Royce White Talks About His Recruitment

Royce White, a 6-foot-8 forward from Minneapolis DeLaSalle, is considered the top player in the state in the Class of 2009. He is considered a must-get recruit for the Minnesota Gophers coaching staff and head coach Tubby Smith and assistants Saul Smith and Ron Jirsa watched him Saturday at the St. Thomas Jamboree. GoldenSports.Net caught up with White to find the latest on his recruitment.

Royce White played in the LeBron James US Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio and The Nike Global Challenge at the University of Portland this summer. He also played in many events with the Howard Pulley AAU team.

White was GoldenSports.net's choice for Sabes Foundation Invitational Tournament MVP. White was named second-team All-Metro by GoldenSports.Net as he averaged 21.8 points and led the Islanders to a 19-8 mark.

White has received scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Northern Iowa, Miami, Creighton, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Iowa State Purdue, Arkansas, Seton Hall, Texas, Arizona and Southern California.

White has continued to show why he is one of the top players in the Class of 2009 in the Midwest this spring. He shined for the Howard Pulley AAU team at the Boo Williams Invitational, leading them to the Bronze Division championship and at the Kingwood Classic, where they advanced to the Final Four of the Platinum Division. He led the Panthers to a second-place finish in the Jayhawk Invitational and a title win at the Sabes Foundation Invitational.

White scored in double figures in every game this year and scored 20 or more points 15 times and had 31-point efforts against Houston (TX) Westbury Christian and Breck, and 33 versus Blake.

White is an excellent shotblocker and rebounder who has worked hard on his offensive game, ball-handling and shown expanded shooting range.

Anything new on the recruiting front? Any new schools you hearing from?

"Not really any new schools. It's the same major schools, just a little bit harder."

Who are you hearing from the most right now?

"I hear from the "U" the most, obviously. I can't really count the number of schools. They call Coach Thorson and sometimes he does not get to the calls. There are probably hundreds of calls on the voicemail that I don't know about. As far as calling me, North Carolina has done a good job. They get their call in every month. USC gets their call in. Michigan State gets their call in. All the schools that are recruiting me in the Big Ten are getting their call in. It has been pretty even over the board."

Have you thought about narrowing your list of schools down or are you going to keep things the way they are now?

"I'll probably keep it the way they are, but getting close to drawing it down. Just waiting around the season, observing teams and the coaches and how everything works out and waiting for them to observe me too."

How does the fact that Minnesota has three coaches watching you here play? Does that apply to you and mean anything to you or do you just try to block it out?

"It is a form of pressure, but it is a good pressure. I want to perform good in front of them because they are definitely high ranked in the basketball world. I really appreciated them coming today. I also appreciated Coach (Jeff) Rutter coming from Iowa State."

Do you think about what it would be like to stay close to home at the "U"? Have you thought about that?

"I was thinking about that when I was a freshman, so I have always thought about what it would be like to stay home and play here."

What about your expectations for this year?

"We are going to be really good. We have what we didn't have last year. We have shooters now. I think that we are going to guard better than we did last year. We have better team chemistry than last year. I just think that it is a matter of all jelling together with all the young guys and the new guys and jelling together and making it happen."

You won the state title two years ago. Do you think that this is the type of team that can do that again?

"I definitely think that we have enough horses to win the state title again. It's just a matter of how hard we want to work."


Gopher Illustrated Top Stories