Well so far, 2014 is looking pretty bright. Roy Williams and his staff received a verbal commitment from five star point guard prospect Joel Berry from Apopka, FL. Obviously, this commitment is huge for the Tar Heels and it really gives them a star player to build the rest of the recruiting class around as well as adds tremendous depth to the point guard position.
While everyone in Tar Heel nation is beyond excited about being able to watch Berry over the next few seasons, people are still a little perplexed about how the offensive rotation will work once he gets onto the official roster. Currently, we are watching Marcus Paige mature into a very capable point guard in his freshman season and next season, four star prospect Nate Britt will join the squad. While Carolina fans are excited about all three of these players, everyone is wondering how three high caliber point guards on one team will work. To me, this isn’t that complicated of an issue.
Let’s fast forward to the beginning of the 2014-2015 season for the Tar Heels. We are going to assume (forgive me) that by this time, James Michael McAdoo and PJ Hairston will have declared for the NBA, which means that they’ll be gone along with the current wing players that have left due to graduation (Dexter Strickland, Leslie McDonald, and Reggie Bullock). If this ends up being correct, JP Tokoto will be the only remaining wing player back with eligibility. In my opinion, this will change before this future season starts because since Roy is set at point guard and will have five big men returning in Brice Johnson, Joel James, Desmond Hubert and 2013 commits Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks, it only makes sense that the coaching staff will solely focus to add wing depth to the roster, to play alongside and behind Tokoto, to finish out the recruiting period. It’s hard for me to predict exactly how many more commitments Roy will land for 14-15 season, but I’m going to take a guess and say he gets just two more and both players will be able to play the two and the three spots on the floor.
I feel that this is a pretty accurate assessment of what is to transpire between now and then for Carolina basketball and if it holds true, then there will be plenty of minutes available for all three point guards. Even if guys like Johnson or Hicks slide out to the three to compensate for the lack of depth on the wing from time to time, I think it’s highly probable that we will see tons of sets that involve two point guards running them at the same time. With each point guard having different skill sets, this type of system could really work out nicely. Paige is a natural scorer, Britt is a creative passer and aggressive running the break, and Berry is a nice combination of the two. It doesn’t matter what combination Roy can put out there, he will always have a nice balance of scoring and court vision to run his offense off of. Not to mention, all three can handle the basketball extremely well and that means when two guys with that ability are on the floor together, there will be a lack of silly turnovers.
I think this offense could be extremely effective and absolutely fascinating to watch. I’m still trying to get used to the idea that Carolina will soon have two pure point guards on the roster not to mention two on the floor at the same time! It all seems a little futuristic to me (technically two years so), but I’m ready to see if it pans out. I do think that if Tar Heel fans are worried about any of the kids transferring or not being satisfied with their role on the team once all three are playing together are a little paranoid. Roy is a smart coach and has a great understanding of what his players are capable of. There is no way a guy like Berry would commit to a school, even if it’s his dream school, without understanding from his coach what the plan will be for himself and everyone else. Not only that, but Roy and the staff communicate with Marcus every day and Nate Britt multiple times a week meaning that none of the players are getting blindsided or left out in the dark here. Each player understands what Coach Williams wants them for on his team and each player committed for that reason.
I sincerely believe that Roy and the players will put the University and team before them and make it work to the best of their ability. One thing is for sure, Carolina basketball will be fun to watch for years and years to come.