Tar Heels Offer Paige

Marion (Iowa) Linn-Mar standout Marcus Paige visited North Carolina over the weekend. The 2012 lead guard left campus with a strong impression of the Tar Heels -- and a scholarship offer, courtesy of the UNC staff.

While on campus, Paige attended the UNC game against Long Beach State, had breakfast with assistant C.B. McGrath, Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall, and also got to break down film with the coaching staff.

Paige and his father, who made the trip with him, also spent 45 minutes with Roy Williams.

"He was just talking about how they need a point guard pretty bad in this class and that I was one of the guys that he really wants," Paige said. "He's been to see me four times now (including a visit last week) and he said he was serious about it because he's been in four times.

"He talked about how I would fit into the offense and how there would be a point guard ahead, but if Marshall is still there I could learn a lot of things from him," he added.

During the visit with Williams, Paige, a four-star prospect ranked among the top 30 players in the country, received a formal scholarship offer from the Tar Heels.

"He just told me that he's been to see me quite a few times now and that he likes the way I play and that I keep getting better," Paige said. "He said he wanted to make sure that he got a good point guard in the class and that I had a scholarship [offer]."

What was Paige's reaction?

"It was pretty exciting," he said. "Like I said, I have kind of a good relationship with him now that I've been talking to him for a while and it was good to know that the traditional powerhouse school wants you to come to their school. It was pretty exciting."

The 6-foot-1, 160-pound point man said he understoodWilliams' approach about having an upperclassmen helping him along when he gets to campus.

"I agreed with everything he was saying that you don't want to go into a situation and not have someone help you through it, especially when you are a freshman," Paige said. "Everyone struggles a little bit as a freshman. I just thought it was cool. I understood where he was coming from and Kendall is a pretty cool guy anyways."

One of the main items Paige reiterated was that he and Williams have developed a strong relationship. Paige cited Williams' anecdotes and basketball knowledge as the reason he likes the UNC coach.

"He's great," Paige said of Williams. "He's got so many stories and pictures of guys. He's just so easy going and laid back and you can talk to him. Then when you start breaking down the game he's one of the best coaches in the country. It's a good combination."

Paige, who also has taken visits to Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas and Minnesota, said he didn't know what to anticipate heading to Chapel Hill, but was certainly impressed with the trip.

"It was great," the Iowa native said. "I liked it. I didn't really know what to expect. I had never visited an ACC school before. I mean I'd been to Virginia for NBA Camp, but I didn't really get to see what it was like."

"Just seeing it up close and getting a feel for how the guys interact with each other and seeing how crazy the fans are down here was really pretty special," Paige added about the trip.

To go with the schools he's visited, Paige claims interest from Clemson, UCLA and Illinois. He admitted that he's starting to pay more attention to the recruiting process and hopes to narrow his list after the season.

"I'm definitely starting to consider these options pretty heavily and I'm thinking at the end of this basketball season I'll probably have a short list of maybe four or five that I want to focus on," Paige said.

"I don't really want to drag this out very long," he said. "Right after I narrow my list it'll be kind of up in the air from there."

Paige said he was intrigued by his visits to Kansas and North Carolina, but doesn't have a favorite at this point.

"I like where I just came from and I liked my Kansas visit for ‘Late Night' a lot, but other than that, no true favorite," Paige said when asked if anyone was sticking out.

North Carolina has now offered a pair of point guards in the 2012 class. Paige said Williams was upfront about UNC's situation. "He said at this point the only point guards he wants are L.J. [Rose] and I. He let me know that and that either one of us would be great for his program. He let me in on all of the guys they were recruiting and wanted."

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