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UNC Snags Backup PG

UNC received a commitment from Wilmington(NC) Hoggard PG Stillman White on Tuesday for the 2012 season.

“He just did,” Hoggard coach Brett Queen confirmed. “He loved the coaching staff and everything he saw when he visited. He’s excited to be able to play at the highest level and play for Carolina.”

White, who also had offers from BYU and Utah State, accepted a scholarship to play at UNC and plans to enroll for the 2011-12 season, leave for a two-year Morman mission, and then return to UNC for the final three years of his college career.

Roy Williams has stated many times over how much he likes having at least three serviceable PGs on the roster. What is unclear here is how much playing time he intends to give to a freshman player who is, at best, a mid-major prospect. If he does this will allow Roy to sit Dexter Strickland more if needed. I still would think Kendall Marshall ends up at around 30 mpg simply because he is so good running the offense. However, putting a backup PG in place means not having to play Strickland as many minutes at PG or in general. It also helps to have another ballhandler on a team that did not handle the ball particularly well. The flip side to this argument is giving Roy too many players to work with can sometimes be counterproductive. Still, UNC’s depth can be a big factor in games when the uptempo offense is clicking like we all hope it will be next season….assuming everyone comes back.

The other question is whether White would actually return to UNC following his Mormon mission. That appears to be the plan now but the PG situation at UNC stands to be completely different when he comes back. UNC already has Marcus Paige committed for 2013 and no doubt will pursue other options.  It is possible White simply moves on to another school after his Mormon mission. For now this is a stopgap move to augment UNC’s depth at PG which is not a bad thing.

And who knows, maybe White turns out to be one of those diamonds in the rough who turns out to be better than everyone expected.

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32 comments to UNC Snags Backup PG

  • Charles

    Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn’t one year of play, two years of mission, and then three more years of play add up to six years? I thought players had a five year period to play up to four years?

  • You are correct and I am still unclear on whether he would miss one season or two.

  • Heel in Purple

    My understanding is that scholarships are basically 1-year deals which are renewed for 4 years of playing eligibility. Sitting because of injury, PT redshirt or something like this shouldn’t affect us except for the years he’s here.

    I could definitely be wrong though. I don’t think it matters; He’s obviously the next Jimmer (JOKE). I’m also pretty sure he’s gonna get 5 mins a game like Mike Copeland did, unless he proves to be significantly better point guard than Dexter.

  • Maddie Mudster

    Utah State and BYU? Honestly, I don’t know why we would take this kid. Those aren’t even Pac-10 schools…

    As for the mission… there’s an exception because it’s very legitimately through church. He’ll play one year, go on a mission for two years, and then still have four years to play three, once he returns home.

  • brsett

    Agreed that he isn’t a 5 star. But BYU isn’t a mid major program.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    Well, one thing this tournament has taught us that the mid majors are better then we thought they are.

    Now for the most important question: Can he shoot?

  • Heel To The End

    does this mean no JUCO PG, or is that still a possibility?

  • LarryS

    ^I would think this should take care of the PG situation for next year, wouldn’t you HTTE?

    Also, it seems like a big would be the most desirable now, if one of those good player/good situations came along. (EDIT: I forgot about the offer to 6-9 Desmond Hubert, who hasn’t decided yet.)

    For a low-minutes backup player I would be more concerned that White could handle and protect the ball, and get it to the right people in the right places to let them score, especially since we’ll have 3 more scoring options next fall than we had finishing the year. (Of course assuming everyone returns…..if not then everything’s really up for consideration)

    It’s reported he shoots over 50% from the floor and 36% from 3-point, but who knows how this will translate to the college game. His coach also describes him as being a good athlete so maybe he’ll be a pleasant surprise.

    (Whew, my posting/editing determination was being tested there for a while……..the difference between involvement and committment.)

  • Heel To The End

    so in 2016-2017…we’re going to have a mature 25yo PG?

  • I will say this. He is probably a good kid, will be a team first guy and will buy into the system which already makes him a better option coming off the bench than Some Other Kid. Not to mention I bet he plays smarter and is less prone to make stupid passes.

  • joemags52

    worse case scenario he can’t play and sits the bench and strickland is the backup pg again, best case scenario he is a solid back up pg in 3-4 years so this seems like it is worth the risk

  • faustus1500

    Pretty much his job is to protect the ball. One thing to watch out for is that while midmajor players can be solid contributors it may take some time for them to adjust the major conference basketball.

