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Three UNC stars to enter NBA draft

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Published on Mar 29, 2012

North Carolina players Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall all will leave school early to enter the NBA draft, the Tar Heels announced Thursday.

Barnes and Marshall are sophomores, while Henson is a junior.

"It's a great day for three youngsters who are taking another step toward their ultimate goal of playing professional basketball," 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."

Henson was ACC defensive player of the year in 2011 and 2012 and was named to the all-conference team this season. His 279 blocks are the second most in school history.

"I've loved my three years at Carolina, and now I'm ready to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA," Henson said. "It's tough to leave because I love my teammates, coaches and UNC. I wish we'd been able to bring our fans a national championship, but it wasn't meant to be. I am proud of what we accomplished, especially the last two years."

Barnes was also on the all-conference team after leading North Carolina in scoring for the second straight year.

Marshall won the Bob Cousy Award as the top point guard in the nation after setting the ACC's single-season assist record with 351, the fourth most in NCAA history.

North Carolina's season ended Sunday with a loss to Kansas in the Midwest Region final.

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