Badgers Impress Five-Star Recruit

Minnesota prep star Royce White, a talented, five-star junior at La Salle H.S., has been getting scholarship offers throughout the country, including an offer from Wisconsin.

Wisconsin's Bo Ryan has made a living of recruiting above average high school talent to come in, learn his system and develop into quality basketball players; a system and style that leads to success year after year.

Because of this M.O., the thought of the Badgers trying to recruit ultra-talented Minnesota prep shooting forward Royce White would seem unrealistic.

Not according to White, who told Badger Nation that the aggressive, fundamentally sound way the Badgers play is just the way his high school team plays and is a way that he respects.

"Wisconsin plays hard, which impresses me, and they take guys that are not necessarily the most talented guys and they find ways to get it done," White said. "That's how we are at La Salle. We don't have the most talented guys, but we emphasize execution and getting it done. Wisconsin proved last year that they can get it done."

Although his high school, De La Salle, currently sits at 11-10 after winning four straight games to boost their record over .500 for the first time this season. La Salle started off the season 0-7, losing a couple games to top prep schools in Houston and to Madison-area school Madison Memorial, who is a number one seed in the WIAA Division One tournament.

"It took awhile at the beginning," White said. "We weren't clicking at first and we played some tough teams this year. We were trying to gel together with all the guys that we had and we are finally starting to now."

One of the main reasons for that is the play of White, who is a five-star recruit and one of the top high school prospects in Minnesota. The junior is scoring upward of 21 points per game and shooting near 70 percent from the field, which is attracting lots of attention from schools across the country.

According to White, Minnesota, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Cincinnati, Miami (FL), Purdue, Arkansas, Seaton Hall, Arizona, Texas A&M, Virginia, Xavier and Southern California are among the many schools that have offered him a scholarship, which does not include schools like Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina and Texas who have shown him considerable interest.

While many schools have been in contact and Midwestern schools, like Iowa and Michigan State, have made it a point to stop and make their recruiting pitch, White acknowledged that both Minnesota and Wisconsin have made an early impact.

Living in Minneapolis most of his life, White grew up watching the Gophers and loves the new element that first-year head coach Tubby Smith has brought to the barn.

"I always watched the Gophers," White said. "I was not necessarily a Gopher fan, but I watched them. Coach Monson, Coach Molinari and Coach Smith and their staffs have all done a good job coaching. Coach Smith, coming in, added a new element to it and has brought a winning attitude into the program. I am a big fan of what he's trying to do and how he coaches."

Visiting Wisconsin for a team camp this past summer and travelling to the campus a couple other times, White has enjoyed the personable and straight-forward approach of the Badger coaching staff.

"Coach Gard does a great job of coming up here as much as anybody," White said. "He's up here all the time and Coach Bo Ryan has been up here. I get a real welcoming feel from them. They are real good people and they are definitely good at what they are trying to do and the relation they are trying to build."

While the recruiting process can be tough enough on any high school athlete, White, with 20 some offers to mull through, is trying to hold off on the process and start narrowing his list in the summer.

With no set time table to make his decision and no clear favorites in his mind, White plans on enjoying the rest of the season as he works on leading La Salle to its second state title in the last three years.

"Right now, if I start thinking about it during the season, it would be too much," White said. "I am trying not to think about it and then after the season, I will take a strong look and start to do my own evaluation process like the coaches do to me. I'll look at what type of education the school provides, what type of program it is, how the coaches interact with the players, all the key things that are important to me in a program."

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