Draft Express Interview with Kendall Marshall

Grind.

Draft Express catches up with Kendall Marshall at IMG Academy in Florida where the former Tar Heel is putting in 12 hour days in preparation for the NBA Draft.

JT: What does your typical daily schedule consist of?

Kendall Marshall: A typical day is breakfast at 8:00. Rehab from 8:30-9:00, then we start warming up and stretching, then we have a field workout, which is a lot of motion, agility, working on becoming quicker -- things like that we do outside. We go out there for about an hour to an hour and 15, then we go into the gym. We do basketball workouts, a lot of ball screens and a lot of shooting. Dan Barto does a great job with us. We go to lunch around 1:00, then we get a little break from 2:00-4:00. At four we come back and we have different vision testing or group settings where we prepare for interviews, things that make you appealing, things like that. At 5:15 we weight lift -- four days a week: upper body two days, lower body two days. We have another basketball workout after that, which can either be playing, shooting, or working out -- we never know until we get there.

JT: That sounds pretty intense and has to be kind of tiring. It sounds like you're basically working 12 hour days.

Kendall Marshall: Yeah, that's about right. I wake up every day at 7:22 and I usually get home around 7:45, so it's a full day, but it's great because we're isolated, there's no trouble we can get into down here -- it's all about working hard and getting ready.

The impressive part of this is the fact Marshall has been dealing with the elbow and wrist injuries which is bound to curtail some of his ability to do everything. Beyond that, while Marshall still has to answer questions about his jump shot and defense he certainly won't be dealing with any questions about his work ethic. Marshall also talked at length about how the season at UNC ended and his decision to go to the NBA.

JT: What it was like to be injured amidst your team's NCAA Tournament run?

Kendall Marshall: It was very tough. I don't wish that on anybody. I don't think that's something anybody ever wants to have to go through. But it was a learning experience, and I'm proud of my teammates for the way they fought. I still feel we had a very special season. We had expectations placed on us that we felt were extremely realistic, but obviously we weren't able to do that. But watching from the sidelines, you see a lot within the game -- maybe stuff coaches were yelling at you for when you didn't think you were doing anything wrong. So, it was a blessing in disguise to be able to take a step back and see the things the coaching staff talks about.

JT: Do you feel any regrets leaving school given how your career at the NCAA level ended?

Kendall Marshall: Not at all. I feel like we still had two extremely special seasons while I was there. I wouldn't want to trade those memories with my teammates for anything in this world, but I also believe that I want to be able to follow my dreams. Everyone's window of opportunity isn't the biggest to go to the NBA. There are some players that are blessed that no matter when they leave, there's a good chance they're going to go where they want to go. I feel like with a player like myself, I have to take the opportunity that's given to me. Everybody's dream is to play basketball at the highest level, and if I can take that opportunity I'm going to take it.

JT: Was it a difficult choice declaring for the draft?

Kendall Marshall: Um… Not really. I think one thing that makes me special are the players around me, and when those guys are going to the next level, and I'm playing my best basketball, the writing is on the wall. It felt good to have coach's support behind me. When I walked into his office I was kind of scared to let him know, but the first thing he said back to me when I told him I was ready to leave was that he had zero problems with that. He went on to tell me the steps from there. That was definitely comforting for me.

JT: What it was like to play under Roy Williams, you're relationship with him, and how that's helped prepare you?

Kendall Marshall: He's the best coach I've ever had. He runs a pro system and I think he does a great job getting the most out of his players within a team concept. When you're coaching at places like Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, Kansas -- teams that are great year in and year out, one of the biggest things to do is manage egos of these players that are coming out of high school and who all averaged 25. So I have a lot of respect for Coach Williams and how he's able to do that.

The bottom line for Marshall was simple. He felt he was ready. Roy Williams felt he was ready. While it would have been nice to see Marshall play at UNC for another season, I cannot fault a player for pursuing his dreams. Those are the ups and downs for a program like UNC which attracts elite talent. At some point, usually sooner than we as fans would like, leave for the NBA. What I do know is statements like Marshall is making here about Roy Williams and any success he enjoys in the NBA only bolster the program in terms of recruiting.

Be sure to check out the rest of the interview.

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