Texas Tech Smith Basketball

2013 point guard Randy Onwuasor commits to Texas Tech

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First-year Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith landed his fourth commitment in the 2013 class Wednesday, as 6-3 point guard Randy Onwuasor committed to attend the school as reported by Ben Weixlmann of Scout.com.

Texas Tech later released a statement announcing the signing of Onwuasor, who attended Inglewood High School in Inglewood, Calif.

Onwuasor earned Ocean League Most Outstanding Player honors as a senior, posting averages of 15.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Also recruited by Cal-State Fullerton, LSU, Miami (Ohio) and Saint Louis, Onwuasor joins junior college transfer Robert Turner and freshmen Alex Foster and Cory Scott in Smith’s inaugural recruiting class at Texas Tech.

“We believe that Randy adds some depth to our backcourt that we need. He has obviously had a good scholastic career. He is a very talented and very physical guard that can play both the point and shooting guard positions,” Smith said of Onwuasor in the school release.

“I think he fits our style of play and is one of three incoming freshmen that really improves our recruiting class.  He also gives us a connection to California where we have had some success in the past in recruiting and we want to continue that in the future.”

With the signing of Onwuasor, Texas Tech continues to embark on the task of reshaping the roster after a 2012-13 season that lacked continuity. It all began with the dismissal of Billy Gillispie, and there’s also the tendency for roster changes to occur when going from one coach (interim head coach Chris Walker) to another (Smith).

The good news for the Red Raiders is that both Jaye Crockett and Jordan Tolbert are expected to return next season. Crockett (12.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and Tolbert (9.8, 5.4) led the team in both scoring and rebounding last season, and their decision to return to Lubbock will help the newcomers.

Raphielle 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 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)