Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
When Roy Williams was recruiting Marcus Paige, he wasn't expecting the freshman to have to start. Rather, he was hoping Marcus Paige would get to learn from Kendall Marshall and occasionally join the game for some dual-point action.
Those dreams were flushed down the pipe when Marshall left early for the NBA.
Williams kept hope alive. He desperately wanted to relive the 2001-02 season at Kansas, when he led the Jayhawks to a Final Four using two point guards. That season, they led the country in points (90.9), assists (21.3), field-goal percentage (51.1) and, yes, even rebounds (43.9).
Apparently, he shared the same thoughts with Nate Britt during his recruitment. Here is what he told ESPN's Dave Telep after committing in 2011:
The thing I look forward to the most is probably playing with Marcus Paige. I feel like us two in the backcourt together could be great. When Coach Williams was at Kansas he had Kirk Hinrich and two other point guards and that was one of his better years at Kansas.
Thank the Lord Marcus Paige wasn't a one-and-done.
Coach Williams is pretty pleased with what he has seen from the freshman thus far, and it doesn't appear he is backing down on his word to Britt. Here is what he had to say at the ACC's Operation Basketball, via Inside Carolina:
Nate gives another true point guard that we haven’t had the last couple of years, so I love that. He’s really understanding pushing the pace, now we’ve got to get him to get under control when he does get there. But he’s really pushing the pace very well.
I will play two little guys together sometimes this year. Luke Davis has done a nice job. I don’t think I’ll ever play Luke, Marcus and Nate all three together. That’d be like a team full of jockeys. I’ll play two of the little guys together and Nate has done some really good things.
Coach always has jokes. If they're jockeys, then what would I be? Nevermind. I don't want to know.
This could be a very big year for Paige, which makes you wonder how he feels about sharing the limelight with Britt.
“I actually love the two point guard lineup,” Paige told Inside Carolina in his billionth interview of the offseason.
Really? Do tell.
I love it because it allows me to do different things on the court. It allows me to become more of a scorer and be more aggressive offensively. We’re both guards; we know how to play the game and we understand spacing.
I think we’re going to see that more than I expected to see it this summer. I did expect to see it some, but I think it’s something Coach can really work with. Hopefully he thinks the same thing.
I think he's sold, Marcus. So, how long until we get to see the magic happen, Coach?
"I’m convinced that the first a game when we play Oakland, you’ll see two little point guards out there together," Williams told the press.
Excellent. Waiting sucks.