Tennessee head coach Donnie Tyndall’s been on a bit of a hot streak in recent weeks when it comes to adding players to the program, and the good fortune continued Tuesday as former IUPUI guard Ian Chiles announced via his Instagram account that he’ll be a Volunteer. Chiles is a graduate transfer, meaning that he’ll be eligible to play immediately and he has one season of eligibility remaining.
Chiles’ decision came one day after he made an unofficial visit to the Tennessee campus, and it’s an area he’s familiar with since his sister played softball at the school from 2004-07.
Chiles, who was also considering Auburn and Maryland, averaged 15.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in 25 contests for IUPUI last season. Chiles shot 41.9% from the field and 31.4% from beyond the arc, and he led the Jaguars with a possession percentage of 27.9%. He and forward Mitch Patton were the offensive leaders on a team that won just six games last season, and it should be noted that Chiles have more assistance at Tennessee.
Chiles is the sixth player to join the program since Tyndall was hired, and any concerns that rose with the loss of an entire recruiting class following the departure of Cuonzo Martin have subsided.
Junior college transfers Devon Baulkman and Kevin Punter and freshman Detrick Mostella join Chiles in providing depth to a perimeter rotation that features Josh Richardson and a now-healthy Robert Hubbs III. And in the front court Tennessee has received commitments from incoming freshman Jabari McGhee and FGCU transfer Eric McKnight, with the latter being a graduate transfer who will be eligible immediately.
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…)
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)