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UNC's Paige shaping up to help Heels

Posted July 3, 2013

— Marcus Paige’s size and inconsistent shooting served as significant obstacles during an otherwise solid freshman season at North Carolina, so it only makes sense for those areas to highlight his offseason workout approach.

The number that stood out most when North Carolina released its 2012-13 roster was 157, as in Paige’s weight upon enrollment. The Marion, Iowa native’s slight frame was a central theme throughout the season, beginning with fatigue first setting in during the Maui Invitational and ending with power conference point guards imposing their physical will.

As expected, Paige’s offseason workouts with strength and conditioning coach Jonas Sahratian have run the gamut in varying lifts, including Olympic lifts to increase explosiveness.

“I’ve done so many different things just trying to get stronger, more flexible and [become] a better athlete,” Paige said during his summer press conference on Thursday.

The result has been an increase of 14 pounds thus far, bringing Paige’s weight to 171 pounds. His goal is 175 pounds by the end of summer, although his focus is geared more to building strength than adding a set amount of weight. Paige is developing a more effective arm bar while also building a stronger base to better absorb and fight through screens.

A seemingly standard Sahratian eating requirement for increasing size is eating six meals a day and Paige is no different. His meal plans include plenty of lean meats and cottage cheese.

Paige acknowledges that he played at a size disadvantage even at the high school level, but with strength playing a key role at the college level, he often battled fatigue early as a freshman before learning to adjust as the season went along. Players such as UNLV’s Anthony Marshall, N.C. State’s Lorenzo Brown and Miami’s Shane Larkin provided serious challenges for Paige on both ends of the court.

His hope is that the added weight will combat any potential fatigue from the get-go instead of having to adjust throughout the season. While Paige doesn’t lean on the physical wear and tear to explain his rookie shooting woes – 8.2 points per game on 35.6 percent shooting – the physicality of the game likely played a role.

His shooting percentage increased over 100 points once Roy Williams switched to his small lineup over the final 13 games, highlighting his increased confidence and ability to create with better team spacing.

“There wasn’t really a light bulb moment because I wasn’t consistent, even at the end of the year,” Paige said. “But I would say the Virginia Tech game was the game where I really felt the confidence level take a big jump.”

Paige scored a season-high 19 points against the Hokies, including eight in overtime.

“I made a couple of shots last year that people were like, ‘no, no, no,’ and I made the shot and they were like, ‘yeah!’” Paige said. “That’s just something as my confidence grew, I didn’t have a problem taking those shots. But now I think it’s more of a commanding role for me next year to be able to have the ball, want the ball and demand the ball in those situations so that I can make a play instead of just ending up with the ball and taking a shot.”

In addition to more consistent perimeter shooting, Paige is working to become more of a hassle defensively and to develop his leadership capabilities. He’s taken advantage of UNC’s recent wealth at the guard position by picking the brains of former players like Kendall Marshall, Shammond Williams and Raymond Felton while they are back in Chapel Hill this summer.

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  • BlueDevils00 Jul 3, 2:41 p.m.

    Hope the best for him. Paige and McAdoo are class acts. My favorite tarheels

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jul 3, 2:34 p.m.

    Paige was pretty much thrown into the fire when K Butter left early for the NBA, something I don't think Roy saw coming.

    Marcus Paige is my favorite Heel. He's such a smart, humble, hard working young man, and I'm glad he's a Tar Heel. His shooting did improve as the year went on, and I think we'll all see a huge improvement this year with increased confidence, strength, and experience.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1st
SFG 0
KAN 0
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
 
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
 
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
 
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
 
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
 
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
 
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
 
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
 
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
 
4th
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
3rd
WASU 16
ARZ 38
 
2nd
CLEM 3
SYR 3
 
2nd
LAMON 13
TXST 0
 
2nd
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 17
 
2nd
COLST 24
WYO 3
 
2nd
LSU 0
MISS 7
 
1st
TENN 0
ALA 13
 
1st
AUB 7
SCAR 7
 
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
1st Intermission
TOR 0
BOS 1
 
2nd
NYI 3
DAL 2
 
2nd
PHI 0
DET 1
 
2nd
OTT 0
NJD 0
 
1st Intermission
MON 1
NYR 1
 
1st
STL 0
CHI 1
 
1st
NAS 0
PIT 0
 
1st
MIN 0
TAM 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14