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North Carolina point guard Marcus Paige focuses on adding weight

Jul 13, 2013, 12:00 PM EST

UNLV v North Carolina Getty Images
North Carolina point guard Marcus Paige performed admirably as a freshman,  but quickly learned that in the ACC, it is a tough and physical battle every game. The lefty may have been a McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, but at 6’1 and only 157 pounds, Paige quickly learned that he needed to add strength and weight in order to maximize his potential.

So far this summer, that plan seems to be working out. According to a WRAL report, Paige has spent the summer working on his frame and is already up to 171 pounds.

“I’d always played lighter than my opponents, even back in high school I wasn’t the heaviest guy on the court, but it really made a difference in college. Strength is a key part of the game, refs let you play more physical,” said Paige.

Paige found that out while playing against bigger, stronger competition in the ACC, such as guards like Miami’s Shane Larkin and NC State’s Lorenzo Brown.

“Dealing with guys like that was a lot harder as a small guy,” Paige said. “I’m not focused on playing at a certain weight or anything. I just want to be stronger, have a stronger base, so I can get through screens and not get fatigued so easily.”
Earning extended minutes as a freshman, Paige averaged 8.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game in 35 games last season with the Tar Heels. But one thing that Paige could stand to improve is his field goal percentage as he only shot with a 35.6 percent from the field.

Playing at a heavier weight should improve Paige’s game immensely as he’ll be able to bump off defenders more to create space and look for his own shot while also aiding in his ability to finish through contact.