makes Sunday’s loss somewhat easier to swallow because the pressure and hopes of everyone was a couple levels less than normal. This is going to make next season that much more exciting to look forward to – the anticipation of healthy players and a new season its thrilling.

Would UNC have been the team everyone wanted and expected them to be if they were all healthy? Would they have won the national title? It is very, very likely. Nonetheless, nothing is a guarantee in sports, and that’s what makes it such an exhilarating sport.

Thinking about the tournament for 2013, Carolina has a lot to think about in order to reach the Final Four next year. Kendall Marshall and James Michael McAdoo are both good NBA prospects to declare for the draft, that’s a given. Marshall proved to be a one of the most essential players, and there is a chance that McAdoo and Marshall could head to the NBA. Nevertheless, the importance of these two players would be a huge advantage for the Tar Heels. They need to bring in a strong recruiting class, which UNC has already done. They are ranked fifth in the nation by ESPNU in recruiting this far. Tar Heels top recruit is Marcus Paige, number 23 overall recruit in the 2013 class and number one point guard. He is a high scoring, quick mindset, smart decision making and good passing skills.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=S8KohbmHOaI

 

Powerhouses like North Carolina Tar Heels have without a doubt shown throughout the years that they can surprise with some top recruits down the line. I have a feeling their determination and motivation due to this year’s disappointment will hopefully bring them into the Final Four next year.

 

Megan Griswold

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