Name: Okaro White
Weight: 204 lbs
Twitter Handle: @owhite10 (Pretty active Tweeter, good follow)
2012-13 Season Stats: 12.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 51% fg
Prognostication: All signs seem to point towards this being Okaro White’s team, as the Senior forward is FSU’s leading returner in both scoring and rebounding. One of two returning (rotation) players from the Seminoles team that won the ACC championship in 2012 (shout out to Ian Miller), White has developed from a scrappy power forward to one of the better players in the conference, as he can both score and defend pretty much from everywhere within the three-point line. I don’t know if I can say that White’s ready to go out and win ACC player of the year, but he will more than likely take another step forward and show that he’s an NBA-level scorer AND defender.
Strengths: It’s always a bonus when your most talented player is also your energy player, as White sets the tempo for Leonard Hamilton’s gang on the defensive end. This year we’ll see if he can do the same on offense, as the combo forward seems ready to take the scoring load passed down by the departed Michael Snaer. White’s first three seasons have seen him improve his field goal percentage from 44% to 48% to 51% last year as a junior, as he’s really expanded from being a less than comfortable face up player who just wants to play down low, to a well-rounded college four who has the athleticism and work ethic to be an NBA three. White’s wing span makes him difficult to guard both around the basket and further out, and his leaping ability and relatively deft touch help him get a ton of great looks.
Weaknesses: With giants like Kiel Turpin and Boris Bojanovsky in the rotation, it would be of great benefit if White could flourish as more of an attacking wing player than someone who plays in the paint, but his jump shot is probably the shakiest part of his offensive game. Don’t get me wrong, seeing White improve from 11 three’s to 25 three’s made over the last two seasons is a step in the right direction, but I don’t think you could find a coach in the ACC who wouldn’t be thrilled if White parked at the three-point line when their team plays FSU this season. As good as White is at using instinct and athleticism to be an above average rebounder, he’s gotten muscled around a bit over the last couple of years, and could probably be a bit more dependable on the glass all things considered.
I don’t want to call White the wild card for Florida State this season, but most teams go as far as their star player can take them. There’s no question that White will be the ‘Noles star player this year, we just have to wait and see if he’ll be one of the conference’s brightest as well.
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