September 13, 2010

Star studded visit for Paige

Marcus Paige had quite a start to celebrating his 17th birthday this past Saturday. The highly rated 2012 point guard prospect from Linn Mar High School made an unofficial visit to the University of Iowa and the Hawkeyes rolled out the red carpet with literally a star studded affair.

The 6-foot point guard started his day at Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a breakfast meeting with the Iowa coaches and other recruits who were on campus and then an opportunity to speak a couple of former players who were back to play some pickup hoops before the Iowa/Iowa State game on Saturday.

" We got there about 10 and had breakfast with the coaching staff," Paige said. "Josh Oglesby, (Adam) Woodbury, and Mike (Gesell) were there. We talked for a little bit and then we had a meeting with Coach McCaffery for about a half hour. Then we watched shirts and skins and we got to meet Reggie Evans and Dean Oliver."

Growing up in Iowa, Paige watched Oliver, a former Hawkeye point guard, and the two had plenty in common.

"He is probably my favorite Hawkeye player, so it was cool to get the chance to meet him. We talked a little bit about the Iowa program and about Martin Brothers AAU team because he played for them too."

Then it was off to Kinnick Stadium for the Iowa/Iowa State football game, where Paige and the other recruits had a chance meeting with Hollywood celebrity couple Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. Kutcher is a native Iowan and Hawkeye fan and he was back in his home state for the football game on Saturday.

"They were both very cool and down to earth. It was a good time getting the chance to talk to them," Paige said.

This past week college basketball coaches were back on the road visiting high schools for open gyms and the Iowa coaches were front and center on Thursday afternoon at Linn Mar High School to watch Paige practice.

Coach McCaffery, Coach Francis, and Coach Speraw were all there on Thursday, along with Johnny Dawkins from Stanford, Bruce Weber from Illinois, and Tony Bennett from Virginia.

Paige says that his relationship with the Iowa coaches continues to grow since they came on board this spring and that contrary to rumors that surfaced recently, he is still wide open in the recruiting process.

"I have been talking to Coach Francis pretty regularly, so it was nice to catch up with him again. Of course, Coach McCaffery was great to talk to as well. I think I have a pretty good relationship with the coaching staff," he said. "I am going to take my time and try to get to know the coaching staff's at all the schools."

Paige says he has only one other trip planned at this time and that is to Kansas, who recently offered the Rivals 150 prospect, for their annual Late Night at the Phog on October 15th. There is another school that may be ready to enter the mix for the talented point guard this week as North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams is scheduled to be at his high school on Monday morning.

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