Iowa 2012 Point Guard Takes In Illini Game

The Fighting Illini continue to extend basketball recruiting beyond state boundaries. Recent successes have allowed them access to top players in surrounding states and beyond. Marcus Paige made his first visit to Illinois for the Ohio State game. The Iowa product is one of the top point guards in the Midwest in the class of 2012.

Sophomore Marcus Paige plays for Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa. His senior sister Morgan, who has signed to play basketball at Wisconsin, plays for her mother at Marion High School. Despite going to different schools, Marcus appears to be attracting as much college interest as his talented sister.

"Besides Illinois, I have offers from Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI (Northern Iowa), and then Wisconsin is showing a lot of interest. So is Kansas and a couple other Big 10 schools. It's pretty much all of the area schools."

Traveling from Iowa in time for a noon game Sunday, he had only a brief opportunity to see the school. But he liked what he saw.

"It's a great atmosphere. It gets pretty loud, and there's good support from the fans. It's a pretty nice campus. I've just seen the practice facility and here. I'll see the rest of the campus some other time."

The 6'-0" Paige, likes to involve his teammates in games. He considers that his best attribute.

"Seeing the floor, being a floor general, a leader on the floor are my main assets. I can also score a little too."

He scores more than a little, but he still prefers to distribute the rock.

"I guess you could say I'm a pass-first point. Right now, I'm averaging 15 points a game, but I really like to get my teammates involved."

Paige started as a freshman and led his team to second in the state. He hopes to improve on that this year, although he expects a real battle against Ames and the #1 ranked senior in the country.

"We've only lost one game, and we're starting to play really well. Hopefully we can make the state championship game against Harrison Barnes. They're a great team. We played them last year in the championship. We actually gave them a good game, so hopefully we can get back."

Paige isn't ready to focus on his top college choices, but he says he is not limited to staying close to home.

"Definitely. I don't really have a set distance I want to stay in. I'm just looking for the best fit. I'm not really focusing on anything because it's kind of early. I'll probably start thinking about that stuff sometime during my junior year."

The intelligent, highly talented youngster has also had success on the AAU basketball circuit.

"I play on the Martin Brothers. I played 15's last year and then 17's at Nationals. I'll be playing 16's and 17's this year. We got second in our age group at National Showcase, and we won some pretty big tournaments. So we're pretty good."

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