By James Blackburn
Game Scouted: Texas Tech @ Iowa State
Iowa State wins 72-54
Royce White (F, 6’8”, SO)
5-7 FG, 3-9 FT, 10 reb, 6 assists, 13 TP
Passes well out of post and in transition. Brings the ball at times up at 6’9”- terrific passer – leads team in assists- has great vision- sees the floor like a PG. Good ball handler for size- one of the best I have seen this year for a player his size. Brought the ball up 3 minutes in- crossed over defender and dunked in traffic- huge mismatch for opposing bigs. Very strong- great build and upper body strength. Huge hands- able to shield off defenders and hold ball away with one hand and throw accurate one handed passes. Bumps cutters when cutting across lane. Boxes out( although not every possession) and is physical on boards. Agile and versatile- showed ability to move feet on perimeter and even contain guards on switches. Terrific scorer from mid post area with good one on one moves including spin and dribble moves- able to create own shot. Very athletic- can finish above rim- which is saying something b/c of his weight. Unselfish. Understands the game- high Basketball IQ.
Too casual at times tonight against a team in Texas Tech with a bad record- doesn’t have a sense of urgency-low motor tonight. Needs to run the floor harder- especially with his physical tools and athleticism. Showed the ability to defend a guard on a P/R switch- but this will not work at next level- must get better at shading out on guard and then getting back to his man- seems content at this level in just switching or hanging back- lazy on his part. Has the look that he is not playing hard, low energy, low motor- then he will have a few possessions where he will just go crazy and dunk on someone or show heavy pressure defense out on perimeter. I don’t know if this is his style/persona or if he is a bit out of shape (he is listed at 270 lbs.- would be at his best if he lost about 15 lbs.- I think it is a little of both (to his credit he does average over 30 minutes played a game this year, but he seems to rest at times on both ends- especially on the defensive end). Gets caught out of position on the defensive end at times and losing track of his man- when he does get out to guard, again there is no urgency and he has hands down. Poor FT shooter (air balled a couple tonight)- awkward release- doesn’t look natural and looks like he struggles to shoot it- stands flat footed- doesn’t rise up on toes (to his credit of his work ethic and wanting to get better- he works on his FT’s 45 minutes a day after practice and on game days). Not a great shot blocker especially with size and athleticism.
Has a murky past mixed with legal issues and off-court behavior that has gotten him into trouble in the past, where he quit the team at Minnesota, where he originally got recruited to play by Tubby Smith. Seems to have made a turnaround though- having a terrific season leading team in points, assists, and rebounds for a contender in Iowa State and has a good work ethic. Didn’t see any attitude or problems with him in this game- acknowledged he made a mistake early on a TO. Reminds me a bit of Blake Griffin- his build, athleticism, the way he carries himself on the court, and the way he plays. To his credit though, White is a better ball handler and passer, even though Griffin tries to handle the ball. Reminds a bit of a Glenn Robinson type as well.
Will be a good PF at next level- has the ability and tools to be a future first round pick. His size and athleticism will translate to next level, as well his passing, basketball IQ, and versatile scoring ability- post and perimeter. Will be able to defend and score against PF and even some SF. Will cause matchup issues even at next level.
Must improve energy and consistency- tends to disappear sometimes- like the first half tonight- has 7 games this year where he has played over 20 minutes in each and did not score more then 6 points. Came out second half and played better- more energy. The best asset White brings is the fact that even if he isn’t scoring, he can impact the game in other areas like his passing/playmaking and his size and rebounding.
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