Named the No. 2 high-impact senior in the nation by Sports Illustrated prior to the 2015-16 season.
Earned All-ACC honors in each of the last two seasons • First team by media and coaches in 2014, second team (coaches) and third team (media) in 2015 • The 2015 winner of the Skip Prosser Award as the ACC’s top scholar-athlete for men’s basketball • Named second-team Academic All-America for the second year in a row • Is the third Tar Heel to earn Academic All-America honors in consecutive years (with Tommy LaGarde in 1975-76 and Tyler Zeller in 2011-12) • Scored his 1,000th point on 12/13 at Kentucky • Career stats include 1,416 points (13.2), 474 assists (4.4) and 222 three-pointers (.381) • Carolina’s alltime leader in free throw percentage at .865 (275-318), which is sixth-highest in ACC history • Has two of the top five single-season FT percentages in UNC history • Is the 32nd-leading scorer in UNC history (12th-highest total in three years) • Scored in double figures 70 times with 17 20-point games and two 30-point efforts (35 at NC State and 32 vs. Louisville as a sophomore) • Made three or more three-pointers 41 times (three 26x, four 8x, five 5x, six once and seven once) • Carolina’s all-time leader in three-point attempts with 590 (passed Shammond Williams, 578) • Has 222 three-pointers, the third-most in UNC history • Shammond Williams made 233 in four seasons and Wayne Ellington made 229 in three years • Five career games with eight or more assists and no turnovers • Is one of two Tar Heels with at least 1,400 points, 450 assists, 100 steals and 200 three-pointers (with Jeff Lebo) • As a sophomore, was 86 for 221 from three-point range (.389); as a junior he went 94 for 238 (.395) • In 2013-14, his assist-error ratio was 1.96; in 2014-15 it was 2.33 • Started 105 of 107 games (only two non-starts on Senior Night first two seasons).
JUNIOR SEASON (2014-15)
Recipient of UNC’s Dean Smith Most Valuable Player award for the second consecutive season (one of six players to win MVP honors as a sophomore and junior with Lennie Rosenbluth, Billy Cunningham, Michael Jordan, Antawn Jamison and Tyler Hansbrough) • Also named a permanent captain for the second year in row and the defensive player of the year and top scholar-athlete for the third straight year • Fourth player to win defensive award three times (with Derrick Phelps, Brendan Haywood and Marcus Ginyard).
Led the Tar Heels in scoring at 14.1 ppg, three-pointers (career-high 94), assists (career-high 170) and steals (career-high 65) and was second in free throw percentage (.865) • Earned first-team All-ACC Tournament honors after averaging 17.0 points in four games – had 24 assists, eight turnovers and eight steals • Second straight season with at least 500 points • Had 33 assists and 13 turnovers in seven postseason games • Averaged 15.3 points in 22 games against teams in NCAA Tournament • Was third in the ACC in three-pointers, fourth in 3FG% and FT%, fifth in assists, assist-turnover ratio and steals and 13th in scoring.
His 94 three-pointers were the second most in a season by a Tar Heel (one shy of Shammond Williams’ 95 in 1997) and his free throw percentage of .865 was the seventh-highest in UNC history • Set the single-season school record with 238 3FG attempts (previous was 227 by Shammond Williams in 1997) • Made 60 of his last 65 free throws since Christmas • Carolina’s defensive player of the game 11 times (including five straight games in the postseason) • Led UNC in double figure scoring games (30) and games as top scorer (13) • Scored in double figures in each of the last eight games • Scored 20 or more points six times (24 vs. Notre Dame, 23 at NC State, 23 vs. Duke, 22 vs. Syracuse, 22 vs. Arkansas and 21 vs. UCLA) • Made three or more three-pointers 19 times with a season-high five at NC State, home vs. Duke and in the ACC Tournament final vs. Notre Dame • Earlier this year made multiple threes in 13 straight games (ended at BC), which tied the UNC record by Shammond Williams in 1997 • Made 94 of UNC’s 184 three-pointers (51.1 percent) • Made at least one three in all but one game (East Carolina) • Made a 3FG in the last 30 games • Only Tar Heel to average 30 minutes a game (33.2) • Played 30 or more minutes in the last 23 games (including 14 games with 36 or more minutes) • Had more assists than turnovers in 29 games, including 15 of the last 16 games (78 assists, 27 turnovers in that stretch) • Had 25 steals in the last nine games • Shot 94.4 percent from the FT line in ACC road games (17 of 18).
