Georgetown transfer Paul White is going to be a key cog in the Oregon wheel this season. The junior forward has an expansive offensive game, but enjoys playing defense and getting dirty on the glass. Ducks fans are in for a surprise with this Chicago kid.
Let’s take a look at the 2017-18 roster with our individual player profile series. After placing you in an intro class to Oregon’s five new freshmen last week, this week we profile the entire 2017-18 roster before we get serious next week (tip-off week).
UNFOLDING THE 2017-18 OREGON ROSTER
Paul White (Nov. 6)
Keith Smith (Nov. 7)
Roman Sorkin (Nov. 8)
Evan Gross (Nov. 9)
“IT’S GOTTA BE THE SHOES”
White measures at 6-foot-9 and 235 pounds entering his junior season. He’s an all-around player on the offensive end, who will provide an instant spark. Yet, his strength above all is his accurate shooting ability, especially from downtown. He’s extremely versatile so he could start some nights and come off the bench in others. Don’t get it twisted though, White can rebound and will lead the Ducks on occasion.
Oregon’s head coach loves his depth, as far as roster balance. Not to mention, Altman believes opponents will have to respect UO’s perimeter shooting, thus creating space down low for Paul White to operate. A defense is at his mercy in the post.
“That’s one of our strong points,” said Dana Altman. “We have a number of guys who can shoot the three. Could spread the floor a little more and open the inside for Paul to post up a little bit.”
Personally, I envision Wooten starting at the final forward spot (basically, the center position) and White being Oregon’s sixth man this season. Nevertheless, while Wooten is still learning the college game, PW could start in his place. Additionally, if Altman wants to go a different route, Wooten and White could start together while McIntosh comes off the bench. The strength of this team, aside from shooting, is their depth.
White had to sit out last season after transferring from Georgetown. He was able to watch the Ducks magical season unfold from the front row, literally. Paul embraced the culture and the fans that make it pulse. Now, he can join the fun.
He played a full season in 2015-16 for the Hoyas. As a sophomore, White was marginalized with just 9.6 minutes per game a year after averaging 18.4 MPG. The Chicago kid amassed 5.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 1.6 APG as a freshman.
During the 2014-15 season, White scored a career-best 13 points against Butler on November 28 as a freshman. He tallied 10 points against Eastern Washington in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
LEGEND...WAIT FOR IT
When I watch his overall game, I’m reminded of former NBA player Rashard Lewis. If you don’t remember him, YouTubing his name won’t help. The true greatness of his game happened in live action, when he was creating space on the floor. Lewis had the ability to stretch the floor as a 6-foot-10 forward with serious range from deep.
White was a Top 50 national recruit in high school and hasn’t lost a step since. I watched him at Whitney Young and his game has only gotten better in college, especially at Oregon. He’s evolving, as the process will continue well into the season.
Paul White is a fluid player that makes the game look simple at times. He is much more relaxed on the floor, compared to someone like Dillon Brooks. My favorite part about his game is his set shot. He can find open space on the offensive end and bury it from anywhere. His shot is pure with a quick release, but he isn’t afraid to get dirty down low.
He can post up and has a fade away jumper like most products of Chicago. White boards and can dish out of the post, which creates havoc for the opposition. Lastly, he plays defense and has quick, strong hands/fingers.
THE BOX SCORE
With White being one of the most flexible players on the roster, Dana Altman will always be able to find time for him on the floor. PREDICTION: For the season, White will average 12.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.9 APG and 1.6 SPG during 26.9 minutes per contest. He’s an asset, especially from the post where he can dictate tempo. White can dish out of the block, which is vital on a team with so many perimeter shooters.
A PATH TO GREATNESS
The Ducks’ junior attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. Whitney Young is a powerhouse in the city of Chicago. Coming from a place that boasts some of the best high school teams in the country, Chicago’s basketball foundation was built around programs like Whitney Young, Westinghouse, Simeon, Marshall and King to name a few.
Years before Paul White attended Whitney Young, Michael Jordan’s youngest son Marcus transferred there during his high school career. After commencing at Loyola Academy with his older brother Jeffrey, he graduated from Whitney Young and earned a basketball scholarship to Central Florida.
The Dolphins have had their fair share of prospects over the years, such as former Duke star and current Philadelphia 76er Jahlil Okafor. In my opinion, the best to wear a Whitney Young uniform was former NBA sharpshooter Quentin Richardson.
A NATURAL WINNER
Winning state titles in Illinois is no easy task. In my ‘biased’ opinion, there is no place more difficult to win a high school basketball state championship. The Public League, which is placed in the heart of Chicago, must be won before entering the ‘Elite 8’ of Illinois’ best. Good luck.
Nevertheless, White helped lead his Dolphin team through the gauntlet of the city during an incredible title run that ended with the 2014 IHSA 4A State Title. Whitney Young captured the coveted crown after Paul recorded 18 PPG, 8 RPG, 6 APG and 3 SPG for the season.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
After enduring two arduous years at Georgetown, White made up his mind that he wanted to go somewhere where he’s valued. Well, he has found his new home. Dana Altman appreciates what White can provide the roster and so do his teammates.
University of Oregon will be my new home! Thank you to the whole Oregon family for making me a Duck now. Time to work #GoDucks— Paul White (@pdubbb13) August 31, 2016
Duck fans are going to love watching Paul White on weekly basis! The national media has not given him the respect he deserves, but he will earn it this year and open some eyes along the way. Let’s take a look at some of his high school highlights.
The next four days at ATQ will be jam-packed with Oregon basketball prep, including player profiles, predictions, previews, interviews, breakdowns and a few history lessons. Every day, we will have something new as we count you down to opening night.
Ready or not? Oregon basketball is set to return soon. The regular season gets underway at Matthew Knight Arena on Friday against Coppin State. You can catch opening night on the Pac-12 Network at 9:00 p.m. local time.