I normally dislike cliches, but sometimes they’re just too fitting to pass on using. Like, right now, the only thing I can think of is “just what the doctor ordered.” In this case, Syracuse was suffering from a severe lack of perimeter depth, particularly at the shooting guard and small forward spots. And the prescription, it turns out, was Nebraska graduate transfer Andrew White.
The news was first reported by Josh Matthews of RVAGameBreak.com:
— Josh Mathews (@RVAGameBreak) August 28, 2016
With Malachi Richardson gone to the Sacramento Kings, and with only Frank Howard, John Gillon, and Tyus Battle on the roster as it previously stood, depth on the wing was going to be an issue heading into next season. But that problem? Solved with White. Taurean Thompson committed this summer, so the Orange are now at 10 scholarship players headed into next season, with strong depth at each position. Who could have guessed this would be the case at the start of the summer?
White will join the Orange after spending two years (and one season) at Nebraska. He started his career at Kansas, where he played sparingly for two seasons. However, the 6-foot-7, 220 pound swingman – who can play either shooting guard or small forward – blew up in his first and only year with the Huskers, averaging 16.6 points and 5.9 rebounds last year and hitting 41.2% from long range. In essence, he’s exactly the type of player Syracuse needed upon losing Richardson to the NBA. White was also an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection last year.
Now, Gillon and Howard can focus solely on point guard duties, while White and Battle can share the shooting guard duties – though I’d expect to see a good amount of White and Battle on the floor together, alongside Tyler Lydon. After all, White is much more natural at small forward than he is at guard. What’s that going to mean for the rotation? Well, it kind of complicates things a little. Tyus Battle didn’t come to Syracuse to come off the bench. Andrew White isn’t transferring in to come off the bench.
Not too long ago, I dove into how Andrew White could impact the lineup. In particular, how it impacts (or at least, could potentially impact) Tyler Lydon. I won’t rehash that here, but feel free to check out my thoughts on that as well.
This is a huge pickup for the Orange. What Syracuse needed for next year’s roster was wing depth and perimeter scoring, and Andrew White ticks off both of those boxes immediately. A native of Richmond, Virginia, White was courted by Red Autry – who has established some strong recruiting ties in that state from his time at Virginia Tech. Big score for Red, big score for Jim Boeheim, and a big score for Syracuse basketball in general in landing a guy who could potentially help Syracuse challenge for the ACC crown and another trip to the Final Four.