North Carolina Basketball has an excellent tradition of point guards. From players like Phil Ford to more recently Kendall Marshall, the point guard play has always been a strength for the Tar Heels.
Going into this season Carolina lost Marshall to the NBA. While Marshall plays in the D-League, many fans wonder if he made the right decision to leave UNC for the NBA. Should he have stayed? Maybe. But thats a different debate. The matter is over and the point is Carolina has to move on without him.
But who should lead this young Carolina team who has struggled all-around in their three losses this season?
Entering the season Carolina has turned to freshman guard Marcus Paige. Ranked as the number one point guard for the class of 2012 Paige is expected to be the future for the Tar Heels.
Through eleven games Paige hasn’t played bad, but he hasn’t played great either. Now there is still plenty of time for Paige to develop his game and become the next elite point guard. But right now we just haven’t seen much of that, it will come with time however.
Paige brings quickness to the table for the Tar Heels as well as decent scoring ability for a point guard his size. While Paige might be undersized, his presence on the court gives the Tar Heels an advantage. Paige does have the ‘floater’ added to his arsenal, which is needed for an undersize point guard in Basketball. Without that, Paige might struggle to score.
While Paige is the point guard of the future for the Tar Heels, is he the best answer right no? Or should the Tar Heels turn to senior guard Dexter Strickland?
Last season the Tar Heels weakness was their depth at the guard spot. With Leslie McDonald lost to an off-season injury, the Tar Heels were slim. Midway through the year they lost Strickland and in March they lost Marshall to injury as well. Strickland was the starting shooting guard but did serve as a backup point guard to Marshall, giving Roy Williams a valuable option many teams didn’t have.
The loss of those three players cost the Tar Heels a shot at a National Championship. While the likeliness of a National Championship in Chapel Hill isn’t high this season, the Tar Heels still will look to the future.
So what should Roy Williams do? Should he name Strickland his starting point guard or switch to Paige?
The answer for me is easy. Stick with Paige for now.
Paige needs to develop his game to the next level, and what better way to do that then by playing. When UNC recruited Paige, they look at him as the future. While Strickland will graduate this season, he’s not the future.
If Paige really starts to struggle, then you turn to Strickland to send a message to Paige that he needs to play better. But as for now, the verdict is out on Paige remaining the starter.