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November 29, 2011With the commitment of Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga's Nate Britt to North Carolina Tuesday evening, Tar Heel Illustrated presents another edition of the Expert Roundtable where our in-house staff of analysts and Rivals.com's national analysts provide more inside into the latest addition to the UNC basketball family.
The 6-2, 160-pound Britt is currently the No. 5 ranked point guard and No. 11 overall prospect in the Rivals 150 in the Class of 2012.
Britt was already well-known as a solid all-around point guard before this past summer, but he made a name for himself as a scorer at the NBA Players' Association Top 100 Camp, where he finished among the top overall scorers at the talented event.
"This crafty lefty was perhaps the surprise player of the event. The book on Britt coming into the event was that he was a talented set-up man with a need to become more physical and improve as a scorer. Britt, however, rewrote the book on himself, by averaging 16.7 points per game as the No. 2 scorer in the camp," said Rivals.com's Jerry Meyer.
"Who knew that Britt could score like this? Already known as a playmaker and a caretaker of the ball, the rising junior has displayed a much improved and diversified offensive game," added Eric Bossi.
Britt is now preparing for his junior season at Gonzaga College with his college decision behind him, allowing him to focus solely on improving his game before becoming a Tar Heel.
"Britt is a capable left-handed point guard with good instincts and athleticism," said Tar Heel Illustrated publisher Adam Powell.
"He's a solid floor general he looks to get everyone involved in the offense. Defensively he's got good mobility and does a good job staying in front of opposing dribblers. He's got streaks of fire along the perimeter when he's feeling his shot, but he needs to continue developing his outside shooting consistency."
"I just love him (Britt) in the open floor," added THI basketball recruiting director Clint Jackson. "He's got a lot of quickness and can just shift gears on the fly and go to the rim. He's a petite point guard, but he's so darn quick with the ball and elusive with his dribble, that it more than compensates for the lack of true size. I think now that he's hitting his jump shot more consistently -- he's really rounded himself into being a pretty complete point guard."
"A crafty lefty point guard, Britt does a nice job setting up his teammates. In terms of development, Britt isn't overly quick, so he will need to become more of an outside shooting threat going forward to set up his dribble dish game," added Jerry Meyer.
"A thin southpaw, Britt is a pure point guard who is looking to get his team into their offense, set up his teammates and make good decisions. The four-star is simply an effective floor general who is skilled in getting teammates and the ball where they should be. Not an overwhelmingly physical player at just 165 pounds, he plays a controlled game," added Eric Bossi.
"A pass-first point guard who is comfortable in both wide-open and half-court styles, Britt has an outstanding feel for the game and involving others. A skinny kid who doesn't lack toughness, Britt is still developing and doesn't think he's close to having a complete game. Because of that, he considers himself a gym rat," Bossi continued.
We conclude this Expert Roundtable with commentary from Britt's high school coach, Steve Turner, as well as answers to a few of our questions.
"As high school players have to do, He's certainly gotten stronger. he's put a lot of time in weight room and with strength and conditioning," said Coach Turner of Britt.
"I think this summer people were looking for him to get better with his shooting, and just like with weights and getting his body right he's done that, getting in the gym and putting shots up, and this summer he showed ability to do that (make shots)."
"He can be a true point guard in leading on the court and making guys around him better, but now he's also taking over games and scoring when he has to," Turner continued. "We want him just to continue being our leader, being our floor leader and being an extension of me on the floor, help players know what they're doing and keeping them focused, making guys better and helping with our scoring."
Coach, what's the biggest difference you've seen with Nate Britt last year to this year?
'I think last year there were some questions out there about just how well he could shoot the ball and I think over the summer, he put those doubts to rest. He's the consummate floor general and is just a junior so he has still got two more years to improve his game."
How does he compare to other D.C. area star point guards like Ty Lawson, Kendall Marshall and Tyler Thornton?
"I think he ranks right up there with them. But again, he's only a high school junior while those guys are either in the pros or in college preparing to go to the NBA soon. But yeah, he's definitely right up there with the best of the DC area point guards over the last four or five years. And I think he is a better shooter than any of them were at the same stage."
What does he need to keep working on for the next level?
"I think he will continue to improve as a consummate point guard and of course with the natural physical maturation, he will get his body stronger and get it right for the next level."
The THI staff thanks Jerry Meyer, Eric Bossi, and Coach Steve Turner of Gonzaga College High School for their contributions to this feature.