Tonight, we continue our annual Player’s Profile marathon until we Countdown to Craziness, that will profile each and every Duke player on the roster…
Ro is our resident Recruiting Specialist, so here is his Profile of Frosh #41, Jack White …
Jack White will be the first Australian to play for Coach Mike Krzyzewski when he suits up for Duke in the coming fall. Most Australians tend to play for Mid-Majors and have at least one year of High School or Prep School experience. White came straight from “Down Under” to Durham though he did visit Duke back in February.
“It’s a different path to what most Aussie kids take and that makes it a great challenge in itself,” White said, “I have confidence I can play straight away but Duke don’t promise anything to anyone whether you are an international kid or a McDonald’s All-American. That’s part of the challenge, working for your opportunities and proving what you have got. It’s going to be a great challenge but one I’m ready for.”
Duke has one of the deepest rosters in college basketball, and Coach K tends to keep his rotations as short as possible, so it will be an uphill battle for a little heralded international player to get meaningful playing time, however, he seems to be aware of the situation, and has a lot of confidence in himself.
He will get his moment to prove himself, whether it is a huge window or a tiny one. Everyone always does at Duke, just know, for most, the margin of error can be very small.
Jack was originally listed as a 6’7”, 220 lb. Power Forward, in most recruiting reports, however his Duke profile has him currently listed at 6’5” and 215 lbs. and he is considered more of a Wing/Slasher type player.
He will most likely be competing for playing time with established players such as Grayson Allen, Matt Jones, and Luke Kennard, and maybe to some extent, Jayson Tatum and Frank Jackson. You couldn’t ask for a tougher bunch of talent to crack, but Duke must have seen something in White to offer him a Scholarship out of the blue. His only other publicly known offer was from Boise State.
White was due to arrive in Durham in July but due to “Visa issues,” he arrived in time for fall classes in August. 247Sports.com speculated that, as White had never played American basketball, and due to the loaded roster, maybe the Australian would be willing to take a non-medical Red Shirt. This would allow him to get acclimated to American basketball, but that thought was quickly shut down by White who said, “I’m not Red Shirting.”
White says he was asked to work on his perceived weaknesses, by the Duke Coaching Staff, which are “lateral quickness and ball handling,” in the extra time he had before getting to Durham.
Duke Report thinks that if White is successful at Duke, it could be a way for the Coaching Staff to recruit one of the hottest emerging talent beds, outside the USA and Canada, which is Australia. “Down Under” has been a recruiting pipeline that constantly keeps the St. Mary’s Gaels in contention in the West Coast Conference. In addition, “Auzzie-land” recently produced talent such as Patty Mills and Ben Simmons.
The most talented players are trained at the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence, previously known as the Australian Institute of Sport, where they focus on developing players individually rather than focus on team oriented goals such as winning. For 2 years, players are given “… world class sports science, nutrition, physiotherapy and psychology services while they complete a rigorous training schedule and attend high school” according to The Guardian.
Every current Australian NBA player has spent time here; from Andrew Bogut, the 2005 #1 NBA Draft Pick, to Ben Simmons (he only spent 3 months there before enrolling in an American high school) the 2016 1st NBA Pick.
That is probably why Jack White is so confident in his ability to contribute at Duke right away. This is what he told the Guardian a year ago when they visited the centre.
“It shows that there is no excuse, with the resources we have at our disposal, not to get to the highest level, to represent our country and even play in the NBA. It is definitely encouraging to see these guys who have achieved what we are aiming for – we can follow that path and learn from them.”
Coach K saw first-hand the development of Australia when they were 1 of 2 teams to threaten the USA’s dominance, on the international stage, at the Rio Olympics.
Thanks for reading !!!
Watch for our next introduction tomorrow …
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