Freshman RJ Davis vs Freshman Marcus Paige

Last night we saw RJ Davis have his best performance of the season against Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament. UNC were up by just 1 with 10 minutes left on the clock and RJ Davis had a segment that he may watch over and over again; a three, followed by a steal, followed by and AND1 to the hoop. The kid from New York had himself a game last night… although he has been doing this for the past month.

I was watching RJ Davis play in February against Florida State (The Walker Kessler Game) and quietly in the background Davis was making some noise. He hit a couple threes, was perfect from the foul line and had over 20 minutes of playing time. I felt like this looked familiar.

How RJ plays is very quick, he will attack inside and also happily pull up from behind the arc, if you give him space. ENTER MARCUS PAIGE. Okay… a lot of people hold Paige on a pedestal of UNC greats over the past few years and rightly so. During his four years at Chapel Hill, Marcus brought us so many memories; he loved playing against NC State, he was one of the greatest leaders to wear the Carolina Blue and boy could he fire up!

During Marcus Paige’s freshmen year, his numbers were not far off from what RJ Davis is reaching this year:

WIN %.667%.686%
(Statistics up to date as of March 12th –

In Paige’s freshmen season we know he liked playing against NC State, UNC actually lost in the away fixture to State and then won the home fixture… the same as this year.

RJ was recently awarded the ALL-ACC Academic Team, you guessed it… Marcus Paige also picked up that accolade during his freshman year.

Paige was the fourth leading scorer during his freshman year and Davis is currently 5th behind Bacot, Love, Brooks and Sharpe. Although with performances like last night, I expect to see Davis move on up the ladder of scorers.

Will RJ have a breakout year next season like Marcus did? Paige averaged 17.5 PPG in his sophomore year and the rest is Carolina History.

Marcus Paige is currently in his third year overseas playing for KK Partizan in Belgrade, Serbia. He recently played against Luke Maye in the EuroCup and his also having a record breaking season.

Paige had a great partnership with with Brice Johnson during their days together in Chapel Hill when they both came in as freshmen. What fellow freshman will we see RJ build that partnership with over the years? He has Walker Kessler and Day’Ron Sharpe in his school year, not a bad pair to work with!

I spoke with @dadgumboxscores and he highlighted:

“Davis has made 7 out of 15 threes in March. 33-38 free throws this year and has a higher true shooting percentage than Paige’s freshmen season. He’s a good shooter and it will just take time.”

Dadgum Box Scores on Twitter

I think it’s fair to say that RJ Davis has a lot of potential and great pieces around him at North Carolina. I for one and am looking forward to seeing how he does in his career at the Point Guard University.

What do you think of this player comparison?

Has RJ Davis got the potential to have a Marcus Paige career at UNC?

Time will tell.

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