UNC coach Roy Williams knows a thing or two about point guards and junior Nate Britt (Washington, D.C./Gonzaga) will be the next in a long line of dynamic Tar Heels floor generals. Kendall Marshall is at Chapel Hill now, ESPNU 100 PG Marcus Paige (Marion, Iowa/Linn-Mar) is signed on for next year and Britt is waiting in the wings.
Whether or not Paige is still there when he arrives, Britt will thrive. Together, the duo of Paige and Britt will work well because neither has to have the ball in their hands. In fact, Paige can slide over and play the off guard, which he often played for his AAU team, while Iowa signee Mike Gesell played the point.
If Paige is gone, Britt can definitely run the show right away for the Tar Heels. He is a battle-tested floor general who competes in the WCAC, one of the most difficult leagues in the nation. The left-hander can beat opponents by scoring big numbers or impact the game by finding his teammates, pushing the tempo and defending.
"He is like poetry in motion when he runs a fast break as he possesses great speed with the ball," Gonzaga coach Steve Turner said.
Britt is a confident point guard who is a natural for the position. He is geared toward running an up-tempo style offense but also has the makeup to play in the half-court set. The former Gatorade State Player of the Year is the type of player who can help his team go on a run of unanswered points by scoring or distributing. He beats defenders off the bounce with his speed and quickness and then navigates his way to the basket to score or find open teammates after drawing defenders.
More importantly, his leadership is there and so is the trust from his coach.
"Nate is a direct extension of me out on the floor. I don't have to coach every possession out on the floor," Turner said.
Defensively, he possesses long arms -- think Rajon Rondo -- which allow him to steal or deflect any crossover dribble. In UNC's trapping defense he will be able to cover ground and turn a steal or turnover into quick points.
Plus, the fact that he knows how to play with a 35-second shot clock only enhances his ability to run a team as he understands when to get into late-clock action and take advantage of a two-for-one situation at the end of a quarter.
It's fair to say, the Tar Heels are set at the most important position on the court for years to come.