Marcus Paige might be called "The Splendid Splinter" or some similar name. The slightly built point guard is smooth as silk. He combines solid ball handling with a velvet touch, making him deadly both as a shooter and passer.
Paige has led his Martin Brothers 16 and Under team to a tremendous record so far this spring.
"We're doing great. I don't think we've lost yet this spring. We're trying to build off that, hopefully get a big tournament championship. We won our state tournament. Our schedule picks up a little bit this month, and then again in July."
They have already won one prestigious tourney, beating the Ohio BBall Club for the 16U championship at the Spiece Run n' Slam Classic in Fort Wayne April 30-May 2. This is nothing new for Paige as he led his Linn-Mar High School team to a high finish in the Iowa state championships.
"We got third at state. We lost to a team we should have beat. We were like 25-2. We had a pretty good year."
Since their star point guard has two more years of eligibility, Linn-Mar should continue to be outstanding.
"Our top four scorers are back, and a couple young guys should step up. So we should be pretty good."
Paige is strength away from being an all-around threat. He is working on all phases of his game.
"I think I've gotten a little bit stronger so I can finish on the run a little bit better. And then I keep working on my ball handling and jump shot and my entire game every day. So I think I'm improving."
He finds being a left hander helpful.
"I think it's almost advantageous. A lot of guys have trouble guarding lefties because they're not used to it. I'm working on finishing with my right hand."
Paige visited Illinois for a game last winter. A number of schools have already offered scholarships, including the UI.
"Virginia's come on pretty strong. I'm going to take a visit. And I'm still talking to Kansas. Otherwise just the same schools that have offered: Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Minnesota and Northern Iowa."
Illini assistant Jay Price is the point man on Paige. The young Marion, Iowa, product speaks highly of the UI.
"I like the program. It's a great program, good tradition, they play a good style. I'm glad they're one of my offers."
Has he formulated any thoughts on what he is looking for in a college?
"Right now, I've not really narrowed things down on what I'm looking for. But basically it's a good relationship with the coaches."