UNLV v North Carolina

North Carolina point guard Marcus Paige focuses on adding weight

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North Carolina point guard Marcus Paige performed admirably as a freshman,  but quickly learned that in the ACC, it is a tough and physical battle every game. The lefty may have been a McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, but at 6’1 and only 157 pounds, Paige quickly learned that he needed to add strength and weight in order to maximize his potential.

So far this summer, that plan seems to be working out. According to a WRAL report, Paige has spent the summer working on his frame and is already up to 171 pounds.

“I’d always played lighter than my opponents, even back in high school I wasn’t the heaviest guy on the court, but it really made a difference in college. Strength is a key part of the game, refs let you play more physical,” said Paige.

Paige found that out while playing against bigger, stronger competition in the ACC, such as guards like Miami’s Shane Larkin and NC State’s Lorenzo Brown.

“Dealing with guys like that was a lot harder as a small guy,” Paige said. “I’m not focused on playing at a certain weight or anything. I just want to be stronger, have a stronger base, so I can get through screens and not get fatigued so easily.”
Earning extended minutes as a freshman, Paige averaged 8.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game in 35 games last season with the Tar Heels. But one thing that Paige could stand to improve is his field goal percentage as he only shot with a 35.6 percent from the field.

Playing at a heavier weight should improve Paige’s game immensely as he’ll be able to bump off defenders more to create space and look for his own shot while also aiding in his ability to finish through contact.

WATCH LIVE: James Madison battles UNC-Wilmington on NBCSN

James Madison guard Shakir Brown, left, drives past Hofstra forward Denton Koon (12) during the first half of an NCAA basketball game in Harrisonburg, Va., Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP)
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Two of the top teams in the CAA battle on Saturday afternoon as James Madison travels to UNC-Wilmington. You can catch this matchup live on NBCSN at 3 p.m. EST.

UNC-Wilmington (19-5, 11-2) is currently the class of the conference as they hold a two-game lead over James Madison, William & Mary and Hofstra. The Seahawks have won 10 consecutive games and they’re led by guard Chris Flemmings, who is averaging 16.6 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game.

James Madison (19-7, 9-4) has won three consecutive games as they try to make up ground on UNC-Wilmington. Guard Ron Curry leads the Dukes in points (16.8 ppg) and assists (3.9 apg) as he’s having a very solid season.

These two teams played on Jan. 28 with UNC-Wilmington winning 78-73 on the road.

CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Saturday afternoon.

VIDEO: Winthrop’s Keon Johnson goes coast-to-coast for buzzer-beater

Winthrop's Keon Johnson (5) shoots a layup while defended by Coastal Carolina's Warren Gillis during the first half of the Big South Conference Championship college basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Conway, S.C. Coastal Carolina won 81-70. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
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Winthop earned a Big South road win at Radford on Saturday afternoon as junior guard Keon Johnson raced coast-to-coast and buried the game-winner at the buzzer.

The 5-foot-7 Johnson erupted for 32 points in the win and he’s been one of the most potent mid-major scorers in the country this season. The win moves Winthrop to 18-7 on the season and their 10-4 mark in the Big South ties them with UNC Asheville atop the conference standings.

(H/T: LiveonASN)