CHAPEL HILL– The Carolina basketball regular season tips off tomorrow at 9 p.m. in the DeanSmithCenter with the Oakland Golden Grizzlies serving as the opponent.
Sophomore Marcus Paige appears ready to roll in his second season playing for the Tar Heels. Paige spent the offseason lifting weights to bulk up and improve his physicality on the hardwood.
But Paige says he recognizes the three-point shooting will suffer as long as their sharp-shooters P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald remain on the bench. And that’s why he says the Heels must pound inside.
“The more we get to play against other people with our different lineups, will tell us a lot about what works. I think we still need to go inside. We aren’t going to make as many threes with our lineup without P.J. and Leslie, our best shooters. We just have to understand what we do well in this situation until they come back, which should be pounding the ball inside and trying to get on the break,” Paige says.
Paige says if the fine play of freshman Nate Britt continues, it will make his job a whole lot easier on the floor.
“Nate did a great job pushing the ball, finding teammates, and taking care of the ball. That made it easier. I didn’t have to worry about anything from being a primary ball handler and anything like that. As long as he keeps doing a great job, it’s going to make my job at the two a lot easier,” Paige says.
The tendency to just stand around and wait for his shot on the wing is something Paige will have to combat to keep the offense as active as possible.
“It’s hard to switch back and forth. But I need to do a better job of not being so complacent and just standing on the wing. I got to get more involved in the offense. I got to move and set screens. I can’t just stand on the wing and be a spot shooter. I have a tendency to drift into the role when I’m the two, just because I’m not used to being over there. It’s something I’m working on,” Paige says.
The regular season opener for Paige and the rest of the Tar Heels will be broadcast tomorrow night right here on WCHL.