Thursday, March 6, 2008

On Royce White

The Star Tribune reported Wednesday that DeLaSalle basketball standout Royce White has been dismissed from his high school. White is a heavily recruited junior forward who is considered by some a "must get" recruit for Tubby Smith and the Golden Gophers.

Because of that status, White is somewhat of a public figure. If he scores 40, we rave. If he gets in a argument with his coach, we criticize. The dismissal from DeLaSalle is certainly eyebrow-raising. But there has been absolutely zero discussion of what transpired that led to White's dismissal. Nonetheless, many unnamed pundits at various Minnesota forums have begun taking White to task. The Gophers should ignore him, they write. White should go to college somewhere else, they suggest.

Down With Goldy has also picked up on this and he is exactly right. Here's a taste of what DWG wrote:

People. CALM DOWN. We don't even know what happened. There is no info on this, and people are ready to condemn White. This is knee-jerk speculation at best. Completely irresponsible idiocy at worst.
Sometimes it's wise to remember that college recruits are kids. White is 16, maybe 17 years old. I wonder what some of the holier than thou crowd did at that age they might not want debated on message boards. It's been rumored that he was caught cheating. Whatever. Rumors have also persisted that he didn't get along with the coaching staff. It happens and it was the reason behind Lawrence Westbrook transferring to a prep school during his senior year. If White didn't break a law, we ought to lay off a little bit.

My point is, high school kids have all sorts of problems, ranging from family issues to drugs, alcohol, tempers, social anxiety, etc. etc... And in many instances kids are able to work through them. I'll relay my experience. In high school, I was a drunk. I breezed through classes to a 3.8 average, but I spent weekends and summers boozing with my friends. Had I been a 4-star recruit, the online punditry would have lambasted me when I received an underage drinking ticket. They would have told me not to attend their college of choice. I would have been labeled as having "character issues." What they would have missed out on was a college student who matured, who grew tired of alcohol and binge drinking and who went on to get a job at The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer out of college. Not bad for character issues!

Anyway.....let's take it a little easier on Royce. .... at least until we know more. And for those saying Minnesota should stop recruiting Royce, I'll ask this: Do you trust Tubby Smith? I do. And I believe that if there is any major concern, Tubby will shy away. And I also believe one reason we hired Tubby is that he is an all aroud good man. He's been considered a father figure by former players. He's obviously helped Al Nolen, who many thought wouldn't qualify academically. Nolen was honored last week for his academic excellence.

White Bio: Royce is a 6'7, 210 pound junior forward who has been heavily recruited. Michigan State, Minnesota, USC, Arkansas, Purdue and many others have offered scholarships. Many more have taken a strong look at him. According to Rivals, Royce is the #9 small forward in the 2009 recruiting class.

Also: Twin Cities Boys Hoops blog speculates that Royce and Rodney Williams, another imporatant Minnesota recruit, could end up playing prep school ball together next season.


Dave said...

Agreed. Seems like prep school would benefit the both of them.

snacks said...

Finally! Someone else with DWG with a decent perspective on the matter. Some of the comments over at the Gopher Hole were unreal.

snyde043 said...

If it turns out that White was caught cheating, doesn't it kinda make sense Gopher fans would be freaked after the scandel with that tutor that cost us Haskins and the 1997 season, which was my senior year, BTW?

Friend Of Tubby said...

(Hoopmasters says)

Royce White, a 6-foot-8 junior forward from Minneapolis DeLaSalle, has been dismissed from the school. Athletic director Darcy Cascaes said that the school's policy is not to discuss these matters, but acknowledged that White would no longer be part of the tean. White missed the first two games of the season and did not play in this weekend. White is considered the state's top player in the Class of 2009.

White has had an up-and-down junior season. He is averaging 21.2 points per game, but missed the first two games of the season. The Islanders started the season 0-7 and are just 12-12 after losing to St. Bernard's 61-44 last night.

White played in the LeBron James US Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio and The Nike Global Challenge at the University of Portland this past summer.

White averaged 21.8 points and led the Islanders to a 19-8 mark last year.

White has received 25 scholarship offers from schools such as Cincinnati, Northern Iowa, Miami, Creighton, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Iowa State, Texas A&M, Purdue, Arkansas, Seton Hall, Texas, Arizona and Southern California.

White has scored in double figures in every game the past two years this year and scored 20 or more points eleven times and had a season-best 33 points against Minneapolis Henry. White had scored 20 or more points in the past four games before the suspension.

White, who lives in St. Paul, must now decide on a new school.

White is an excellent shotblocker and rebounder who has worked hard on his offensive game.

snyde043 said...

As for Al Nolen, I think the "concerns" there were about him were probably more due to stereotyping about the Minneapolis public schools than about him individually.

PJS said...

snyde...I think copying an answer off of someone's answer sheet falls short of Jan Gaglehoff-gate. And whatever concerns there were about Nolen, he has reportedly done well in the classroom.

Anonymous said...

I know this is old news, but I have to share. It's true, high schoolers are still kids, but when you've personally been around THIS kid, maybe you'd have a different perspective on his "character". So what about the cheating in class, whatever the rumor is, I'm more concerned with how he treats certain people..Not to go into detail, but my runnings-in with him, plus my friends, = not good at all.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen a high school in the state of Minnesota recruit more players to their school in my life. Teams here need to start treating them like Oak Hill Academy and just not schedule them for games, make them go out of state to play other national teams if you wanna sit and whisper in players ears to come play for your school...what a mess open enrollment created. And now we got players moving districts and cities just to play a freakin sport.

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