NBA Draft Profile: Royce White
- Updated: May 8, 2012
6-8, 270 lbs.
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
School: Iowa State
STRENGTHS: Pretty much everything. There’s not much that Royce White can’t accomplish on a basketball court, having averaged 13.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists last season in leading the Cyclones to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. White was a breakout star in the NCAAs, scoring 15 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in a dominant second-round win over UConn, and then exploding for 23 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in ISU’s third-round loss to Kentucky. White played so well in that game that overzealous analysts were drawing comparisons to Magic Johnson. He’s not Magic Johnson.
Still, you can see why the comparisons are made because White is a solid 6-8 and has point guard skills. He can be very successful in the NBA because of his ability to run an offense and facilitate for others. White can be used as either a point guard or point forward in the league and will have no trouble getting his teammates involved. He’s also a tough rebounder and defender and has NBA strength under the boards.
WEAKNESSES: White played just one season of Division 1 basketball and left Minnesota as a freshman after an incident at the Mall of America which resulted in him pleading guilty to theft and disorderly conduct charges. He’s also got some anxiety issues, and deals with a paralyzing fear of flying that nearly derailed his college career. Some teams may be reluctant to take a person with such an aversion to flying, because it is such a large part of the job as an NBA player. He’s also
BOTTOM LINE: White is a terrific prospect who has a skill set that could make him a star in the NBA. The question with him is whether or not he can overcome his anxiety issues, and the fear of flying that sometimes causes him to be exhausted during games. If he can, White will be a name to remember in this draft, as he may become a late first-round steal for the team that takes a chance on him.
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