The college basketball world was rocked last Saturday whens news broke that former head coach Rick Majerus had passed away at the age of 64, after battling many health issues.
Since then, former homes for Majerus such as Utah and Marquette have paid their respects to the late coach. On Friday, Saint Louis, Majerus’ last coaching stint, honored him with a memorial service.
“His fingerprint is all over college basketball,” said Saint Louis interim head coach Jim Crews. “Everywhere you go, there he is.”
According to the Associated Press, hundreds attended the service at Chaifetz Pavilion on the Saint Louis campus. Photos of Majerus and players were featured throughout the pavilion, including plays Majerus would draw up on pieces of paper.
Majerus took over the Saint Louis program in 2007 and helped make the Billikens make the transition to the Atlantic 10 Conference. In five seasons, Majerus went 95-69, including an NCAA tournament appearance in 2012. In 25 seasons on the sidelines, Majerus complieda coaching record of 517-216, leading Utah to the Final Four in 1998.
Marquette will wear patches honoring Majerus, who served as an assistant to Al McGuire, later becoming the head coach in 1983. Utah, where Majerus won over 300 games, placed a sweater on the front seat of the bench for Majerus. The Utes beat Boise State 76-55.
“Family, friends, food, basketball, players – if that was involved Rick was singing and whistling a happy tune,” Crews told the AP. “It was always about people and that was what made Rick so special.”
The funeral for Majerus will take place on Saturday in Milwaukee.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
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 NBCSports.com 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…)
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)