Syracuse sweated out the long Andrew White III sweepstakes and emerged victorious this afternoon. The Nebraska transfer is immediately eligible to play this season, which gives an already talented Orange team a huge boost. White’s path to SU is a strange one. He originally committed to Kansas as a four star recruit, but never saw the floor due to the talent above him on the depth chart that featured NBA talent such as Andrew Wiggins and Ben McLemore. After two seasons with the Jayhawks, White transferred to Nebraska where he lived up to his top 50 recruit ranking.
Last season, White averaged 16.6 points per game with the Cornhuskers, good for sixth in the Big Ten. That figure would have placed him second on Syracuse and sets him up to lead the team in that department this season. With the departure of SU’s top three scorers, White is a huge sigh of relief for Orange fans. Not only does the fifth year senior provide much needed scoring, but White’s ability to shoot from deep is another aspect of his game that Syracuse is in dire need of. Tyler Lydon is the only returning member that has attempted more than 20 career triples. Last year, White connected 41% of the time from deep while attempting the fourth most threes in the conference. It’s possible that the Virginia native’s offensive ability is the reason SU remained in the running for White while other top tier programs such as Louisville, Michigan State and Miami dropped out earlier in the race.
The bottom line for White is that he could be the piece that brings the Orange back to the Final Four in 2017. He brings a veteran presence and has played on AP Top 10 teams. White also has a little bit of all the aspects that SU lost in the offseason with his experience, long frame and scoring ability. Don’t be surprised if the newest member of the Orange is the team’s best player. If Syracuse gets on a roll early, it could find itself in the top 10 and will likely be as a result of White’s performance.