2014-15 Game Highlights: Scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, including 11 in a 13-2 UNC run that erased Arkansas’ last lead of the game and gave Carolina a 10-point advantage • Was the second time in three games he scored 20 in the second half (22 of his 24 vs. Notre Dame in the second) • Free throws gave UNC a 60-59 lead, then stole the ball and drove in for an acrobatic three-point play • Moments later he hit back-to-back 3FGs for a 71-61 lead • Went 9 for 9 from the FT line, the 11th time in his career he made 6 for 6 or better from the line in one game.
Scored 12 points and had six assists, including one on the game-winning basket by Justin Jackson, vs. Harvard • Hit a three-pointer with 3:21 to play to give UNC a 63-59 lead.
ACC Tournament: Scored 24 points, the most by a Tar Heel all year, and had five assists in the ACC Tournament championship game loss to Notre Dame • Took a season-high 18 field goal attempts (made 9), including 5 for 11 three-pointers • Made five threes in the second half, including one with 9:54 to play that gave UNC a 63-54 lead • Scored 13 of UNC’s final 22 points • Hit a shot-clock buzzer beater with 41.7 seconds to play to give UNC a 65-62 lead in the win over third-ranked and top-seed Virginia in the ACC semifinals • Made two free throws with four seconds to play and UNC ahead by two to seal the victory over the Cavaliers • Had 17 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds vs. Boston College in the second round.
ACC Regular Season: Scored his 1,300th career point against Duke on 3/7 as he matched season highs with 23 points and five three-pointers • Three-pointer with 14:40 to play gave UNC a seven-point lead • Was the second time in six career games vs. Duke that he scored 20 or more points • Made his 200th career three-pointer and had a career-high six steals at Georgia Tech • Answered Miami’s only lead of the second half with a go-ahead three-pointer and finished with 17 points (most in February, most since he had 22 vs. Syracuse on 1/26) • Tied his career high with 10 assists and posted his first career double-double with 13 points vs. Georgia Tech on 2/21 • Had no turnovers, becoming the first Tar Heel with at least 10 assists and no turnovers since Kendall Marshall in 2012 • Scored all 13 of his points in the final 11:39 in the win at Boston College • Scoreless first half was his first such of the season • Hit three three-pointers and led UNC with 15 points in a season-high 40 minutes at Louisville, but also committed a season-high five turnovers • Played one of his finest all-around games as a Tar Heel in the 93-83 win over Syracuse with 22 points, six rebounds, eight assists, four steals, a blocked shot and no turnovers in 35 minutes • Made 4 of 7 3FGs and 6 of 6 FTs • Was his third 20-point game this year (14th career) • Scored 16 of his 22 in the second half including back-to-back threes to tie the game after the Orange built a 56-50 lead • Was the ninth time in his career he was perfect from the FT line with at least six attempts.
Led UNC with 19 points vs. Florida State • Eight assists and three steals in win at Wake Forest • Was sensational in the 81-79 win at NC State as scored a game-high 23 points and added five rebounds, nine assists, no turnovers and four steals • Posted season highs in points, three-pointers (5), assists and steals • Went 5 for 5 from three-point range, tying the second-best single-game three-point percentage in UNC history and the best since Jason Capel went 6 for 6 vs. Clemson in the 2001 ACC Tournament • Has scored 58 points in his last two games against NC State in Raleigh • Hit a driving, layup that he banked in high off the glass with 8.5 seconds to play to defeat Louisville, 72-71 • Was his second career game-winning basket under 10 seconds (beat NC State in Raleigh in 2013-14 with 0.9 seconds to play in overtime).
Non-Conference: Hit two of his three three-pointers and scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half against William and Mary • Hit four three-pointers and had six assists at Kentucky • Made 4 of 16 from the floor for 13 points against Iowa (did not have an assist for only the third time as a Tar Heel) • Had 16 points and four assists vs. Florida, hitting a decisive three with four minutes to play • Scored 21 points with five assists and three steals in win over UCLA • Scored a game-high 18 points in the loss to Butler, but was an uncharacteristic 5 for 9 from the free throw line • Was the first time he ever missed more than two free throws in a game as a Tar Heel • Sank three three-pointers at Davidson and led UNC with four assists and no turnovers
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2013-14)
A second-team All-America by the Sporting News and a third-team All-America by Basketball Times • A second-team CoSIDA Academic All-America • Earned first-team All-ACC honors and was selected the Most Improved Player in the ACC by votes of both the media and the league's head coaches • Is the first Tar Heel point guard to earn first-team All-ACC honors as a sophomore since Phil Ford in 1976 • Is the 46th UNC player to earn first-team All-ACC honors • ACC All-Academic team selection • Two-time national and four-time ACC Player of the Week • First four-time ACC Player of the Week for UNC since Tyler Hansbrough in 2007-08 • Only two UNC players (Hansbrough and Antawn Jamison in 1997-98) have ever won ACC Player of the Week honors more in one season • One of six finalists for the Bob Cousy Award.
