North Carolina guard Marcus Paige (hand) to return vs. Maryland

Marcus Paige (USATSI)
North Carolina’s Marcus Paige will make his 2015 debut against Maryland. (USATSI)

North Carolina senior guard Marcus Paige is expected to make his 2015 debut in the team’s highly-anticipated matchup with Maryland on Tuesday night in Chapel Hill.

Paige sat out the Tar Heels’ first six games while recovering from an early-November hand injury. The school announced the news on Monday, adding a “provided no setback in practice” provision, along with a hype video for Paige’s return to the court.

Paige was in uniform to be honored for his “Homecoming” game at Northern Iowa earlier this year, but did not participate in the 71-67 loss. But that loss has not dimmed the excitment for Tuesday’s headliner in the 2015 ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

The Maryland game will not only mark Paige’s 2015 debut, but the debut of the North Carolina team that was picked as the preseason No. 1 team in the country. While the Tar Heels have gotten some great performances from Justin Jackson in the first six games of the season, it is impossible to project how the team will look in ACC competition until the ACC preseason co-Player of the Year is added to the equation.

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