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UNC notebook: Marshall practices for first time since injury

Kendall Marshall sat in UNC’s locker room at St. Louis’ Edward Jones Dome with ice on his wrist and bright orange and red shoes.

His smile, for the first time it seemed since injuring his wrist against Creighton, rivaled the shoes.

“I’m kind of a shy person, but I like my shoes to be loud,” Marshall said. “They’re just a little bright. I enjoy them”

Marshall appeared a bit more upbeat Saturday, mostly because he participated in practice for the first time since his injury.

UNC coach Roy Williams said he had Marshall participate in dummy drills Saturday, but no full-contact things.

Marshall thought shooting was the easiest for him to do, but struggled most with catching and passing – skills that require both of his hands more extensively.

“Now we want to see if it bothers him or if it pains him or if it swells up or if his toes curl or whatever happens next,” Williams said. “And then tomorrow at shoot around, we’ll try to probably do the same thing.”

Williams and Marshall will make a decision on the point guard’s status after the team’s shoot around Sunday. Williams said Marshall must be comfortable, and he must have reason to believe Marshall will be effective for him to play the second-team All-ACC point guard.

Marshall might be able to play with less pain if he gets a shot before the game. Williams used a similar approach with Ty Lawson years ago, but he hasn’t been a fan of it since. The option is still there, however.

“I still don’t feel good about it,” Williams said. “I would still struggle with it. But since that time, also they have given me a shot one time to get through a game because of my back, and I lived and birdied the first hole of the year, so I guess I was all right.”

Barnes says criticism is fair

Harrison Barnes scored 12 points against Ohio on 3-of-16 shooting. It was a dreadful shooting night for the first team All-ACC wing player, and Barnes said any criticism he’s received since then is well deserved.

“It’s fair,” he said. “I have no problems with it. It holds you accountable in a way and it obviously just sharpens your focus and allows you to play better.”

Reggie Bullock said Barnes lives in a different, more critical world than most players in the country, not just on UNC.

Barnes explains that it’s tough for him to get around what is written or said about him. But in the end, he added, that’s what he eventually does.

“It’s not really a matter of me listening,” he said. “In this type of age it’s brought to you. People will text me with, ‘This is what somebody said about you man, let’s go heels.’ I’m like, ‘Wow, OK.’ It’s always brought to you in this information world and you just kind of take it and keep going.”

Tar Heels preparing for big Kansas crowd

When North Carolina takes the court against Kansas, the Tar Heels are expecting a lot of blue. They just aren’t expecting as much of the UNC shade of blue.

Kansas had a big following in its game against N.C. State on Friday, but UNC point guard Kendall Marshall doesn’t see that as a significant challenge.

“It’s just a road game,” Marshall said. “I feel like all year we’ve done a good job adjusting to that. We’ve played on neutral courts… So it won’t be anything foreign to us.”

Marshall said he watched the second half of Kansas’ close win against N.C. State, a game he said was as sloppy as UNC’s 73-65 win against Ohio.

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If a large Kansas crowd shows up at the Edward Jones Dome, UNC coach Roy Williams expects them to be raucous.

“The passion that the people have for basketball there is just unmatched,” Williams said. “Playing in the Fieldhouse, coaching in the Fieldhouse, I should say, was a tremendous experience for me. I had great players there. I’ve had three or four of the players that I had at Kansas that have already come to see me here.”