L.J. Rose, Pierre Jackson

Report: Baylor freshman guard L.J. Rose to transfer

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For the second time in as many days, a Baylor guard announced he would transfer.

Tuesday evening, sources confirmed to ESPN’s Jason King that guard L.J. Rose would leave the program after one season in Waco, Texas. This news comes one day after sophomore guard Deuce Bello announced he would use his last two years of eligibility somewhere else.

Bello asked for his release because it appeared that he wouldn’t see much of an increase in playing time with forward Ishmail Wainright (Montrose Christian/Raytown, Mo.) and shooting guard Allerik Freeman (Findlay College Prep/Charlotte, N.C.) joining Baylor as freshmen next season. However, Rose was likely inline to compete for playtime next season with Pierre Jackson and A.J. Walton graduating.

The Bears have a solid returning frontline with Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson and also return shooter Brady Heslip out on the perimeter. It was going to be difficult enough to replace the production of the team’s leader in scoring and assists from a season ago and with the departure of Rose, Baylor’s point guard depth took another hit.

Baylor adds junior college point guard Kenny Chery (State Fair Community College/Montreal, Quebec) for next season to help fill the starting point guard role. Gary Franklin will be a senior next season after a junior year averaging 4.0 points and 1.1 assist in 18.0 minutes per game.

Chery is ranked as the No. 15 overall junior college player according to JuCoRecruiting.com and looks likely to be Jackson’s successor. Freeman was a late decision after decomitting from UCLA, which helps Heslip in the Baylor backcourt. King later reported that the Bears are in contention for former Missouri guard Michael Dixon, who has one year of eligibility remaining, but would need a waiver in order to play next season.

Rose averaged 0.9 points, 0.6 rebounds and 1.2 rebounds per game in 33 games for the Bears this past season. The Houston, Texas native held offers from Arizona, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Virginia coming out of high school in 2012, according to Rivals.com.

Baylor still has the talent to compete in the Big 12, though at this point Kansas and Oklahoma State have separated themselves from the rest of the conference heading into next season.

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)