Commitment Q&A with Marcus Paige

New 2012 Tar Heel PG commitment Marcus Paige talked in-depth with about his decision ...

Tell us about your decision. How did it all go down?
I talked to Coach [Roy Williams] on the phone a couple of times a couple of days ago and he talked to my family too. I had it in my head that it was narrowed down anyways. Then I decided that's what I wanted to do. I know I had said that I had planned on waiting it out, but once it felt right I didn't see a reason to wait.

When did you ultimately make your decision?
I talked to Coach two days ago and told him. Then I released everything to the media and everything last night because I didn't want it to be a distraction to the team.

What prompted you to decide now?
I'd been doing a lot of thinking about it. The recruiting process can get long and tiring. Once I kind of came back from my visit a couple of weeks after that I was thinking about it and I talked to my family and they were comfortable with it. I just figured that I would get it out of the way.

Was there any urgency knowing that UNC had also offered point guard in your class – L.J. Rose - and it was a first come, first serve situation?
There was a little bit because once I really felt that's where I wanted to go I knew he was pretty high on Carolina too and they said they wanted us the same. They said they would take either one. I didn't want that opportunity to get away from me, so I definitely thought the time was appropriate.

How did Coach Williams react when you told him?
He was pretty excited. He yelled. I don't even know. He was excited.

What all did he tell you?
He just let me know that he was happy that I made the right decision in his eyes. And then [he told me] how I would fit into the system and how [Kendall] Marshall would still be there but everything would work out. It was just a good conversation and I felt comfortable having him as my coach.

Is it a relief to have this whole process out of the way?
Yeah, it kind of started early for me so it's a relief to have it out of the way and done. Now I can focus on getting better and winning games with my high school team. So I'm glad to have it over with.

Where is the focus now? Is it solely on trying to get better?
Yeah I'm just trying to get better everyday and win games with my high school team. I'm just trying to get myself ready for the next level.

Have you been in contact with any of the other UNC recruits?
I talked to J.P. [Tokoto] a couple of times. He and I were teammates at Nike camp and we have been going to the NCAA First Team deal for a while. He's probably the only one I talk to on a regular basis, but I'm familiar with a couple of them.

Roy Williams has been successful recruiting kids out of Iowa. Did he pitch that to you at all?
He mentioned it a couple of times. It wasn't really his main recruiting pitch but it is interesting to see all the guys out of Iowa end up playing for Coach Williams. I think it's kind of cool.

Did you talk to Harrison Barnes much during the process?
I talked to him a bunch when I went on the visit. I ate lunch with him, Kendall and John Henson the day after the game. It was nice to talk to him because he went through the same thing I was going through. It was nice to talk to a guy who is where I'm from and I'm familiar with. He helped me out a little bit.

When you were on the visit did you hit it off with the team?
I got to know those three pretty well and I got a good feel for them. They showed me around the dorm and stuff and that was pretty cool. I haven't gotten to get a great relationship with the whole team yet, but I'm sure there's plenty of time for that.

Why do you think Roy Williams's system is a good fit for you?
I think that getting up and down really benefits my style of play and I can definitely play well in that system. I like having athletic guys playing with me and guys that can run the floor and score the ball and that would make my job easier. Everything just kind of fits.

In the press release you sent out you said your relationship with Roy Williams was an important part of your decision. Can you expand on that?
He visited our school quite a few times. He did a really good job of developing a relationship with me and my parents. I wouldn't have made a decision this early if my family wasn't comfortable with it. He did a good job from that standpoint. From talking to the assistants and talking to him I got a really good feel for what it's all about and what's important.

Describe your game for people that haven't seen you play? What do you bring to the table?
I can see myself as a pretty good floor general and a leader on the floor. I'm kind of like a second coach on the floor. I like to get up and down. One thing that is much improved is my jump shot. I'm now a pretty consistent jump shooter. I try to do a little bit of everything. Running the team, I think is my best strength.

Have you been following UNC pretty closely this season?
They are really talented. They have had a couple of good wins. I think the ceiling is still pretty high for them. Once they get rolling they are going to win a lot of games.

Do you have any plans on returning to Chapel Hill anytime soon?
I'm definitely going to look at the schedule and try to get down there. Hopefully there will be a weekend where we don't play and I can get back up there with my family.

Marcus Paige Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories