Georgia Tech landed another graduate transfer Thursday when Arkansas-Little Rock forward James White committed to play his final season with the Yellow Jackets. White averaged 11.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game as a junior with the Trojans.
He’ll enroll after graduating from UALR this summer and have immediate eligibility. A few more tidbits about the newest Jacket.
1. Tech’s Georgia-heavy roster played a role in his decision to select the Jackets. White played against incoming graduate transfer Adam Smith in middle school and played in the same high school region as forward Marcus Georges-Hunt. He was also on the same AAU team as guard Corey Heyward and forward Nick Jacobs.
“It just felt like a fit,” White said. “The chemistry was there with the players. The situation I want to go into, I want to have the right chemistry.”
Finding players who want to return home has worked well for coach Brian Gregory in the transfer market. Gregory has taken in 10 transfers since his hire in March 2011. Seven of them played their high-school ball in metro Atlanta.
The list, if you were wondering: Pierre Jordan, Stacey Poole, Robert Sampson, Trae Golden, Josh Heath, Charles Mitchell, Nick Jacobs, Demarco Cox, Adam Smith, James White.
2. You may scoff, but a priority for White in his recruitment was to go to the NCAA tournament as a senior. He went with Tech over Georgia, Alabama and Boston College, notable in that a) the Jackets in many ways seem a long way from the tournament; b) Georgia was in it this past season.
“They want to change that (mindset) to winning and change that the environment, and I want to be a part of that,” he said.
3. White sees himself as someone who can play the small forward and power forward spots. White’s 6.6 rebounds led the team. He shot 45.3 percent from the field, taking just one 3-pointer. While Charles Mitchell and Nick Jacobs are post players, White could add some versatility to the front court. From videos, he looks like he’ll improve the team’s athleticism.
“He felt like I was kind of the missing piece,” White said. “I feel the same way. That right there stood out. Coach thinks I can make an immediate impact and at the same time.”
White is No. 33.
4. White handled himself against top competition before a stress fracture in his tibia ended his season. He had 16 points and nine rebounds against Florida, eight points and five rebounds against Oklahoma and six points and seven rebounds against Memphis.
5. White said he wasn’t recruited more heavily coming out of high school because his body was underdeveloped. He said he was 6-foot-8 and 170 pounds. As a reference point, Tech forward Quinton Stephens was listed at 6-9, 184 pounds as a freshman, making him a virtual Michelin Man compared to White.
However, White is now 223 pounds.
“I’m probably a late bloomer,” White said. “I was able to make the best out of it.”