Marcus Paige’s much anticipated junior year at UNC was plagued with injuries. Although flashes were shown, Paige wasn’t consistent game-changer fans grew to love during the 2013-2014 season. Now with a full off-season to get healthy, Marcus is excited about finally being able to play without pain.
“I had problems off and on with my ankle, and towards the end of the year it really hurt,” Paige says. “Every time I jumped, I felt a really sharp pinch in the front of my foot. That was on top of dealing on and off with the plantar fasciitis. Around the ACC Tournament, I started feeling really good about the plantar fasciitis, but I was still dealing with the ankle pain.”
“Some days it was horrible, and some days it was tolerable,” he says now. “Around the ACC Tournament I started feeling much better about the plantar fasciitis, but I was still dealing with the ankle pain.”
“Coach always tells me about Coach Haase when he was a player at Kansas,” Paige says. “He didn’t want to take any days off in the summer. He wanted to be as close to perfect in everything he did because it was his last time and he didn’t want to miss out on something and regret it. That’s the way I’ve looked at the summer and the preseason. This is the last time I get to do this stuff. I want to soak it in more and become more appreciative of the opportunity.”
“This is the best I’ve felt since sophomore year body-wise. When I’ve played pickup, I’ve actually felt 100 percent, and I haven’t had that in a long time.”
A healthy Paige changes the whole complexity of this year’s Tar Heel squad and with championship expectations, they’ll need him to return to his sophomore form…or better.
H/T: Go Heels