Romello White crafted his top-100 resume over time. The Georgia big man — who’s prepping in Florida — first appeared here at Scout in the 2014 spring, when he made his introduction at Hoop Seen’s Elite Preview. From there, he continued to produce and sometimes surprise with consistent effectiveness.
White impressed high-major coaches and became a top priority for Tennessee heading into his junior season. He committed to the Volunteers this past January but backed off when UT parted ways with head coach Donnie Tyndall.
In the travel season he strode onto the national stage in July playing for Stackhouse Elite. He already was a known quantity, of course, but his play at the Gauntlet Finale on the live period’s opening night turned some previous skeptics into believers. There’s nothing particularly flashy about White’s game and thus he can be easy to overlook, but by that time coaches had begun to become increasingly aware of his potential.
Schools such as Mississippi, Auburn, South Carolina, Iowa State and others jumped into the race, but after taking an official visit to Georgia Tech — the only school to receive an official — he announced for Brian Gregory’s program.
White is a big man’s big man. He isn’t a modern power forward in the sense that he handles the ball much or looks to play outside; instead, he relies on muscle and toughness to rack up production.
He’ll likely inspire adjectives such as “workhorse” and “stalwart” during his time at Tech, and deservedly so. White averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game on the Gauntlet circuit, shooting a highly efficient 57 percent from the field.
One very fairly could describe him as basic, but in his case that’s a compliment. He’s strong and utilizes his muscle to overpower weaker opponents, relishing a high-contact style. He’s a no-nonsense competitor who grunts and scowls while others clown.
Not only is he tall and strong, he possesses big hands that enable him to corral contested rebounds in traffic and finish through contact. He also can power through the swipe attempts that guards love to inflict on post scorer.
Meanwhile, albeit not a shotblocker, White does project as an excellent position defender. Size, strength, dedication and toughness are major predictive qualities to succeed on that basis, and he certainly holds each of those attributes in ample measure.
He also runs the court well and can be effective in either a slower- or faster-paced game.
White obviously will not enjoy the same relative strength advantage he does now, so out of necessity he must add at least a small finesse component. He’s also an above-average athlete, but far from a great one. As mentioned, he doesn’t sky for a ton of blocked shots.
Beyond that, he must improve his free throw shooting. He attempted 72 free throws in 11 Gauntlet contests, which is great due to the pressure he applies to opponents, yet he converted just 37 (53 percent) of those freebies.
White likely won’t become a national freshman sensation or anything along those lines simply because that isn’t his style. He won’t dazzle fans with jumbo skill attributes and doesn’t make the kinds of plays above the rim that typically garner attention.
But what he will do is give the program a physical presence, capable offensive and defensive player and someone who can contribute meaningfully as a freshman.
He’ll likely become a thorn in the side of the more finesse four-men who inhabit ACC rosters, and as an upperclassman he could develop into a leader and inspirational force for the Ramblin’ Wreck. It’s rare today that the second-biggest guy on the floor wants to be a power player, and White’s uniqueness will further enhance his effectiveness.
Long-term, he’ll have to add dimensions in order to attract NBA attention, but certainly it would not surprise if he embarks upon a successful and lucrative professional career somewhere.
White is Scout’s No. 83 senior prospect overall and the No. 17 power forward in the 2016 class.