Thursday, March 1, 2012
He went into halftime with three assists, and then set up Harrison Barnes on a jump shot a couple of minutes into the second half. When the shot went through, Marshall had his 285th assist of the season, which set a school record. Ed Cota set the previous record with 284 assists during the 1999-00 season.
“It was definitely weighing on me in the first half,” Marshall said. “I think we had three pitch aheads that usually are easy baskets. And we didn’t convert on it, or a couple of them were bad passes on my part. Some of them – I don’t know what happened.”
He smiled at that. Some games, Marshall has piled up assists with so little effort it’s easy to lose count. During the Tar Heels’ 88-64 victory against Maryland, though, Marshall seemed to be stuck on three assists for the longest time.
“It felt good to just do that early in the second half,” Marshall said of setting record.
At the next television timeout after Marshall set the record, the public address announcer at the Smith Center made those in attendance aware that they’d just witnessed a bit of UNC basketball history. Marshall received a long ovation.
He finished the game with eight assists, which gives him 289 and counting. He’s tied with Bobby Hurley for the third-most assists in a single season in ACC history, and he needs 15 to set a new conference record. Barring something unforeseen, it’s a certainty that Marshall, then, will be making more history.
As for the record he just set, and the player he surpassed, Marshall said he does have a relationship with Cota. The two haven’t spoken in a while, Marshall said, but they spent some time with one another about a year ago, at the end of Marshall’s freshman season.
“He’s a very good guy,” Marshall said. “I watch his highlights all the time. And you all talk about me, but some of the passes that he had the courage to make are ridiculous.
“So I have the utmost respect for his game and I thought he was a very great player.”
-- Andrew Carter
Posted by Observer Sports at 1:21 PM