Roy Williams decided in the preseason that he was going to start a freshmen at point guard. He announced the #1 point guard in the class of 2012, Marcus Paige to start and lead North Carolina.
Williams felt that Paige was more then ready to lead a talented Tar Heels team. Paige was 1 of 8 freshmen pont guards to start their first game of the season for North Carolina in history. This puts him in a class with the great point guards that came out of Carolina. It also allows for many fans to have high hopes for the young guard.
Can Paige make the adjustment from high school to college basketball is the question many people are asking after the Tar Heels first game.
Paige was flat out awful in his 28 minutes of action on Friday night. The freshman was just 3-9 from the field for 6 points. A place where Paige was supposed to be an improvement from last year, he was actually a downgrade in the season opener.
Where Paige was miserable and needs to be good was setting up his players to score. A top 5 team when it came to assists last season, North Carolina didn’t get that type of performance in their first game.
Kendall Marshall was one of the best passing point guards I have seen play. After watching Paige play in his first game, it is going to be difficult for him to replace Marshall and that is going to be a very bad thing for the Tar Heels.
Paige had the same amount of assists as I did on Friday night; zero. How can you be the starting point guard on such a talented team and record 0 assists in 28 minutes of action? Paige needs to relax set up the offense and create open shots for his teammates. He can not play out of control and expect to have a good game.
This is not high school basketball anymore, he needs to learn he is not head and shoulders over every player guarding him. This being said, he needs to run the offense and play more under control while letting the game come to him.
As a point guard you need to be a play creater and not a play runner in order to be effective and set up your team to have the best chance to win.
Paige also turned the ball over four times against Gardner-Webb. Having a 0:4 assist to turnover ration is completely unacceptable. A good ration is about 3:1, but you can not turn the ball over four times and not have one assist.
Paige has a lot of work to do in practice to get ready for the difficult part of the Heels schedule. Luckily, it was only the first game and Paige has a lot of time to get better before bad performances will cost his team games.
Maybe Roy Williams will need to use backup Luke Davis a little bit more. Davis was able to rack up an assist in just three minutes of actions.
Overall it was only the first game, but Paige needs to turn over the page from high school basketball to college basketball if he wants to be successful at the next level.
Paige will look to improve today as the Heels will take on Florida Atlantic at the Dean Smith Center.