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Phoenix Suns

Suns' Alvin Gentry: Kendall Marshall will make it in this league

Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey (3) shoots against Phoenix Suns guard Kendall Marshall (12) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Stuckey scored 18 points as the Pistons won 117-77. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

When the Phoenix Suns drafted Kendall Marshall with the 13th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft they had high hopes he would become an integral part of the team's future.

Critics of Marshall have said he is a gifted passer with a poor shot and over a small sample size of games, the North Carolina product has proven to be just that.

Suns' head coach Alvin Gentry told Arizona Sports 620's Burns & Gambo Show Wednesday he believes Marshall's shooting will improve with the more experience he gains.

"[Shooting] is something he is going to improve on," Gentry said. "I think as a coach improving in the shooting is the least of your worries because I think it's something that everybody's gotten better at over the course of years in the NBA."

The Suns showed they were weren't afraid to make the tough decisions regarding their prized draft pick when they assigned Marshall to the D-League in late-November.

Despite initial disappointment from the 21-year-old point guard regarding his demotion, Gentry said Marshall came to understand the move was made with his long-term future in mind.

"I definitely think it's a hard sell," Gentry stated. "But I think at the end of the day [Marshall] definitely wanted to have the experience of going out and playing and just experience being in a game for 30 minutes or so and running a team."

The Suns recalled Marshall on December 21 but it seems they've gotten back the same player they sent down before. Despite averaging a league-leading 7.6 assists in nine games with the Bakersfield Jam, he continued to have trouble with his shooting. Marshall averaged 9.6 points per game and shot only 31 percent from the field.

Gentry doesn't seem discouraged by the slow progress of his rookie point guard. In fact, the Suns' coach said he is confident that Marshall has what it takes to make it in the NBA.

"I think [Marshall] has got a great touch and a great feel for the game. I think he made passes that would be assists in this league that guys just can't quite finish in that league," Gentry said. "I don't have any doubts. I for sure think he'll make it in this league."

Once Marshall gets more experience under his belt and starts making the necessary adjustments, Gentry feels his point guard will start realizing his potential.

"[Marshall] will make those [improvements]," Gentry stated. "He's a good size, almost 6'5", a really good passer. The shooting is the area where he's really got to improve."

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