Paige Returning for Senior Year

Marcus Paige is coming back to North Carolina, his father confirmed.

"Yes, he is returning for his senior year," Ellis Paige told Inside Carolina on Saturday.

The 6-1 point guard from Marion, Iowa led UNC in points (14.1), assists (4.5), steals (1.7) and three-point shooting (39.5%) in 2014-15.

Paige's production dipped this past season as a result of a nagging plantar fasciitis injury, but he still started all 38 games and played a team-high 33.2 minutes per game. And when he was finally healthy late in the season, it showed. His scoring numbers over the final eight games of the season (Duke, ACC Tournament, NCAA Tournament) were 17.1 points on 45.4 percent three-point shooting.

His junior season honors included all-ACC third team, all-ACC tournament first team, and Academic All-America for the second straight season. He was the 2015 winner of the Skip Prosser Award as the ACC’s top scholar-athlete for men’s basketball.

Paige has the highest career free throw percentage in school history (86.5%) and is poised to break UNC's career mark for made three-pointers early next season.

He earned second-team All-America and first-team All-ACC honors for his 2013-14 season exploits. The All-America selection ensures his jersey will hang in the Smith Center rafters.

UNC is only expected to lose one main contributor from last season, as junior J.P. Tokoto is entering the NBA draft. The top four scorers, and nine of the top 10 scorers, return for the Tar Heels. They are projected as a consensus Top 3 team by most national publications in preliminary polls for the 2015-16 season.

This story was first reported by Bret Strelow of the Fayetteville Observer.


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