Nate Britt - Junior, PG, 6-1, 175 lbs
2014-15 Stats: 109.5 ORtg, 46.5 eFG%, 36.6 3P%, 88.2 FT%, 38.0 MIN%
What Happened Last Season
The 2014-15 season was a bit of a mixed bag for Britt. While the quantity of his minutes played dropped significantly (51.8 MIN% as a freshman), thanks in large part to the additions of Justin Jackson and Joel Berry II, the overall quality that he produced when he was on the court increased dramatically. As a freshman, Britt was, at best, a liability on offense. His ORtg during his rookie campaign was a paltry 88.6, thanks in large part to a TO Rate of 27.1% and hitting just 3 of 12 3-point attempts (25.0%). As a sophomore, he was not only less of a liability, but there were moments where he proved to be a weapon for the team (e.g. UNC's wins against Syracuse and Arkansas). For the season, his ORtg jumped nearly twenty-one points and the areas that were his personal bugaboos the previous year were again the reason. Britt not only protected the ball better than he did as a freshman (TO Rate of 20.1%; still high, but much improved), but thanks to an almost unprecedented off-season switch in his shooting hands, Britt hit a surprising 26 of 71 from behind the arc, good for a very respectable 36.6%. If there was a downside to Britt's season, it was that he was still a bit of Jekyll and Hyde. Of his 38 games played, 14 produced ORtgs greater than 110, while 16 were either under 90, or non-scored due to playing less than 10 minutes. As a junior, Britt will need to even this out more so as to be a consistent option that Roy can count on.
Britt has the potential to be a very important member of the 2016 team, as the quality of his play could be the difference between Carolina being a very good team, and a great one. If he can continue to improve his ability to protect the basketball (ideal TO Rate under 18%), and maintain or improve on his 3P% at a slightly increased volume (average 1.0 - 1.5 made 3FG per game), then this will allow Roy to hand the bulk of the playing time at the point to him and Joel Berry. With those two at the point, Marcus Paige will be freed to spend more time hunting his own shot and driving to score, two things that all Carolina fans are happy to see more of.
And perhaps more importantly, a reliable Britt will also allow Roy the luxury of having all three "point guards" on the court late in games while trying to protect a small lead. This would result in a team that was nearly impossible to press, and was lethal from the line; two things that haunted the Heels in a number of the games in which they were unable to hold leads last season.