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Prospect Profile

Royce White

  • Full Name: Royce White
  • Position: Small Forward
  • Height/Weight: 6-8 / 270
  • Birthdate: April 10, 1991
  • College: Iowa State
Houston Rockets Round 1: Pick 16
 

Video: Draft Combine workout

Strengths:
* Best stat-sheet stuffer in the college game
* Legitimate playmaker/facilitator/point forward
* Big-time rebounder
* Crafty low-post scorer
* Good handle
* NBA-ready body
* Can shoot the 3

Weaknesses:
* Could get more consistent from 3
* Needs to cut down on turnovers
* Poor free-throw shooter

NBA projection:
White has lottery pick talent, and his size and skill set intrigue NBA draft-day decision makers. The issue is his well-publicized anxiety about flying. He flew with Iowa State most of the time this season and is working on the issue, but if it’s not controlled, it could be a problem at the next level given the number of road games that necessitate flying. All that aside, White is a rare player who can facilitate offense, rebound, make plays defensively and score when he needs to, though he’s completely unselfish.

2011-12 Season:
In his only season at Iowa State, White became the only player in the nation to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks. He was also just the second player in school history to lead in scoring, rebounding and assists in a season. The first was Fred Hoiberg, now the Cyclones’ head coach. White was chosen the national newcomer of the year by Basketball Times after leading Iowa State to its first NCAA Tournament trip in seven years. The Cyclones won 23 games, the fourth most in program history, and were 12-6 in the Big 12.

Key statistics:
13.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 5.0 apg, 3.8 tpg, 1.2 spg, 0.9 bpg 31.5 mpg, .534 FG, .333 3PT, .498 FT

Cool statistic:
White became just the fourth Iowa State player to record a triple-double, and the first to do it on the road, when he racked up 10 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists at Texas A&M on Jan. 7.

Reminds me of:
Anthony Mason

What Insiders Say:
Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg
"I think the best thing about Royce is just how difficult a player he is to prepare for. He's such a unique kid as far as how he plays. I get asked all the time by people, former people I worked with in the NBA about who do you compare him to? I don't know. He's such a unique player and plays such a different style that it's difficult to answer that question.
"The best thing about him is how unselfish he is. I looked at the Oklahoma game, for example, where we played down there, and he took one shot and was probably the most valuable offensive player that we had because double‑teams came and he moved that ball around and got that thing flying around the horn.
"There are just so many things that he does. I'm not sure I've ever seen a player like him."

What Outsiders Say:
Kentucky coach John Calipari
"Here's a kid that would rather pass and get 15 assists than score a basket. It's amazing. And he plays tough, and he's got huge hands. So you'd better grab the ball with two because he'll grab it with one."

Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun
"When you're 6-8, 270, 280, big, and he's very athletic. He has a great feel for the game. Any guy who has put up the numbers he's put up — offensively, rebounding, but particularly assist‑wise. He's a terrific, terrific passer, and fearless in many ways. He'll turn it over a few times, but it's not going to dissuade him from making plays.
"I think the thing he does is he makes you — you don't want to get polarized on him and get beat. He can help facilitate that. So it becomes very difficult.
"But he's a heck of a basketball player. I was talking to a pro scout today who's seen him four or five times and just said he's got some [Kevin] McHale stuff inside. Right now I wouldn't consider him a great shooter outside, but he just does things to help his team win."

-- Profile by Chris Dortch, editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. Follow him @cdortch.

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