I have been wanting to draw up a piece on Nate Britt for a while now. For those of you who don’t follow the Carolina recruiting trail as hard as we do here on the KIH team, Nate Britt is a class of 2013 North Carolina commit that currently is the starting point guard of the prestigious Oak Hill academy. It’s been my feeling lately, especially with the Joel Berry commitment, that people are overlooking and/or are down on Britt as a recruit for the Tar Heels. I’m here to tell you, that I could not be more excited to see him play.
It’s been a long (and I mean loooonnnngg) time since Roy Williams has been able to put together a lineup with two pure point guards in the rotation that would warrant major minutes. You can look back on 2011 when Kendall Marshall was a freshman briefly playing alongside Larry Drew II as an example, but otherwise, Roy has had one true PG and a combo guy like Dexter Strickland or Bobby Frasor around as the primary back up. With Britt, Carolina gets a guy who is a pure point guard to come in and immediately be ready contribute in a backup role to Marcus Paige.
Where Britt is at a disadvantage, is that he’s not considered the top point guard prospect like Paige was on ESPN’s recruiting boards. I think when it comes down to it, that’s where most of his criticism is drawn from. Britt hasn’t been lighting up the court at Oak Hill this season, partly because of injury issues and the fact the he plays with several other top prospects such as Indiana commit Troy Williams that demand a certain amount of touches, but Britt’s vocal leadership has really made him stand out. He was named captain of the team as soon as he arrived. That says a lot to me. We all know how much of an effective vocal leader Marshall was how that made our team successful in the long run. If Britt can transfer his leadership ability, which Roy raves about to the college court, then I’ll feel very comfortable with him taking the lead role when Marcus is on the bench.
In terms of his skill set, Britt is a lot more of a passing point guard than Paige is (although Paige is steadily improving in that aspect). Britt has great vision, not only on the break, but in half court sets as well. Britt is able to really locate seams within the defense and find creative ways to get his teammates involved in situations that will allow them to score. I’d be willing to claim that, at this point in his career, he’s a lot quicker and much more aggressive running the break than Marcus was. Britt will push the ball coast to coast and shows good touch finishing at the other end even though he’s a little undersized.
Britt’s shooting ability is where he falls short of Paige. He has decent three point range and can effectively score from mid-range however, he struggles to create those shots off of the dribble. He’s much better off getting his feet set, but his above average crossover can overcompensate for lack of space on the floor.
I really like Britt and think that he’s going to fit great in Roy’s system here at North Carolina. Not only will he make an immediate impact on the roster from an individual player perspective, but having a primary backup option to Paige that also is a pure point guard should do wonders for the Tar Heels offensively. Looking forward to watching him play in 2014!