UNC Basketball: A Closer Look at Nate Britt

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!

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Tags: Nate Britt North Carolina Tar Heels

  • David

    He is very undervalued people forget that the reason he dropped so far is because he was playing through injuries last summer had an uneven summer because of trying to pkay through said injuries… I believe thi.kid is a top 12 recruit when healthy… like marshall before him he will be a steal

    • Keeping_It_Heel

      People tend to put way too much stock in the recruiting rankings. Marshall was one of the best UNC PGs and he wasn’t rated very high and Britt could def take people by surprise

      • K.J. Martin

        Marshall was once the best player in his class (in elementary school) and wound up being a McDonald’s All-American in the same PG class as NBAers Kyrie Irving and Brandon Knight. So he was no slouch.

        • David

          Kendall marshall was rated ss the 9th best point guard that still. Leaves 7 pg rated better than he was.

    • K.J. Martin

      Injured or not, he’s definitely not better than Andrew Harrison or Kasey Hill, and not nearly as quick or athletic as Anthony Barber — all consensus Top 5 points. He’s probably not even as good as Nigel Williams-Goss, who’s generally ranked higher, also, and may sneak into the McDonald’s game, based on his Hoophall performance. ND-bound Demetrius Jackson is better than Britt as well, so that makes 5 points better than this dude, and all are ranked higher by multiple publications. I do think Britt is underrated, but not to the extent that you do. He may overtake Paige for the starting nod sometime next season if Paige doesn’t drastically improve and Britt can hit the ground running. My best guess is a timeshare until Berry comes along — at which point, either Paige or Britt will transfer.

      • David

        And I have followed nate britt since before unc was even recruiting him. He was a consenous 5 star recruit and the number 11 over all prospect period. And I think that three of the pg u mentioned were still ahead of him. Its just a deep pg class. He didnt drop intil he tried playing through the summer on a gimpy knee and a bad ankle. Paige will be fine just needs to add some bulk. He has all rhe skill in the world just cant hold his own because he looks like a middle schooler out there lol. Once he gets bigger he will be fine. I dont see nate or paige transferinf as both can also play the 2 guard. Will be interesting to see how roys divides the playing time as we will be deep at pg and bigs for a min… and may be deep on wings if jackson and pinson commit… and we get copeland whixh Isuspect we will get st least jackson and copeland…