Big injury news out of UNC today. Senior PG Marcus Paige will miss 3-4 weeks with a fractured right hand.
Via UNC press release:
University of North Carolina senior guard Marcus Paige fractured the third metacarpal on his right (non-shooting) hand in practice on Tuesday and is expected to be out of action for three to four weeks.
Paige has received a number of first-team preseason All-America honors and was selected the Co-Preseason Player of the Year in the Atlantic Coast Conference by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
The senior from Marion, Iowa, has missed only one game in his first three seasons. He did not play against UAB his freshman season due to a strained left shoulder.
A two-time captain, Paige has averaged 13.2 points and has 474 assists at Carolina. He has connected on 225 three-point field goals and needs only nine to become UNC’s all-time three-point leader.
"I hate it for Marcus," says head coach Roy Williams. "He’s such a wonderful young man – one of the most outstanding people I have been lucky to coach. I know he’ll handle this with the same level of maturity and responsibility that he does everything else.
"Our team will certainly be challenged in his absence. We will need everyone up and down the roster to step up their games and take care of each other and our team until he gets back."
Carolina plays host to Guilford in an exhibition game on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and opens regular-season play against Temple in Annapolis, Md., in the Veterans Day Classic on November 13th.
The silver lining here is this is Paige's non-shooting hand.
The other potential silver lining is Paige might not miss that many significant games. Assuming the "3-4 weeks" clock starts today and the recovery period is on the lower end, Paige would miss the five games including the CBE Classic in Kansas City. If it goes the full length then you can add the showdown with #3 Maryland on December 1st to the list of possible missed games. In all of that Paige will miss his "homecoming" game on November 21st against Northern Iowa.
All things considered, not great news but not the worst news in the world either.
As for personnel, Justin Jackson will obviously need to step up as a significant perimeter threat. It also answers the question of whether Theo Pinson will start in the early season or not. He likely will which means either Joel Berry or Nate Britt will start at point guard.