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Duke men's basketball 2019-20 player preview: Jack White

Jack White enters his senior season with the captain's title but without a national title.
Jack White enters his senior season with the captain's title but without a national title.

Jack White

Year: Senior

Height: 6-foot-7

Position: Forward

Last year’s statline: 4.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 20.4 MPG

Game Breakdown: Jack White’s 2018-19 season was a mixed bag to say the least. What started out as an exceptional year slowly deteriorated until White had seemingly lost all of his confidence along with his playing time. White started that season as Duke’s most reliable shooters with an astounding 41.1 three-point percentage, but unfortunately, that success was short-lived. After a loss to Syracuse in which he shot for 0-for-10, Jack’s magic touch disappeared and he went on a painful and well-publicized 28-shot dry spell from deep. 

The returning team captain has a lot to prove this year, attempting to close out his Duke career on a high note. While the last season certainly had its lows for White, it didn’t come without its highs. He averaged 20.4 minutes per game and became a notable defensive presence when his offense failed him. His ability to guard almost any position is crucial for Duke, as he uses his size and length to lock down players anywhere on the court. As a hustle player, White is constantly moving to grab rebounds and play lockdown defense, averaging 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game last season. When part of his game lets him down, he is able to adapt and contribute without the ball. 

Role on the Team: As a senior and a returning team captain, Jack White has a great deal of responsibility this year. His rocky previous season helped White gain valuable experience and wisdom that will be important for the younger players. Furthermore, the senior will be more motivated than ever to do whatever it takes to get this team to a championship.

He may not see as much playing time as his fellow captain, Tre Jones, but as was the case last year, White will likely play many minutes either off the bench or in the starting lineup. If he doesn’t find consistency in his shooting early on, White will have to work harder off the ball, looking for opportunities to rebound, block, steal and keep plays alive in any way. His leadership, experience and energy will define his contribution this year.

NBA Comparison: One player who stands out as a reflection of White’s game is Milwaukee Buck Ersan Ilyasova. The Turkish forward is an effective role player for the championship-caliber Bucks. Currently in his 11th season, Ilyasova has plenty of experience to contribute to the team, even though he comes off the bench. These two forwards can operate both inside and beyond the arc, which makes them dangerous when they’re shooting well. With a career average of 10.6 points per game, Ilyasova has never ascended to a starter position, but, similar to White, he is still a critical component of whatever team he’s on. Both are above-average role players who, when provided the opportunity, can throw down an electric dunk, igniting their respective arenas.

Projected Stats: 6.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 24.6 MPG

Stay tuned to the Blue Zone for our continuing player previews. Previous players previewed include Michael Savarino, Keenan Worthington, Mike Buckmire, Justin Robinson, Jordan Goldwire, Joey Baker, Cassius Stanley and Alex O'Connell.

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