The 2014-15 season is almost here and in preparation for that we profile the players. Today we look at point guard Nate Britt.
Nate Britt, PG, 6-0, 170 lbs
Last season, Nate Britt came to UNC having watched his stock as a high school recruit go from top ten, elite prospect to barely clinging to the top 100. Still, UNC needed every body they could find for the backcourt so Britt ended up starting for part of the season and playing his fair share even off the bench. Britt's numbers as a freshman were pedestrian at best. He only took 12 threes making just three of them. His two point range shooting was just 37% while his free throw shooting was close to 80%. His free throw shooting, especially in ACC play, helped UNC close out several games.One glaring deficiency, besides the shooting, was a 27% turnover rate.
Britt's shooting was such a concern that the sophomore guard actually switched shooting hands over the summer. Britt had used his right hand in high school but switched to the left hand prior to his senior season. Now he is making the move back hoping to improve on his overall shooting numbers. Since the free throw shooting was solid, he will continue to do that left-handed.
The main issue facing Britt is his game isn't a complete package. However he does bring certain skills to the table that will earn him playing time. Obviously he's experienced and understands how to run the offense which gives him a slight edge on freshman Joel Berry. Britt's speed is something no one else on the roster possesses. He has shown the ability to use that speed for coast-to-coast drives for baskets. In some ways he looks the part of a typical Roy Williams point guard with the notable exception being the shooting hasn't quite been up to par. Britt can be a capable defender given his quickness but is a bit undersized to handle strong guards. Brit's quickness versus Berry's strength does open the door for UNC being able to offer different looks at the point.
Britt will see his share of minutes. How much will depend greatly on how far along Berry comes as well as Theo Pinson and Justin Jackson. If the freshman trio proves to be productive, Williams more likely to ride with a combination of those players along with Marcus Paige and J.P. Tokoto. That being said, Britt's quickness, experience and solid free throw shooting gives Williams options such as using all three point guards, especially in end of game situations. If Britt can improve his shooting, cut down on his turnovers and show himself to be a committed defender, he find himself on the court plenty.