Measuring Marcus Paige

Streeter Lecka

I'm not sure any hard conclusions can--or should--be drawn from the following comparison. But if you're interested in how Marcus Paige's freshman season stacks up against those of other notable UNC point guards, here you go:

Player GP MPG PPG APG RPG SPG A/T FG% 3FG% FT%
Phil Ford 31 39.3 16.4 5.2 2.7 --- --- .516 --- .783
Raymond Felton 35 35.4 12.9 6.7 4.1 1.6 1.8 .398 .358 .693
Ty Lawson 38 25.7 10.2 5.6 2.9 1.5 2.6 .500 .356 .688
Ed Cota 26 27.4 7.9 6.7 2.7 1.7 1.8 .483 .133 .716
Kenny Smith 23 29.0 9.1 5.0 1.7 1.2 1.6 .519 --- .800
Kendall Marshall 37 24.6 6.2 6.2 2.1 1.1 2.5 .418 .377 .690
Marcus Paige 35 29.2 8.2 4.6 2.7 1.4 1.9 .356 .344 .836
Jeff McInnis 35 14.6 5.6 2.4 1.7 0.7 1.7 .458 .415 .638
Derrick Phelps 30 9.8 2.3 1.9 1.1 0.9 1.5 .490 .222 .762
Jimmy Black 29 --- 2.3 1.3 0.7 0.4 --- .521 --- .621
King Rice 34 10.4 2.1 1.6 0.8 0.6 1.4 .393 .167 .800

Significantly better than past champions Derrick Phelps and Jimmy Black, but far from superstars Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton, Paige's freshman season is about on par with standouts Kendall Marshall, Ed Cota, and Kenny Smith (not bad company). Out of these 11 point guards, Paige's freshman year ranks in the top five for games played, minutes per game, points per game, rebounds per game, steals per game, A/T ratio, 3FG%, and FT%.

Of course, McInnis, Phelps, Rice, and Black were all backups as freshmen and clearly could have been more productive had they been year-long starters (Marshall and Cota came off the bench for much of their freshman seasons, as well).

Oddly, the most glaring numbers here are Paige's shooting percentages. Odd because shooting is an aspect of Paige's game that has garnered much praise from Roy. Let's hope for the P. J. Hairston effect here.

The freshman numbers Paige's most closely resemble (and slightly surpass) are actually Bobby Frasor's, who started all 31 games as a freshman, and who most Heels fans remember fondly:

Player GP MPG PPG APG RPG SPG A/T FG% 3FG% FT%
Marcus Paige 35 29.2 8.2 4.6 2.7 1.4 1.9 .356 .344 .836
Bobby Frasor 31 27.5 6.4 4.4 2.2 0.9 1.8 .374 .310 .773

Frasor's freshman team failed to win 25 games, failed to make the conference tournament final, and also bowed out of the NCAA tournament in the Round of 32. But he became a national champion by backing up a phenomenal point guard in a class below him. (Hello, Joel Berry.)

For what it's worth.

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