Donnie Jones

2015 shooting guard Chance McSpadden becomes UCF’s second commit

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UCF head coach Donnie Jones landed his second commitment in the Knights’ 2015 recruiting class Thursday night, as shooting guard Chance McSpadden announced via his Twitter account that he has committed to the American Athletic Conference school. McSpadden’s hails from Winter Park, Fla., where he averaged 19.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game as a junior at Winter Park High School.

A 6-foot-5 shooting guard, McSpadden plays his grassroots basketball with the Nike Team Florida program and he joins power forward Chad Brown as 2015 prospects who have committed to UCF. In a story written by Franz Beard of Gator Country back in late February, McSpadden stated that Florida, UCF and USF were recruiting him the hardest at that point in time.

The backcourt is an area where the Knights will be in need of a boost moving forward, with the versatile Isaiah Sykes (17.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.5 apg) and Calvin Newell Jr. (10.1, 2.3, 3.9) both out of eligibility. This summer UCF adds three-star shooting guard Adonys Henriquez among its three commitments (guard B.J. Taylor and forward Terrell Miller being the others).

The addition of McSpadden gives UCF a player capable of attacking the basket while also being a solid perimeter shooter.

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)