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Mar 22, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige (5) puts up a shot against the Villanova Wildcats in the first half during the second round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

UNC Basketball: Importance of Marcus Paige

North Carolina fans saw their freshman point guard Marcus Paige start off struggling in the early parts of the season, but saw gradual improvement throughout the season. As the 2012-2013 season went on, Tar Heel fans saw Marcus Paige become a little bit more aggressive on the offensive end and on the defensive end as well. Most expect that improvement to continue throughout the summer and going into the upcoming season.

This summer Marcus has worked with the likes of former Tar Heels Raymond Felton, Kendall Marshall, and Shammond Williams. In a recent interview, Marcus stated that he was up to 171 pounds, which will help on the defensive end and his explosion.

In a year with only one senior being on the team, it is very important that Paige steps into more of a leadership role. As the starting point guard for North Carolina, it is assumed that the position is supposed to be a leader, by example and vocally. The play and leadership of Marcus Paige will be crucial to the success of the 2013-2014 Tar Heel team.

Marcus will be a higher priority on offense and will have the ball in his hands more than in his freshman season. Due to the lack of depth on the perimeter, look for Paige to play some minutes at the off guard position as well. Marcus has the offensive capabilities play well in that spot due to his good perimeter shooting and ball handling skills.

His importance is not just limited to on the court either. When Marcus was a freshman he was thrown into the fire with no real guidance from a veteran point guard. It will be Marcus’ job to guide incoming freshman point guard Nate Britt and help him grow throughout his freshman season. Britt’s quality of play will likely determine how many minutes Marcus will spend at the off guard spot, if Coach Williams chooses to play Marcus there.

The bottom line is that Marcus Paige has a very big role in this upcoming season and will be the key to success. The point guard position is always key to how a Tar Heel team performs, and Marcus Paige is poised for a breakout year. Look for his scoring to increase and his assist to turnover ratio to improve. It will be a big year for him and the rest of the Heels.

Tags: Basketball Kendall Marshall Marcus Paige Nate Britt North Carolina Tar Heels Raymond Felton Roy Williams Shammond Williams

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