banner
Adam Gold

A freshman growth spurt

Posted February 23, 2013
Updated February 24, 2013

Coaches love to say that there are no freshman come March. It's a cute cliche, and I'm not sure it always applies, but I know this much; Marcus Paige grew up a ton in four weeks.

On Jan. 26, at PNC Arena in Raleigh, Paige was like a teenager on a date with Kate Upton in Carolina's 91-83 loss to the Wolfpack. He looked terrified, and played worse, scoring just seven points while turning it over three times in 29 nervous minutes. In a season where North Carolina isn't blessed with their usual array of first-round NBA draft talent, the only way the Heels are going to be a factor is if all of their better players are contributing something positive to the cause. UNC pulls away from NC State late in 76-65 win Slideshow: UNC pulls away from NC State late in 76-65 win

Four weeks later, it was a totally different story for the first year player from Marion, Iowa.

Paige scored all 14 of his points in the second half as the Tar Heels picked up their best win of the season, a 76-65 victory over rival NC State that will go a long way towards cementing UNC as an NCAA Tournament team.

Saturday was a lot more than statistics for Paige. While his eight assist, three steal and zero turnover performance screams out for attention, it was as much the timing of his contributions that were as telling as anything you'd find in a box score.

Paige: We're really starting to mature Paige: We're really starting to mature

With the Tar Heels on the ropes a bit after gagging away a 10-point, second half lead, Paige re-entered the game in what amounted to a Carolina blue line change. A careless, mistake-filled 3 1/2 minute stretch had allowed the Pack to run off a 13-2 spurt and suddenly it appeared that NC State had assumed control of the game. But Paige, the only real offensive threat in a make-shift line up on the floor at the time, drilled a left-wing three-pointer putting Carolina back on top by two and the Wolfpack momentum was stalled.

Five and a half minutes later, Paige buried another long-range jumper giving Carolina a 57-55 lead that would never be relinquished. That shot was the start of a stretch in which Paige scored 10 points, made four of five free throws and thoroughly outplayed his much more heralded opponent, Wolfpack point guard Lorenzo Brown. In all, the freshman, who just four weeks ago looked as though he couldn't draw a breath against State, played with poise and confidence and provided 11 points, a steal and an assist in a decisive 27-8 explosion that lifted North Carolina into third place in the ACC standings with four games to play.

Reggie Bullock was excellent for UNC. His 22 points and career best 13 rebounds were critical to the cause for the Tar Heels tonight. P.J. Hairston continues to be a star-in-the-making with a dozen points and a defensive effort on State forward Calvin Leslie that contributed to the pre-season player of the year's six-point, six-turnover debacle. And, James Michael McAdoo held his own against Wolfpack senior bruiser Richard Howell with a 14-point, seven-rebound night.

But, when Roy Williams and his coaching staff review this game, they're going to see that it was largely the timely excellence of Paige, the freshman, that was instrumental in that final 10-minute surge and a major factor between winning and losing.

You can grow up an awful lot in four weeks. Paige is proof of that.

18 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • plansguy Feb 25, 2013

    View quoted thread

    And right now, I don't care. Roll on Heels!

  • plansguy Feb 25, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Ditto JG!

  • StunGunn Feb 25, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Only Roy knows the answer to that question, and he doesn't want to share it:)

  • VT1994Hokie Feb 24, 2013

    UNC clicked on all cylinders yesterdy. Paige did a super job.

  • StunGunn Feb 24, 2013

    When Roy had the health scare, he said was so grateful to be okay, and he would enjoy coaching more than ever before. I had my doubts as Roy is Roy, and he seemed very frustrated earlier in the season when his team couldn't run the high octane offense that is the cornerstone of his teams. Roy made adjustments to his coaching and his lineup, and just look at the results! I think this is one of Roy's best coaching jobs ever. I'm glad Roy is healthy, and I'm glad he's at the helm of his alma mater.