One of two players in the top 10 in the ACC in scoring and assists • Led UNC and was fourth in the ACC in scoring at 17.5 points per game • Led the the ACC in free throw percentage (.877), third in three-pointers made per game (2.5), third in three-point percentage (.389 ), fifth in assists (4.2), sixth in minutes played (35.6), seventh in steals (1.5), ninth in field goal percentage (.440) and 10th in assist-error (2.0) • Had the third-highest single-season free throw percentage in Carolina history • Is the first Tar Heel to lead the ACC in free throw percentage since Shammond Williams in 1998 • Made 86 of UNC's 146 three-pointers (58.9 percent), the highest percentage in UNC history (previous was 58.3 by Hubert Davis in 1991-92 • Scored 89 points (22.3) in the last four games (at Duke and three postseason games) • Scored 89 points (22.3) in the last four games (at Duke and three postseason games) • Averaged 19.9 points in eight games against Top 25 teams • Hit at least three three-pointers 17 times • Scored in double figures a team-high 29 times • Scored 30 or more points twice and 20 or more points 11 times • Scored 20 or more points in the second half three times (21 vs. Kentucky, 21 at NC State, 20 vs. Pitt) • Scored in double figures in both of UNC's overtime periods this year (11 vs. Davidson and 10 at NC State) • Led UNC in scoring 13 times, something he did not do as a freshman • Scored single digits in the first half and double digits in the second 20 times • That included scoring just four points or fewer in the first half and double figures in the second 12 times • Averaged 6.0 points in the first half and 11.6 in the second half/overtime • First half shooting was 68 for 185 from the floor (.368), including 28 of 93 from three-point range (.301) • Second half/overtime shooting is 123 for 249 from the floor (.494), including 58 of 128 from three-point range (.453) • Made 31 straight from the free throw line at mid-season • UNC's defensive player of the game a team-high 10 times • Had five or more assists 16 times.
Had a team-high 19 points, but had four turnovers in loss to Iowa State • Made four three-pointers against the Cyclones, the eighth time this year he hit four or more threes • Scored 12 of his team-high 19 points against Providence in the second half including a pair of three-pointers that tied the game in the final three minutes • Nailed a three with 3:01 to play that tied the game at 71, capping a 7-0 UNC run • Less than two minutes later (at 1:06), he nailed another three that evened the game at 77.
ACC Highlights: Led UNC with 24 points at Duke • Scored more points in the second half (18) than any other Tar Heel scored for the game • Hit all three of his three-pointers in the second half, including an off-balance, double-clutch shot on which he was fouled and converted for his third four-point play in the last 10 games • Had four turnovers, more than he had committed in the previous four games combined • Helped UNC shoot 61.9 percent from the floor in the first half and 59.6 percent for the game in the loss • Blocked a game-winning layup by Notre Dame's Eric Atkins with less than two seconds to play in UNC's 63-61 win over the Irish • Scored his 500th point of the season in the win at Virginia Tech (attempted a season-low seven field goals).
Had one of the most memorable performances in recent ACC history when he scored 31 of his career-high 35 points in the second half and overtime, including the game-winning basket with 0.9 seconds to play, in UNC's 85-84 win at NC State • Scored 21 second-half points, then scored 10 of UNC's 14 points in the extra five minutes • Went 11 for 21 from the floor, including a career-high seven of 12 from three-point range • Made five threes in the second half and two more in overtime • Both threes in overtime came with UNC trailing by six points • Most points by a Tar Heel since Harrison Barnes had 40 vs. Clemson in 2011 • Most three-pointers by a Tar Heel since Will Graves hit seven vs. Dayton in 2010 • Second 30-point game of the season • Third-most points by a Tar Heel against NC State in series history • Second time this year he scored 21 points in the second half (also vs. Kentucky) • Second time this year he scored double figures in OT (had 11 vs. Davidson) • Also had six rebounds, five assists and only one turnover in 41 minutes • Had two of the Top 10 plays that evening on ESPN's SportsCenter (acrobatic, one-handed save of a ball going out of bounds that led to a Tokoto dunk and the winning basket).
