Todd Mayo, Derrick Randall

Rutgers forward Derrick Randall asks for release from scholarship

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In the latest news regarding the Rutgers basketball program a sixth player has requested to be released from his scholarship while one who already received his release has decided to stay.

Sophomore forward Derrick Randall has requested a release from his scholarship according to the New York Post, and the move will make Rutgers even more inexperienced inside next season.

Randall played just 8.2 minutes per game last season but saw action in 26 of the Scarlet Knights’ 31 games, averaging 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds per contest. With the graduation of Austin Johnson, the 6-8 Randall may have been in position to earn more minutes in 2013-14.

Randall joins Eli Carter (committed to Florida), Mike Poole (Iona), Jerome Seagears (Auburn) and Vincent Garrett on the list of players who have elected to leave Piscataway. With that being five players, what happened to the sixth to ask for his release?

According to head coach Eddie Jordan, 6-5 wing Malick Kone has changed his mind and decided to remain at Rutgers.

Kone, who averaged 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game last season, requested his release before the scandal that ultimately led to the firing of former head coach Mike Rice.

“Malick will be back. Malick is coming back. We officially lost (Jerome) Seagears, (Eli) Carter and (Mike) Poole,’’ said Jordan according to Brian Lewis of the Post. “Not officially lost [Garrett], but he wants to leave. He asked for his release and Derrick asked for his release.’’

This news comes just one day after 2013 power forward Junior Etou verbally committed to attend Rutgers next year.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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)