  • Dean .776 > K .764 Feb 24, 2013

    Roy is doing a great job of coaching this year. He basically lost last year's team to the NBA and now he's taking a new group of players and got them improving at the right time of year. GO HEELS!!!

  • tarheelbb1 Feb 24, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Since Maryland is leaving the ACC, I hope they are taking Adam Gold with them.

  • kbradtech Feb 24, 2013

    WHY THE HECK DID IT TAKE 20 SOME GAMES BEFORE OL ROY MADE A CHANGE

  • hi_i_am_wade Feb 24, 2013

    The smaller lineup has better team chemistry. They work well together.

  • ncstateforever Feb 24, 2013

    Tried to edit but it wouldn't let me I know I misspelled a couple of words. criticize, and supposed.

More...

 

 

TV
  • NASCAR: Folds of Honor 500 in Atlanta

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on FOX50

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UCF 66
ECU 71
Final
BC 79
NCSU 63
Final
MIAMI 64
UNC 73
Final
NCCU 72
COOK 49
 
2nd Intermission
NYI 3
CAR 5
 
1st
DUKE 17
SYR 16
 
1st
WAS 31
DET 17
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
ATL
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MEM
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
BRK
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
MIL
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
SAN
Final
LIP 94
KNST 75
 
Final
GHND 47
NAVY 57
 
Final
LAF 74
ARMY 64
 
Final
AMER 69
BUCK 71
 
Final
UCF 66
ECU 71
Final
STJ 81
GEOR 70
Final
CLEM 70
GT 63
Final
COL 61
LEH 55
 
Final
FSU 59
LOU 81
Final
MD 66
MICH 56
Final
UGA 68
MIZZ 44
Final
BC 79
NCSU 63
Final
LAS 56
RIU 59
Final
UNH 65
MAINE 56
 
