- Year: Junior
- Height: 6-foot-7
- Position: Forward
- This year's stat line: 4.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 20.4 MPG
- The Blue Zone's projected stat line: 2.3 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 9.4 MPG
Season breakdown: Oh, Jack White.
Forget the exploding shoe or RJ’s free throws. This season’s biggest “What If?” might just be the junior captain from Australia.
He started off this season with a breakout game against Kentucky, grabbing a career-high 11 rebounds while locking up Wildcat guard Tyler Herro in 30 minutes of play. He became the Blue Devils’ leading sharpshooter, making nearly 39 percent of his three pointers as Duke rolled to a 14-1 record. Paired with the emergence of sophomore guard Alex O’Connell and Cam Reddish’s hot shooting, concerns about Duke’s ability to make the deep ball seemed to slip away, and White was well on his way to a dynamic year.
Then, Syracuse happened.
His nightmarish 0-10 shooting from deep in that 95-91 loss never seemed to leave White, who appeared to lose all confidence after that game. He stopped shooting, with just eight three point attempts in the next nine games. And even when he did shoot, he stopped making them, with his well-documented streak of 28 straight missed three-pointers. His three point percentage plummeted along with his playing time, and he finished the year off at 35.9% shooting overall and 27.8% from long range. He fell out of the rotation entirely in the NCAA Tournament, totaling just six total minutes with no points.
Results relative to expectations: While averaging over 20 minutes per game can be seen as nothing but a success for a player not expected to be integral in the regular rotation, his inability to sustain his play was greatly disappointing. For a Duke team that desperately could use some shooting to space the floor come tournament time, White was unable to step up and knock down some shots when needed.
Nevertheless, the Jack White from the first half of the season showed flashes of brilliance that will be important as the Blue Devils prepare for next year. He averaged a career-high in every statistical category: points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals, while nearly quadrupling his minutes played per game. His scrappy defense and high energy play were crucial to Duke’s early season success, and with some extra work put into his shooting in the offseason, he should be an important part of the rotation again next season.
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