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Royce White: 2012 NBA Draft Scouting Report

April 18, 2012

Royce White

Iowa State
6-8 small / power forward
270 pounds

NBA projections as of April 17, 2012 – 22nd overall – 25th overall Prediction – April 17, 2012

From a pure talent perspective, in my opinion, Royce White is the second most talented player in the draft after Anthony Davis.  I view his talent level to be a less athletic, better passing, lower motor version of Blake Griffin.  Yet, pure talent is not the sole determination of draft status or NBA success.

My prediction is that Royce White is a player that will underachieve relative to my assessment as the second most talented player in the NBA.  However, I still think that when the NBA Draft time becomes closer, he will be drafted higher than the currently projected 22nd and 25th pick.  My personal opinion is that in this very deep 2012 NBA Draft, his career will finish somewhere around the 12th to 18th best player in this draft.

From a career prediction perspective, Royce White will probably be the hardest player to predict in this draft because he can become really good or be really distracted.  His success will largely be determined by who drafts him. If he comes in a very stable organization with an established coach and veteran leadership that teaches and influences him on how to become a professional, Royce becomes the steal of the draft.  If he goes to a chaotic environment such as the Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Bobcats to start his career, then he possibly becomes a bust.

I think the most likely scenario is somewhere in the middle by a team that does not have all the elements but some of those.  His career will be very inconsistent with some impressive years and some so-so years.  I predict a career that would mirror Bonzi Wells type numbers, not Bonzi’s game.  He will average 16 to 18 in his good years and 10 to 12 in the bad years of his prime.  With inconsistent playing time in the beginning and ending part of his career, he will finish around 12 points and 6 rebounds in career averages.

Here is a short summary on why I think of him so highly yet don’t see him fulfilling his ability.  For further explanation on each criteria, read below. See Scouting Criteria page for my definitions and examples.

Aggressiveness – High
Ability to Create Shots – High
Performance Against Top Players and Teams – High
Mental Make-up – Major Concern

Other Criteria:

Outside Shooting Ability – Low

Mental Make-up

I label this section a major concern for Royce White.  With the limited information I have, I believe that Royce White is actually a decent kid and knows he’s made mistakes.  In fact, Royce White appears to be an intelligent person. However, I see two things that will stop Royce from becoming a great player.

Reason No. 1: Anxiety Disorder

It’s something he’s born with.  Like I mentioned, I think he’s a decent kid but when he has episodes of anxiety order comes back, he can’t help himself.  Below are past issues he had.

High School – expelled from De La Salle for academic misconduct.  He cheated on a test and responded with a number of profanities directed at the teacher

University of Minnesota incident no. 1 – Mall incident.  Royce tried to steal about $100 worth of clothing and then shoved security guard several items after being confronted

University of Minnesota incident no. 2 – Laptop incident. He also was charged with misdemeanor trespassing in connection with the theft of a laptop from a Minnesota dorm room.  It was determined that he did not steal the laptop and charges were dropped.  However, he still put himself in a spot to begin with.

Reason no. 2: Basketball is not his passion

As a person, I don’t have a problem that basketball isn’t a priority in his life. I’m actually happy for him.  However, if I was a coach or a general manager, I would not like to hear this.  I think people in general become really good with whatever they do if they are passionate about it.  The passion translates to hard work and the person pretty much thinks about it a lot. They become good because of the practice and the time put in the mental aspect.  I’m not saying Royce is lazy or will not put the work in.  However, it suggest that he will put the minimum amount of work in, which will result to him not fulfilling his full potential as a basketball player.

See USA Today article by Randy Peterson to help you understand who Royce White is as a person.


Royce White scores high in aggressiveness.  See the data below which I will also analyze to explain his aggressiveness.

Against Ranked Teams 12.1 6.2 4.6 2.9 4.2
In Losses 14.6 5.8 5.0 3.6 4.4
In meaningful games 11.7 6.9 4.7 2.8 4.0
Season averages 9.6 6.0 5.0 2.5 3.8

* Meaningful games are defined as game decided by less than 9 points, losses, NCAA tournament games, and games against ranked opponents

I chose field goals, free throws, assists, offensive rebounds and turnovers as the stats that shows assertiveness in the offense.

  • Royce was less aggressive in non-meaningful games presumably because they were winning against teams Iowa State was more superior than. This explains why his season averages in attempts are so low for a player that is the center of the offense.
  • Against ranked opponents, in losses and in meaningful games, Royce significantly exceeded all the aggression stats except for free throw attempts.  The best and aggressive players in theory should be more aggressive in losses as urgency rises when losing.
  • Overall, Royce’s aggression stats in games that he needs to show aggression.
  • Additionally, the increases are not a function of increase in minutes.  In almost all statistics, the percentage increase was significantly greater than the increase in minutes.  This was specially true for field goals attempts.

Ability to create shots

Royce White scores high in this area.  I think Royce’s position in the NBA is power forward.  Even though his ball handling is exceptional, his outside shooting ability is poor.  Even if he improves, I don’t think it will ever be good enough in the NBA.

His ability to create shots through a face up game is high.  His ball handling skills allows him to face up and attack the basket.  His ball-handling skills, speed, and size will it very difficult for power forwards to stop him in the NBA.  He will use this skill similar to how Blake Griffin uses his face up game.  Additionally, his face up game is how he utilizes his passing ability and create open shots for his teammates.

His ability to create shots through a back-to-the basket post up game is not there.  However, this won’t really big that big of an issue for Royce.  He will only have to utilize this against smaller and quicker defenders that will be able to stay with him when he faces up.  When this occurs, he will just use his strength by backing them down.

To stop Royce White, opposing teams will need mobile defenders that have length and some strength.  The most successful player I’ve seen guard him was Kansas’ Jeff Withey who is a really good defender.  Royce had to take him off the dribble and Withey had to use his footwork and length to bother him.  Royce still got his numbers but Withey made him not as efficient.  Fortunately for Royce, there are still not very many players that possess the skill set to stop him in the NBA.  Even if he plays them, he still is good enough that he produces though less efficient.

Performance against ranked opponents and NCAA tournament

Royce White’s number were impressive against ranked opponents and NCAA tournament.  He rose to the occasion.  The table below shows his averages against ranked opponents in comparison to his season averages.  All of his numbers saw a significant increase except for assists.  Additionally, his field goal percentage rose.

Against Ranked Teams 17.4 12.1 4.6 9.9 58.7%
Season averages 13.4 9.6 5.0 9.3 53.4%

The table below is Royce’s game log against each ranked opponent.

Date Opponent Score PPG REB Ast
3-Dec @Michigan L 66-76 22 13 3
11-Jan Missouri L 69-76 16 6 6
14-Jan @Kansas L 73-82 18 17 4
28-Jan Kansas W 72-64 18 9 5
13-Feb @Baylor L 64-79 14 5 4
29-Feb @Missouri L 72-78 20 6 9
3-Mar Baylor W 80-72 11 11 4
15-Mar Connecticut W 77-64 15 13 2
17-Mar @Kentucky L 71-87 23 9 4

From → 2012 NBA Draft

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