Earned ACC Player of the Week honors on 2/24 for his play against Wake Forest, Duke and FSU • Helped UNC shoot 54.7 percent from the floor (.613 in second) in win over Wake Forest • Scored all 13 of his points vs. #5 Duke in the second half including a pair of baskets with 2:11 (jumper) and 1:30 (twisting drive between three Blue Devils) to play that gave UNC a 66-62 lead • Scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half at Florida State • Also had seven assists, no turnovers and four steals vs. the Noles • Nailed three three-pointers and another jumper in a span of 3:17 to break a 57-all tie and give Carolina a 70-62 lead • Made 5 of 6 three-pointers and finished with 18 points in win over Pitt • Made a four-point play for the second time in the last three games • Had 16 points and six assists at Notre Dame, including five straight points to tie the game at 23 (ND's last lead) and a lob assist to James Michael McAdoo for a 27-23 lead at the half • Scored 18 of his game-high 25 in the second half in win over Maryland • Made four threes (most since Texas) and had seven assists and three steals against the Terps • Hit a four-point play (UNC's first since 2007) • Was his top scoring game since Louisville • Hit a twisting, reverse layup with 7:15 to play after Maryland cut UNC lead to six • Made all six of his field goal attempts, including 3 for 3 from three-point range, and scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half in the win at Georgia Tech • Picked up the scoring load after McAdoo and Tokoto went to the bench with four fouls apiece early in the second half • That followed a 1 for 7 shooting performance in the first half • Scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and finished with five assists and three three-pointers (most since Northern Kentucky) in the win over Clemson • Scored 14 of his game-high 21 points in the first half in win over Boston College (had scored a total of 12 points in the first half in the previous four games).
Paige's Pre-ACC Highlights: Career-high nine rebounds against Northern Kentucky • Scored 11 of his 17 points in overtime, including nine of UNC's first 11 in extra time, in win over Davidson • Did not score until 8:17 left in regulation • Hit five three-pointers en route to 23 points in loss to Texas (and rimmed out a potential tying three at the buzzer) • Earned USBWA National and ACC Player of the Week honors for his performance vs. Kentucky • Scored 21 of his game-high 23 points in the second half in win over the Wildcats • Had three second-half steals, all of which led to UNC baskets • Broke 46-all tie with steal and layup, hit a key three with 8:17 to play and a beautiful baseline floater to help seal the win • Scored more points in the second half than any other player on either team scored in the entire game • Season-high eight assists vs. UNCG • Scored 11 second-half points, including two three-pointers, in the win at #1 Michigan State • His second three came with 6:46 to play and gave UNC a 63-52 lead.
Earned CBSSports.com's National Player of the Week and ACC Player of the Week honors for his play vs. Richmond and Louisville • Earned all-tournament and Most Valuable Player honors at the Tipoff event Scored a then-career-high 32 points in win over #3 Louisville Was 6 for 9 from the floor, made three 3FGs and was 11 for 11 from the FT line against the Cardinals Scored a then-career-high 26 points and made a then-career-best six three-pointers in win over Richmond Hit five second-half threes, including three in the final 8:40 after the game was tied at 56 Scored a then-career-high 23 points on 8 of 17 shooting vs. Holy Cross Scored 16 of his 23 in the second half, including six in a decisive 18-3 Tar Heel run that started with his steal and layup Made first start at the 2-guard against Oakland and responded with four three-pointers and 14 points to go along with five assists.
FRESHMAN SEASON (2012-13)
Named to the ACC's All-Academic team and both the coaches' and media All-Freshman teams • Named to the Kyle Macy Freshman All-America team • Averaged 8.2 points and 4.6 assists • Fourth leading UNC scorer • Started 34 games at the point • Had 161 assists and 86 turnovers • Third in the ACC in assists per game and sixth in assist-error ratio and steals • More assists than turnovers in 25 games, including 16 of the last 20 • Made 20 of 45 (.444) three-pointers in the last 12 games after making 12 of 43 in the first 11 ACC games (.279) • Averaged 10.4 points in the last 12 games • Scored above his season average in eight of the last 12 games • Connected on multiple threes in 14 games with a high of four against Virginia Tech • Was 51 for 61 from the free throw line for a team-high percentage of .836 • Led the team with eight defensive player of the game honors • Second on the team with 48 steals (made 19 steals in his first 21 games and 29 steals in his last 14 games) • Led all ACC freshmen in assists • Scored in double figures 11 times • Season-high 19 points against Virginia Tech and 10 assists against Florida State in the ACC Tournament.
NCAA Tournament: Made a season-high five steals against Kansas • Scored nine of his 14 points against Villanova in the second half, including seven straight UNC points from the 3:20 to 1:36 mark • Hit a three-pointer with 2:02 to play that answered a 7-0 Wildcat run and gave UNC a 70-66 lead • Was Carolina's defensive player of the game.