Final
IUPUI 80
NEOM 87
 
Final
WINT 80
PBY 53
 
Final
VMI 69
SAMF 80
 
Final
CITA 54
WCU 67
 
Final
DEP 53
BUT 67
Final
LONG 70
CAMP 65
 
Final
TULA 47
CIN 63
Final
VCU 55
DAY 59
Final
TOWS 60
DEL 65
 
Final
WMARY 66
DREX 80
 
Final
JVU 75
FLGC 67
 
Final
EVAN 67
ILLST 69
 
Final
BRAD 52
INDST 60
 
Final
MIAMI 64
UNC 73
Final
WICHS 74
NIOWA 60
Final
UWGB 83
OU 63
 
Final
LSU 73
MISS 63
Final
OKLA 67
TCU 60
Final
BING 76
UMBC 69
 
Final
AFA 60
UTST 74
Final
GTDNS 79
VERM 73
 
Final
XAV 66
VILL 78
Final
MNTER 74
WAGN 64
 
Final
ILLCH 61
WRST 46
 
Final
YALE 90
SARAHLAW 55
 
Final
UAB 100
MTST 95
Final
NDAK 65
SUTAH 71
 
Final
LIB 77
UNCA 95
 
Final
CHIST 65
WLVRN 44
 
Final
UMO 57
BGU 62
 
Final
SHU 84
LIU 73
 
Final
APP 66
LAMON 43
 
Final
VANDY 73
ALA 66
Final
KENT 84
ARK 67
Final
NCCU 72
COOK 49
 
Final
MRGST 77
COPST 88
 
Final
SHU 67
CREI 66
Final
BONA 92
DUQ 75
 
Final
MERC 69
ETST 64
 
Final
UMASS 82
FORD 74
Final
RAD 72
GWEBB 62
 
Final
JMU 82
HOF 73
 
Final
BU 70
HC 77
 
Final
KYST 70
ISU 69
Final
DELST 65
MDES 69
 
Final
LOYC 65
MIZST 51
 
Final
IDAHO 80
MNTST 73
 
Final
MCNST 83
NICST 78
 
Final
TTU 63
OKST 62
Final
PORT 66
SDU 78
 
Final
BRY 61
Terriers 51
 
Final
RMU 71
RFLSH 70
 
Final
UVA 69
VT 57
Final
BAY 78
WVU 66
Final
FUR 60
WOFF 62
 
Final
SILL 63
DRAK 57
 
Final
FD 73
CCST 66
 
Final
WMICH 80
EMICH 72
 
Final
CSOU 97
HIGH 93
 
Final
UNCG 58
CHAT 61
 
Final
SD 80
SDKST 64
 
2nd
CARK 73
SELA 69
 
Final
KU 69
TEX 64
 
Final
EWASH 76
MONT 77
 
Final
TROY 64
UGST 75
 
Final
TXST 70
ARKST 60
 
2nd
UNT 55
ODU 64
 
2nd
CORN 30
DART 47
 
2nd
NCAT 46
FAM 37
 
2nd
PSU 48
IOWA 52
 
2nd
MORE 68
JVST 42
 
2nd
PEPP 42
LMU 37
 
2nd
SCAR 59
MSST 45
 
2nd
BRO 38
PRIN 62
 
2nd
NEV 38
SJST 33
 
2nd
SCST 30
SAV 41
 
2nd
BEL 69
TENST 51
 
2nd
UF 53
TENN 32
 
Half
ALAST 33
TXSOU 31
 
Half
SOUTH 29
ALCOR 29
 
Half
JST 45
MVSU 23
 
1st
SEMIZ 29
PEAY 19
 
1st
TOL 11
BST 9
 
1st
KSU 16
BUF 25
 
1st
LBSU 24
CSFU 11
 
1st
MARS 23
FATL 17
 
1st
STLU 16
GMAS 25
 
1st
DAVID 22
GWU 17
 
1st
CLMB 7
HARV 15
 
1st
LAM 14
INCWORD 13
 
1st
YOUNG 20
UWMIL 30
 
1st
ELON 13
UNCW 9
 
1st
ILL 27
NW 12
 
1st
YALE 15
PENN 21
 
1st
STJOE 21
RICH 17
 
1st
UNF 22
STET 25
 
1st
HART 9
USB 19
 
1st
DUKE 17
SYR 16
 
1st
EKENT 26
TENT 25
 
1st
LATU 22
TXSA 14
 
1st
NKENTUCKY 25
USCU 17
 
1st
MAST 23
WILL 15
 
1st
UMKC 17
GRCN 15
 
7:15pm Tonight
NO
ABCHRIST
 
1st
TENNM 4
MURST 5
 
7:25pm Tonight
HOW
HAMP
 
7:30pm Tonight
ALAAM
PVU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SDST
BSU
8:00pm Tonight
NILL
CMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
RICE
CHAR
8:00pm Tonight
ORU
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
WKENT
FIU
8:00pm Tonight
TXPA 0
NMST 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
COC
NE
 
8:00pm Tonight
TAMCC
SHSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SCU
GAELS
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOUB
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMISS
UTEP
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
TULSA
8:00pm Tonight
UNLV
WYO
8:15pm Tonight
TXARL
ARKLR
 
8:15pm Tonight
LALAF
GSOUT
 
8:30pm Tonight
TEXAM
AUB
8:30pm Tonight
ARKPB
GRAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTAH
ARZ
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
NARZ
 
10:00pm Tonight
GONZ
BYU
10:00pm Tonight
WEBER
IDST
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
NMU
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL 0
UCD 0
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SACST
 
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
CALST
 
10:30pm Tonight
CSNO
UCR
 
10:30pm Tonight
USC
WASH
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
UCI
 
Final
FLA 5
BUF 3
Final
NAS 3
DET 4
2nd Intermission
NYI 3
CAR 5
 
Final
CLB 0
NJD 2
 
3rd
BOS 4
ARI 0
 
1st
MON 1
TOR 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
PHI
NYR
10:00pm Tonight
COL
MIN
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
OTT
10:00pm Tonight
EDM
STL