Marcus Derrickson

2015 Marcus Derrickson of Paul VI is young, talented, and developing

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READING, Pa.–For a player in the Top 10 of his class, it takes some time to crack the shy outer shell of 2015 forward Marcus Derrickson of Paul VI (Va.).

Though intense, aggressive, and powerful on the court, the 6-7, 230-pound rising sophomore is reserved when talking to the media, taking a few minutes of conversation before the more colorful side of his personality emerges.

“It looked like you turned it on a little more in the second half there,” I said to him at Hoop Group Elite Camp in Reading, Pa. “You started pushing guys around a little bit.”

“Yeah, I guess I did,” he said with a smile. “I started to get more comfortable.”

Derrickson comes from two powerhouse programs in the Washington D.C. area, attending Paul VI High School in Virginia and playing for Team Takeover DC on the AAU circuit.

A number of major college programs have taken an interest in Derrickson, including Indiana. Hoosier assistant (and former Paul VI and Team Takeover coach) Kenny Johnson came to watch him this past week.

Derrickson is also drawing interest and offers from schools that include Maryland, Georgetown, NC State, Miami, Villanova, Rutgers, and others.

“Interest has coming from everywhere so far,” he told this past week. “A lot of college coaches are coming out to see me play, but I’m just trying to work hard and no overdo it or anything.

“I’m just looking for a place where I can fit in,” he continued. “Where [geographically] it is doesn’t really matter, just a place where I can learn and work hard.”

He was hampered by a mild knee injury at Elite Camp this past week, but showed his versatility, including good rebounding skills and the ability to step out away from the basket on the offensive end.

With three years of high school still left for him, he will continue to develop his frame, adding muscle and maturing.

“I have a big motor when I play and I’ll do whatever,” he said. “I can take charges, set myself up on defense, and I can score the basketball.”

But with all of that time, Derrickson wants to stay grounded and not get caught up in the national buzz surrounding his name.

“I don’t really pay attention to the rankings,” he said. “I just try to be the best I can be and ignore those.”

Photo Credit: Washington Post

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

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North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)