Syracuse basketball picked up a huge addition to their 2016-17 roster on Sunday in graduate transfer Andrew White. White visited Syracuse in the beginning of July, and subsequently checked out Michigan State and Miami. VCU was also in the mix, but ultimately, White felt like the Orange was the best fit.
"I think as you go through this process as a graduate kid, you kind of have to take the recruiting task on your own," White said. "That's something that I could do here because you see a tradition like Syracuse. You see what they've done in the past. It's something that's really appealing.
"After following them growing up, after having a relationship with a hometown friend Michael Gbinije and getting to know the staff and the people here, I thought it would be a good opportunity to come in and have a chance to win at the highest stage. That was exciting to me."
Syracuse was a school that always seemed to the favorite to land White, even when he visited other schools. The decision, however, was not made until recently.
"I knew Syracuse was the landing spot probably within the last two days," White said. "It was a tough recruiting process, and I just didn't want to overlook anything and wanted to make sure I had all the information I needed to make a good decision. But in the end, I was comfortable with this staff, comfortable with this program.
"I feel like I just have to let my game speak for itself. So I'm just going to come in, work and do all that I can and see how it plays out. I do think it'll be a good situation for myself here. I think this team is going to be in a really good position for next year. I'm just looking forward to finishing up my college career at a place like this."
With the addition of a talent like White who can impact the game in a variety of ways, the Syracuse coaches were no doubt excited when the decision was made. That was the reaction the 6-foot-7 wing received when he informed Jim Boeheim and Adrian Autry he would wear Orange next season.
"They were really excited," White said. "I just sat down and talked with coach Boeheim. I'm in town now so I'm kind of getting settled in just because school starts tomorrow. They were really excited and they feel like I'm a good fit for this team. I think they're confident in my work ethic and what I bring to the table.
"It's kind of a different situation just because the season is so close to starting. No longer than they're excited is it time for me to go out there and prove it. I think it's more of a business casual attitude with them seeing as I'm an older guy. I think they have a lot of confidence in me."
Looking forward to the season, White sees himself as a perfect fit for what Syracuse likes to on both ends of the floor.
"I always have liked zones because it eliminates guys' ability to take over the game," White said. "You have to be more team oriented to break down the zone. I felt that was something that could always put teams in the game if you could defend well and have the size and the athletes to play a zone. I think my length and athleticism will fit. I was told I'll play a lot on the top of it and a little bit on the back line. That was something that was good because I know coach Boehiem is going to coach his defense up so we can be in games and we can win games.
"Then as far as offensively, I know he's always been a fan of big guards who can shoot the basketball. That's kind of where I hang my hat on the offensive end. So I think that's something that can translate to this level and this program."
The addition of White has had Syracuse fans thinking a potential Final Four and National Championship run next season. White isn't making any promises, but also embraces high expectations.
"When you come to a program like that, those are always the expectations," White said. "This is a huge fan base. A lot of people are invested in it here. My job is just to go out and try to exceed expectations. Give all that I can so that we can be on that platform. You never want to make guarantees, but I'm confident in my work ethic.
"I'm confident of the other pieces on this team. I think it could be a special season if we can mesh it together and peak at the right time. So I definitely think there's some potential there for all of the fan base's expectations."