The loss of Kendall Marshall to the NBA was huge for North Carolina. There’s no denying that.
Enter freshman guard Marcus Paige, the number one ranked point guard by ESPN, who will have to fill the shoes of Marshall. It’s clear that this won’t be an easy task to accomplish. Neither will living up to the hype of former Carolina point guards like Phil Ford, Raymond Felton, Ty Lawson and Marshall.
With Kendall being more of a pass first type point guard, Paige brings a new element to the Carolina offense that they haven’t seen from a point guard since Lawson left for the NBA. Paige can flat out score.
The 6’1″ guard from Iowa will give the Tar Heels another scoring option, something many would say they are lacking this season. That’s an argument that does hold some truth to it as Carolina loses four of it’s top five scorers from that Elite Eight team last season.
With a scoring threat like Paige, the Carolina offense will have a different look to it, well at least from the past two seasons. But how well will it work?
Marshall’s uncanny ability to find the open player and feed them the ball was something Carolina lived off of. When he got hurt, you saw the impact it had on the rest of the players. Marshall excelled at giving his teammates the ball and a perfect spot to create a shot. He was ultimately the floor general Carolina would love to have every season.
But this season is different. Marshall is gone, and he’s not coming back. Sorry folks.
Enter Marcus Paige and his ability to get his own shot off. While it may take some time getting used to, this could be a great thing for this Carolina offense.
Now as Paige presents a scoring threat, his passing ability is also something to look for. When he’s not scoring, Paige has the skill set to distribute to his teammates.
With a point guard who can score, this opens up the floor for the offense. Players like James Michael McAdoo, Leslie McDonald, Dexter Strickland and PJ Hairston will also feed of off Paiges ability to break down the defense and score. It could be a blessing in disguise for the Tar Heels, who are still contenders, but not a serious threat to win it all, yet.
Carolina is fortunate to have two players that can score at the point guard position. When Paige is on the bench, we could see Strickland running the point guard spot, much like he did last season giving Marshall a break. While Strickland is already known for his shooting ability, this opens up the shooting guard spot for McDonald, who is considered one of the better shooters on the team.
It all works out well for Carolina. The duo of Paige and Strickland could play a key role in the Tar Heels success this season.
While it may take some time getting used too, having a scoring point guard on the floor could work out well for the young Tar Heels.