CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Tar Heel guard Marcus Paige earned his second consecutive Dean Smith Most Valuable Player Award and was named co-captain for the second time in as many years at the University of North Carolina men’s basketball team’s 2015 awards ceremony held Thursday evening.
Paige is the 17th player to win UNC’s Most Valuable Player award at least twice and just the sixth to earn MVP accolades as a sophomore and junior (with Lennie Rosenbluth, Billy Cunningham, Michael Jordan, Antawn Jamison and Tyler Hansbrough).
The Tar Heels went 26-12 overall, earned a berth in the ACC championship game after beating consecutive ranked and higher seeded opponents Louisville and Virginia and advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.
Paige scored a team-high 14.1 points per game and topped the team with 94 three-point field goals, 170 assists and 65 steals. The Marion, Iowa, native also was the team’s most outstanding defensive player and top scholar-athlete. Earlier this year, Paige received the Skip Prosser Award as the ACC’s top scholar-athlete and for the second straight year was named a second-team Academic All-America.
Paige becomes the fourth Tar Heel in the last 47 years to earn defensive player of the year honors three times with Derrick Phelps, Brendan Haywood and Marcus Ginyard.
Forward Desmond Hubert shared co-captain honors with Paige and was one of four seniors honored at the ceremony with Jackson Simmons, Luke Davis and Sasha Seymore. Simmons won the Carolina Way award for the second time.
Junior forward Joel James and sophomore forward Isaiah Hicks were the team’s most improved players.
Statistical winners included Paige (scoring, assists, three-point percentage), Nate Britt (free throw percentage), Brice Johnson (field goal percentage) and Kennedy Meeks (blocks).
Smith Center maintenance director Randy Young received the Bill Guthridge award for behind-the-scenes support to the program.
Paige Named MVP at Team Ceremony
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