North Carolina point guard Coby White has improved as much as any college basketball player this season, and it is helping his NBA draft stock climb. White went from being drafted in the second half of the first round to potentially moving into lottery territory.
White is only a freshman and has an opportunity to continue his college career. With the way he has been playing, the NBA draft may be too enticing to turn down. We have White going No. 11 to the Timberwolves in our most recent NBA mock draft. The Atheltic’s Sam Vecenie also has White going No. 11.
ESPN has White ranked No. 10 overall on their big board. Here is how ESPN described White’s game and NBA outlook.
A shot-maker by trade, White’s low release point was bothered by a host of defenders in a high-profile matchup against Duke. White is having a strong statistical season and has become a first-round favorite among some scouts, but he has his drawbacks. White was more of a catch-and-shoot guard at the high school level, and that’s really where he has found success this season, not yet showing that he is the most savvy pick-and-roll player. White’s splits are telling: He averages 14.9 points, 3.8 assists and 2.8 turnovers on 53.5 true shooting against teams over .500 (17 games) and 17.7 points, 5.3 assists, 2.6 turnovers and a 68.9 true shooting percentage against teams under .500 (seven games).
The NCAA Tournament Could Have Major Implications on Coby White’s NBA Draft Stock
Heading into the Sweet 16, White has had a modest NCAA tournament. White’s best game came against Washington where he had 17 points and six rebounds. White had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists in the first round against Iona.
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams has had plenty of talent come through Chapel Hill. Yet, Williams noted to The News & Observer that White is the “best scoring point guard I’ve ever coached.”
“Ty Lawson got to that stage later when he could score,” Williams told The News & Observer. “Coby is a scorer and I have never minded a scoring point guard.”
White averaged 16.1 points, 4.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds while shooting 36.4 percent from the three-point line this season. White is a good three-point shooter, but the Tar Heels guard could become a great shooter from long range if he can improve his shooting percentage a bit.
White is a pure scorer whose threat from behind the arc opens up opportunities for him to attack the basket. Duke guard Tre Jones has played White multiple times and noted that it’s his shot that makes his offensive game so lethal.
“He’s coming off those screens and we were switching,” Jones told the News & Observer. “You’re not used to guards coming off and pulling it up right in your face.”