UCLA v Arizona - Quarterfinals

Former UCLA guard Tyler Lamb will transfer to Long Beach State

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During the fall semester, Ben Howland and his UCLA program saw two players transfer. In a span of 10 days, each of those players have found new homes.

Last Wednesday, junior center Josh Smith announced he will join Georgetown for his final season of eligibility. Friday evening, junior guard Tyler Lamb made his decision and will transfer to Long Beach State. Lamb posted his decision on his Twitter account just after 5 p.m.

He picked the 49ers over San Diego State. The 6-foot-5 Lamb elected to transfer back in November.

“I would like to thank the University, Coach Howland and his staff for the unparalleled opportunity to have been a part of UCLA’s program,” Lamb said in a release on Nov. 25. “However, I believe that it is in my best interest to find a new destination where I can continue to grow, both as a person and as a basketball player. I am eternally grateful to my coaches and teammates for everything they have given me, and I wish them the best going forward. I plan on enrolling in a new educational institution by next semester, and I have not yet determined my schools of interest.”

As a sophomore Lamb averaged 9.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. Lamb underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in October, which sidelined him for six weeks.

He only appeared the Bruins’ season opener this season, scoring four points with three rebounds and a pair of assists in 14 minutes of action in a 86-59 win over Indiana State.

Lamb played only one game this season, so it will be interesting to see if he and Long Beach State try to get that year back. If Lamb cannot, he will have a year and a half of eligibility remaining and can play for the 49ers as early as the second semester of the 2013-2014 season (late December).

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

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 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…)

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)