North Carolina announced on Thursday that Kendall Marshall, Harrison Barnes, and John Henson would all be forgoing their remaining eligibility to enter the NBA Draft.
It's a great day for three youngsters who are taking another step toward their ultimate goal of playing professional basketball, head coach Roy Williams said in a statement. On a very small stage, it's a sad day for me because I won't get to coach them again. All Tar Heel fans will miss them greatly, as well.
The trio will be joined by senior Tyler Zeller in leaving Chapel Hill for the comfy confines of the NBA. All four are expected to be taken in the first round of the draft, according to NBADraft.net. The draft website has Barnes at No. 5, Marshall at No. 13, Henson at No. 16, and Zeller at No. 17.
The loss of the four players is a major blow to a Tar Heels team that was knocked out in the Elite Eight by Kansas. Barnes, Henson, and Zeller were first-team All-ACC in 2012, while Marshall made the second-team. The team was considered to be one of a handful of title contenders, but suffered a rash of injuries, including Marshall's broken wrist in the NCAA Tournament, that severely hampered Williams' preferred fast-paced offense.
North Carolina will have to rely on a largely inexperienced class and could still stand to lose James Michael Mcadoo to the league.