Marcus Paige out for North Carolina, could miss Maryland game

North Carolina point guard Marcus Paige breaks hand in practice, could miss game against Maryland on Dec. 1.

The anticipated showdown between two of the nation’s top teams will go on as scheduled Dec. 1, when top-ranked North Carolina hosts No. 3 Maryland in Chapel Hill. However, that night's matchup between two of the nation’s top point guards -- Marcus Paige and Melo Trimble -- might not.

North Carolina announced Wednesday that Paige will be out “three to four weeks” after breaking his right (non-shooting) hand at practice Tuesday. The injury will put Paige out of the season opener Nov. 13 against Temple in the Veterans Classic at Navy in Annapolis.

Now it will be up to either junior Nate Britt or sophomore Joel Berry II to slow down Trimble. Britt and Trimble are familiar with each other, having both grown up in Upper Marlboro and played -- a year apart -- for the D.C. Assault AAU program.

A year ago, Paige averaged 14.1 points and 4.5 assists as a junior despite battling with plantar fasciitis for most of the year, and undergoing ankle surgery to remove bone spurs after the season.

Britt averaged 5.5 points and 1.5 assists in 15.3 minutes per game as a sophomore. Berry, who was rated ahead of Trimble coming out of high school, averaged 4.2 points and 1.5 assists as a freshman in 13.2 minutes per game.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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