ACC Tournament: Earned second-team All-Tournament honors • Averaged 11.3 points and 5.7 assists, made 12 of 20 from the floor (60 percent) and 5 of 11 from three-point range (.455) • Scored 17 points and had five assists in championship game vs. Miami • Made 6 of 9 shots from the floor against the Canes • Scored all eight of his points in semifinal against Maryland in the second half, including five in the final 2:50 • Hit a pair of key shots late • With UNC leading 71-70, he hit a baseline jumper, then dropped in a floater over 7-foot center Alex Len with 36 seconds to play to give Carolina a 77-72 advantage • Set a personal best with 10 assists and also scored nine points against Florida State • Helped the Tar Heels shoot 61.3 percent from the floor in the second half and total 83 points, the second-most the Seminoles allowed all season • Won UNC's defensive player of the game honors for the fourth time in as many games.
Regular Season Highlights: Hit three three-pointers, including a key shot late in the game, and was UNC's defensive player of the game in the win at Maryland • Committed a season-high eight turnovers, including two in a row that helped the Terps cut a 13-point UNC lead to six with 6:00 to play • However, with the shot clock running down, he then hit a three from the left wing to give the Tar Heels a 66-57 lead • Nine assists and was UNC's top defender in home win over Florida State and helped UNC shoot 55.4 percent from the floor • Outstanding in win over NC State, scoring 14 points (all in the second half) with eight assists, no turnovers and three steals • Scored 11 points in the final 7:15, including a three-pointer from the right wing with 7:15 to play that gave UNC the lead for good at 57-55 • Added a three-point play on a driving layup and foul with 5:01 left to up the lead to 64-57 • Went 8 for 8 from the foul line (best by a Tar Heel all year) and had a season-best four steals at Georgia Tech • Made three three-pointers and totaled 17 points in win over Virginia • Scored nine in the first half, helping the Tar Heels earn a 40-40 tie at the break after falling behind by 10 points on two occasions • Hit a pair of threes in the second half, the second of which gave UNC its first double-digit lead of the game • Scored a season-high 19 points, handed out five assists and tied his season-high with five rebounds in the overtime win over Virginia Tech • Made a season-high four three-pointers, the fourth of which came with 3:00 to play in overtime and gave Carolina a 62-58 lead, its first two possession lead • Scored eight of UNC's 17 points in overtime as he out-scored the Hokies, 8-5, in the extra period • Handed out six assists with just one turnover at Boston College and hit a key three-pointer late in the game • Had six assists and no turnovers in home win over Maryland • Carolina's top defensive player in the win at Florida State and added eight points, four assists and two steals • Hit a pair of first-half threes at FSU, then made two key plays late in the 77-72 win • With UNC leading 75-72, he stole the ball from Terrance Shannon after Shannon had swiped the ball from UNC and was going in for a layup with 55 seconds to play • He later hit both ends of a one-and-one with 11 seconds to play to provide the final points of the game • Had 10 points and five assists and won defensive player of the game honors at home against Miami • Scored 12 points and had four assists in win over #20 UNLV • Helped UNC shoot 50.9 percent from the floor against Runnin' Rebels • Handed out nine assists with no turnovers and earned his first defensive player of the game award vs. McNeese State • Scored 15 on 6 of 10 shooting from the floor at Long Beach • Had 13 points and five assists in the loss to Butler • Had 11 points and three assists against top-ranked Indiana • Became the eighth freshman point guard to start his first game at Carolina (Phil Ford, Kenny Smith, Ed Cota, Adam Boone, Raymond Felton, Quentin Thomas and Bobby Frasor) • Strained his left shoulder in practice on Nov. 30 and did not play against UAB.
Played for coach Chris Robertson at Linn-Mar High School in his hometown of Marion, Iowa • Parade All-America • Played in the McDonald’s All-Star Game (had seven assists) • Invited to play in the Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit but was unable to play due to a stress fracture in his left foot • Averaged 28.1 points as a senior, leading a young team to a 20-6 record and the semifinals of the state tournament • Set the school’s career scoring record • Scored a personal-best 49 points against CR Kennedy in the state playoffs • Also had a 46-point game against CR Prairie • As a junior, he averaged 17.7 points and led Linn Mar to an undefeated season and the 2011 4-A state championship • Earned both all-state and state tournament honors in three different seasons • Member of the honor roll in all four years • Graduated with better than a 4.0 grade point average.
Marcus Taylor Paige is the son of Ellis & Sherryl Paige • His sister plays basketball at the University of Wisconsin • Birthday is September 11 • Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa • Double-majoring in journalism and mass communication (public relations concentration) and history.