The Phoenix Suns tonight selected University of North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall with the 13th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

“We are ecstatic, as happy as we were last year,” said Suns General Manager Lance Blanks.   “Looking at our board and who was there at the 13th pick, that was the guy we were targeting all along.  Kendall came here and had a wonderful visit.  He came back, we got a second look at him, and quite frankly, Kendall represents where we are as an organization.  Don’t read too far into this as far as free agency—he represents everything we want to be about, as a player and as a person.  He’s a winner.”

Marshall, a 6-4, 195-pound pure point guard, was a two-year performer at North Carolina where this season he earned the 2012 Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard after serving as the floor general for the nation’s second-highest scoring offense (82.0; Iona, 83.3).  An unselfish and accurate passer, Marshall averaged an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) single-season record 9.8 assists, second-most in the nation, and the eighth-highest average in NCAA history overall.  In doing so, he established an NCAA record for the highest assist average by a sophomore in history and a single-season ACC record for total assists (311).

An Associated Press Third-Team All-American and CBS First Team All-America selection, Marshall earned Second-Team All-ACC honors in 2011-12 and was named Third-Team All-ACC as a freshman.  The 20-year-old Marshall finished his collegiate career as the all-time assist average leader (7.96) at North Carolina’s decorated program, and as the owner of the best assist-to-turnover ratio in conference history (3.01). He led the conference in assists in both of his collegiate seasons, and became just the second Tar Heel ever to do so as a freshman.

A capable all-around player, Marshall established career averages of 7.2 points, 8.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 73 career games.  He is a career 44.5 percent shooter overall, including 36.4 percent from three-point range.  As a sophomore, he averaged 8.1 points, 9.8 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals while making 46.7 percent of his shots overall.