UNC Basketball Recruiting: Is Nate Britt Facing a Career as a Backup?

Nate Britt of Oak Hill Academy is one of three members currently signed to North Carolina’s 2013 recruiting class.  Britt’s stock has dropped rapidly since last season due to a variety of factors none larger than an injury that has hampered him all season long.  Britt is the second of three highly touted point guards Roy Williams is bringing into the program in consecutive recruiting classes to sure up the most important position for the Tar Heels joining current freshman Marcus Paige and 2014’s Joel Berry.

The Tar Heels have faced two consecutive seasons with only one true PG on the roster and the results were disastrous last season when Kendall Marshall was injured in the post season killing UNCs chances of winning another national championship.  Roy seems intent on never letting that happen again after securing the services of Britt in the 2013 class it was clear that Berry was his #1 priority in the 2014 class from the onset until his recent commitment to Carolina.

With the trio now secured the PG position looks bright for the foreseeable future in Chapel Hill.  Britt however could be a career backup as result of the depth.  Current freshman Paige is set to be a junior in 2014 when Berry arrives and although it’s far too early to know for sure his play (not to mention size) suggest that it’s highly likely he will be around for that season.  Nobody expected Marshall to be among the early departures after his sophomore season either but his case is entirely different when compared to Paige.  Marshall is a natural passer who saw his game peak the last month of his college career when he went on a scoring tear putting his draft stock at an high point he was unlikely to top no matter how long he stayed in Chapel Hill.  Paige isn’t likely to see that type of peak considering their difference in styles.

So let’s assume Paige is around in 2014 and UNC has a dream trio at the point with Paige/Britt and freshman Berry.  That means Britt will at least be a backup through his sophomore year, knowing Roy no matter how good Joel Berry is he won’t come in and take the place of an established guard his freshman season, meaning he will be around in 2015 also.  I like Britts game and I’m a lot higher on him than most with that said I put the chances somewhere between zero and zero percent that Britt wins the starting job over a sophomore Berry in 2015.

Given the very likely scenario I just laid out that leaves 2016, Britt’s senior season as his best opportunity to take over the reigns as the starting PG.  If Berry stays for his junior season, then it’s a career on the bench for Nate Britt.  2016 is a long, long way away and anything can happen between now and then, Berry has the type of talent that could lead to the NBA after just two years in college.  Britt better hope so or else his legacy in Carolina may just be as a career backup.



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