Marcus Paige Getting Familiar with McCaffery

Iowa Basketball Coach Fran McCaffery has met with a lot of recruits in his whirlwind recruiting tour over the last month plus. That trip included a top talent in his backyard. 2012 Marcus Paige has started forming a relationship with the new Head Hawkeye. The Linn-Mar junior-to-be talks about that process and talks about recruiting in this update.

It's been a busy few months for college basketball programs in the state of Iowa. Coaches have come and gone at a head-spinning pace.

Marcus Paige has watched intently.

"It's been crazy," the 2012 point guard recruit said from Marion (Iowa) Linn-Mar said. "Some of it has been surprising to me, but some of it isn't. I think it goes to show why it's important not to make a decision too early."

Paige holds scholarship offers from Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa. The Panthers are the only ones not to change coaches since mid-March.

Iowa hired Fran McCaffery, who already has met twice with Paige. The new head Hawkeye said the school's scholarship offer still was on the table.

"That's one of the first things we talked about," Paige said. "He let me know it was still there and that he hopes I end up at Iowa. He said he was looking forward to watching me develop. I'm glad it's still an option for me."

Minnesota and Illinois also have offered scholarships to Paige, who said that Wisconsin and Kansas have come to see him the last few weeks. A new school also has entered the picture.

"Virginia is extremely interested," Paige said. "I've not had a chance to fly out there yet."

Paige ranks among the top players in an out-of-the-ordinary, deep class of talent in Iowa for ‘12. He's taking his time with recruiting.

"I have no idea what I'm going to study in college," Paige said. "I'm just trying to get to know coaching staffs as best as I can and get a feel for the schools. Location is not a big deal.

"I'm not at the point where I need to eliminate any schools."

Paige discusses his likes and dislikes with his family and inner circle of fiends. He does not feel the need to share those thoughts publicly.

"If I say things, then they get distorted on the Internet," he said. "I don't have a favorite, but even if I did, I wouldn't tell anyone."

Paige doesn't speak a lot in the media because he doesn't want his words to be misinterpreted. Even when he keeps quiet, rumors get out there about his future.

Speculation surfaced that he wasn't seriously considering Iowa when Todd Lickliter was coaching the Hawkeyes. He's been said to be leaning towards Wisconsin, where his sister is headed to play and where former Linn-Mar standout Jason Bohannon recently wrapped up a successful career.

"I hear those things and I honestly have no idea where they come from," Paige said. "I know they're not coming from me. I'm completely open and looking around."

Paige is looking forward to getting to know new Iowa State Coach Fred Hoiberg, who was introduced by the Cyclones on Wednesday. He's already getting familiar with McCaffery.

"I like him," Paige. "He came to some open gyms and it really seems like a cool staff. It‘s going to take some time to get to know the new staff and to see how their system works."

Paige said that McCaffery's up-tempo style doesn't affect how he looks at Iowa.

"Style of play is important," Paige said. "But I think I can play in multiple styles. I don't mind playing the half court, but I don't think we'll be seeing too much half court with Coach McCaffery."

Paige runs with the Martin Brothers AAU team, which also features two other 2012 prospects holding Iowa offers - Adam Woodbury and Mike Gesell.

"It's definitely an important AAU season for me," said Paige, whose team is entering the meat of the schedule in the next several months. "I'm working on getting stronger and working on my explosiveness. I want to work on finishing around the basket and refining my outside shot. It definitely will help at the next level if I can extend the defense."

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