I wrote a story that ran today about Marcus Paige, the North Carolina sophomore guard. It’s a story about his development and his emergence this season – about how he surpassed everyone’s expectations, even those of his father.
Paige earned the ACC’s Most Improved Player award, and it’s difficult to think of another player who showed more improvement under more dire circumstances. Everything changed for the Tar Heels when they went through the P.J. Hairston ordeal. Then everything changed again when they learned Hairston was gone for good.
Paige went from expecting to play a supporting role to needing to play a leading role. I liked the way his dad put it during our talk earlier this week. Ellis Paige said, “When P.J. exited, Marcus truly thought, I’m going to hold this bad boy down until P.J. comes back. When PJ didn’t come back, I was like, OK – he continued that and I was like ‘Wow.’ Marcus isn’t playing around this year.”
Paige and I recently spoke about a variety of topics. The interview: