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Saturday May 21st

Tar Heels in the Pros: Longtime and recent UNC alumni make waves in NFL, NBA

Former North Carolina guard Marcus Paige dribbles in the 2016 national championship game.
Buy Photos Former North Carolina guard Marcus Paige dribbles in the 2016 national championship game.

With the NFL playoff push in full force and with the NBA season over a month old, now is a good time to take a quick look at how Tar Heel alumni are doing in the pros. 

Mitchell Trubisky

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky faced some stiff competition this past weekend when he traveled to face the Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) — who are led by MVP candidate and quarterback Carson Wentz. 

Without surprise, the Bears lost 31-3. Chicago did no favors for Trubisky, as the team mustered just six yards rushing, which forced him to throw the ball 33 times. Trubisky threw two interceptions and recorded a 0.5 QBR rating — tied for second worst in NFL history. 

In fairness, retired quarterback Peyton Manning holds the record with a 0.3 QBR, so Trubisky's harrowing statistic doesn't put him in the worst company at the end of the day.

Trubisky has not been asked to do much by the Bears, which makes it hard to get a read on the rookie quarterback's performance this season. With him under center though, Chicago has been competitive in most games, despite a division-low three victories on the season. 

Marcus Paige

Greensboro Swarm guard Marcus Paige has had quite the outings this past week, combining for 53 points over the last three games. During this stretch, Paige has been lights out from deep, shooting 11-24 from three. Paige is 17-45 shooting from the field and a perfect 8-8 from the charity stripe. 

Paige only has three career minutes thus far, but games like the past couple should garner attention from NBA scouts to possibly earn him NBA minutes down the line. 

Harrison Barnes

Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes has continued to post impressive numbers since his departure from the Golden State Warriors two seasons ago. 

Barnes is averaging over six points more per game (18.9) this season than his career average. He is also grabbing 7.4 rebounds per contest. 

Recently, Barnes has put together some impressive performances, including 31 points against the Boston Celtics and 22 points against the defensive-minded Memphis Grizzlies. 

Since Barnes’ move, he has proven to be a very good offensive player. Once the Mavericks add some more talent to the roster, fans should be able to see Barnes put up notable numbers in Maverick wins. 

Robert Quinn

Former UNC-Chapel Hill defensive end Robert Quinn was instrumental in the Los Angeles Rams’ recent victory over the New Orleans Saints. Quinn forced a fumble, had one sack and had five combined tackles on Sunday. 

Los Angeles was able to jump over the Saints (8-3) into third place in the NFC — since the Rams earned the tiebreaker over New Orleans with the win. 

Tre Boston

The Los Angeles Chargers have now won five out of their last seven games and are a popular pick to win the AFC West and contend for an AFC Wild Card spot. 

The safety has been instrumental in the Chargers’ surge, as he has three interceptions in the last three games including two against the Jacksonville Jaguars and one versus the Buffalo Bills — an AFC playoff contender. 


Julius Peppers

Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers has notched two sacks in the past four games. He currently has 8.5 sacks on the season — sixth most in the NFC.

At 37 years old, Peppers is still one of the leaders on this impressive defense. The Panthers look to make an AFC South title push with only five weeks remaining in the NFL regular season. 

@rytime98

sports@dailytarheel.com

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