It has become common in basketball for college teams in a personnel bind to ask players to graduate from high school a year early to fill a roster spot at a position of need.
In 2009, Andre Dawkins enrolled a year early at Duke after Elliot Williams transferred to Memphis. James McAdoo considered graduating early to join North Carolina after David and Travis Wear suddenly bolted for UCLA last summer, but McAdoo eventually decided to stay in Norfolk, Va., for his senior year of high school.
With North Carolina suddenly in a predicament at point guard, it made sense to ask if junior Marcus Paige of Linn-Mar High in Iowa, who's committed to the Tar Heels for the Class of 2012, has any plans to graduate early to help replace the departed Larry Drew II.
Linn-Mar coach Chris Robertson said he knows of no such plan.
"As far as I know, his plan is to finish his next year and then be on the way out [to North Carolina]," Robertson said.
Drew's sudden decision last week to leave the team left the Tar Heels short-handed at point guard. Freshman Kendall Marshall is the only true point guard on North Carolina's roster, and the Tar Heels don't have a point guard committed from the Class of 2011.
North Carolina could look for a junior college transfer, a prep school player or a player who gets released from his scholarship at a school where a coach is fired or resigns this spring. But the remaining prospects in the Class of 2011 don't appear to be an option for the Tar Heels.
"At this moment in time I don’t see a recruitable guy on the board for them," said ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep.
Paige, meanwhile, is having a strong junior season for Linn-Mar. He is averaging a team-high 17.5 points per game and leads his conference with about five assists per game.
"He's our leader on the floor, makes great decisions and like all the coaches saw in the recruiting process, he has a great feel for the game," Robertson said.