Kendall Marshall’s value was never more apparent than when he missed the Tar Heels’ last two games after breaking his right wrist.
The Tar Heels barely beat 13th-seeded Ohio in overtime despite a season-high 24 turnovers _ the program’s most in an NCAA game in 24 years _ in the round of 16. They didn’t manage a field goal in the last 5 1/2 minutes and were outscored 12-0 to close the 80-67 loss to Kansas in Sunday’s regional final.
As for Barnes, he entered each year as a preseason all-American, but for the most part, he never quite lived up to the lofty expectations.
Armed with a polished all-around game but no clear go-to move, he overcame a slow start to his freshman year with some clutch late-game shooting and a 40-point showing against Clemson in the ACC tournament. He seemed more prepared to handle the expectations as a sophomore, but was dominant only in stretches and faded badly late in the year.
The departures mean Reggie Bullock will be the leading returning scorer at about nine points per game for what likely will be a guard-heavy lineup. Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald are both expected back from knee injuries along with P.J. Hairston, who struggled with his outside shot through his freshman year.
Ronnie McAdoo, the father of freshman forward James Michael McAdoo, said his son plans to return to school but will review his NBA options with the family this weekend.
North Carolina also has a recruiting class that includes likely Marshall successor Marcus Paige, a McDonald’s All-American from Marion, Iowa.