The North Carolina Tar Heels already know they have one of the best players in the country with Marcus Paige returning for his junior season next year. Paige was slotted in as the point guard, but it was his scoring that pushed the Tar Heels during the season.
Next year, a true asset will join Paige with Joel Berry handling the duties as the point guard. Berry is a tremendously skilled guard who will allow Paige to float around more and waste less energy as the primary ball handler. Last year Nate Britt had way too much responsibility in relation to his talent. Britt is a fine player, but he is not a natural scorer and defenses were able to wander off of him to guard other players more.
Berry will keep defenses honest, and this will obviously help Paige and the rest of the offense tremendously. The Tar Heels have one of the best incoming freshmen classes, and the addition of Berry, Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson offers a lot of variety in scoring options. Jackson and Pinson are more wing players than guards, and having Berry get them the ball in scoring situations will also free up Paige.
The supporting cast around Paige will give coach Roy Williams the opportunity to freestyle more on offense. Last season’s main problem was too much reliance on Paige. Berry should relieve Paige of that stress.
All of this is clearly looking at the best-case scenario, but even if Paige gets a little more offensive support from Berry, the Tar Heels will have the most dynamic backcourt in the ACC.
Gregory T. Philson is an ACC basketball writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google. Read more here.
See related at http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-basketball/2014/04/28/acc-basketball-conference-will-be-loaded-with-young-talent-next-season/#I6KzECfMLxZMjAL6.99