Marcus Taylor Paige (born September 11, 1993) is an American professional basketball player for the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G League, on a two-way contract with the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the University of North Carolina, where he helped lead the Tar Heels to the 2016 NCAA Championship Game and hit the game tying shot.
High school career
In his junior year, Paige led Linn-Mar High School to an undefeated season and the 2011 4-A state title. Considered by scouts to be an excellent ball handler with shooting range to the three-point line, Paige also played on the AAU circuit with Martin Brothers Select.
In his senior season, Paige was the leader of his Linn-Mar team, as he averaged over 28 points per game. He also recorded the most points in school history with 49 against Cedar Rapids Kennedy in Substate. Paige's high school career ended when Linn-Mar was defeated by Iowa City West in the State semi-finals.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Marion, IA||Linn-Mar HS||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||Jan 8, 2011|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 96|
During his freshman season at North Carolina, Paige averaged 8.6 points and 4.6 assists per game and started 34 of 36 games for the Tar Heels. Throughout the season, his assist to turnover ratio was 1.8:1, which was sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference. His season high for points in a game was against Virginia Tech, with 19, and a season high for assists against Notre Dame with 10. Paige led the Tar Heels to the round of thirty-two where they eventually lost to the Kansas Jayhawks 70–58. At season's end, he was elected to both the ACC All-Academic Team and the Freshman All-American team.
Paige improved his statistics from his freshman season. During his sophomore season, he averaged 17.5 points per game and 4.2 assists per game. Throughout the season, he shot 44% from the field, 39% from three-point range, and 87.7% from the free throw line. His point average per game was fourth in the ACC, and his free throw percentage was the highest in the entire conference. Paige led the Tar Heels to the NCAA tournament, where for a second year in a row, they lost in the round of thirty-two against the Iowa State Cyclones 85–83. He was named second-team All-American, first-team All-ACC, and was awarded the ACC's Most Improved Player.
Paige finished his junior season averaging 14.1 points and 4.5 assists per game. After a stellar sophomore season, Paige had a dip in offensive production. He managed to shoot 39.5% from three-point range while shooting only 41.3% from the field. For the season, Paige fell only one three-pointer short of tying Shammond WIlliam's record for most three-pointers made in a single season, which is now held by Justin Jackson at 101. Paige earned himself second-team Academic All-American honors for the second consecutive year, as he managed to also earn second-team All-ACC honors. His statistical drops are in part credited to a case of plantar fasciitis that Paige was fighting all year long.
Paige was named preseason ACC player of the year. Early in the season, Paige was widely regarded to have been in a shooting slump. However, he recovered late in the season and helped lead the Tar Heels to the 2016 NCAA Championship Game, where they faced Villanova. In the game, Paige scored 21 points and hit a game-tying three-pointer with 4.7 seconds left in the 2nd half of regulation. However, Villanova's Kris Jenkins went on to score a buzzer beater to win the game 77–74.
Salt Lake City Stars (2016–2017)
On June 23, 2016, Paige was selected by the Brooklyn Nets with the 55th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. He was later traded to the Utah Jazz the following day. He signed with the Jazz on August 22, 2016, but was waived on October 13. On October 31, he was acquired by the Salt Lake City Stars of the NBA Development League. Paige appeared in 46 games and started 40 for the Salt Lake City Stars in the 2016-2017 NBA Development league season. His season averages were 12.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists in 32.7 minutes per game.
Charlotte Hornets/Greensboro Swarm (2017–Present)
On August 1, 2017, Paige signed a two-way contract by the Charlotte Hornets. Under the terms of the deal, he and fellow two-way affiliate Mangok Mathiang will split time between the Hornets and their G-League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm.
Paige is the son of Ellis & Sherryl Paige. His sister plays basketball at the University of Wisconsin.