  • joemags52

    if the roster is marshal, strickland, barnes, zeller, henson, mcdonald, bullock, mcadoo, hairston, watts this kid isn’t going to make or break the season so if he can give anything that would be nothing but a plus, pretty lucky for him though that he gets to play at UNC i’m jealous, if that’s the line up he’ll have the best seat in the house for a great season

  • Heel To The End

    are we in a Twitter campaign to beg everyone to stay yet?
    in this day and age, we can appeal directly to them, right?
    with dreams of titles and banners and rabid fandom.

  • joemags52

    Has anyone heard anything as far as their decisions? one thing I read said there won’t be an announcement either way till after the National Championship game

  • Roy will be at the Final Four for the NABC meetings. He will meet with them when he comes back, talk to his contacts in the NBA(Mitch Kupchak, George Karl, etc, etc, etc) and then present them the information. He said he would give his opinion on what he thinks they should do but then it would be up to them to decide.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    I expect that at the very least they will be encouraged to enter the draft process to get direct feedback on what they need to work on, so I wouldn’t be surprised if all 3 announce that they are entering the draft but not hiring an agent. The deadline to make that announcement is April 28th. Then the question becomes, after getting direct feedback, do they take themselves back out of the draft (which I believe they would have to do by May 8th)?

  • Heel in Purple

    As weird as this sounds, Barnes being the only one to leave wouldn’t hurt us as much as if he stayed and Henson leaving. Henson is just a game-changer and if he figured out some offense, he’s a possible all-american type player.

    As for Stilman, I sorta see him as a Mike Copeland type guy next year. He comes in for 5 mins either in mop-up time or for foul trouble. Strickland proved he can be servicable as a backup point guard for 10 mins that Marshall isn’t on the court. And Strickland’s development as a PG is his way to the league.

  • brsett

    You’re insane! Barnes leaving is a much bigger deal than Henson leaving. We won’t win consistently scoring 50 points/game. And Henson cannot score the ball — particularly without Barnes aroud to stretch the D.

    No, Barnes is a huge difference maker — esp. with Sophomore level seasoning. Otoh, Barnes is gone, and Henson will stay, so it is what it will be. I still think we do fine next year. But we have to find some shooting somewhere.

  • Heel in Purple

    We would have 4 wings to fill in for Barnes, with more experience for LMAC, Bullock and Strick. If we lose Henson, we have 2 guys for 2 positions. Zeller and McAdoo. Thats it, unless you think Simmons is gonna turn into some monster.

    Defensively, we take a major hit if Henson leaves. For a team that made a name for themselves most of the season as a defensive team, that matters. Would playing small with Barnes as our starting 4 overcome the lack of defense by putting more scorers out there? I don’t know. It’d be interesting.

    I think we can all agree that if everyone comes back, the team could CHALLENGE the 09 team in terms of talent. Let’s hope they do.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    The combination of a healthy (please) Reggie Bullock and PJ Hairston could replace Barnes’ scoring. However, there is also the clutch factor that Barnes has which can be neither taught nor learned.

    Nobody who we have coming in next year could replace Henson. In addition to his defense and rebounding he is also a great passer for a big man. He also has more mobility then other big man in the college game right now. Simply put, he’s a matchup nightmare for anyone we play.

    Then there’s Zeller… how do you replace a 7 footer who sprints the length of the court and can catch long passes like a Wide Receiver?

    I sure do hope they all come back.

  • Andy In Omaha

    I’m hoping that Henson, Zeller, and Barnes are looking at footage of Ed Davis and Brandan Wright struggling in the league. Then, I hope they see footage of Felton, Lawson, and Hansbrough to see that this is where solid careers come from when you leave at the right time instead of when the money first speaks to you.

  • brsett

    Last I checked it was Barnes that shut down Kyle Singler, and it was John Henson that couldn’t stay on the court against Kentucky. Henson is nice. Very nice. But Barnes is better in every facet of the game save shot blocking. We know what we’re getting out of LMac and Strick. There is hope with Bullock next year. I don’t know why anyone thinks Hairston will be ready to be counted on as a freshman — Henson wasn’t, Bullock wasn’t, etc, etc. Only Barnes has had great freshman run in the last few years.

    This isn’t the NBA. We don’t *need* 7 footers. They’re a luxury. But we *must* have someone to make 3s. And right now, Barnes is the only one who can get his shot off against good teams.

  • chapelhillfan

    Barnes is easier to replace than Henson. Henson’s skill-set does not come around very often.

    White is a nice pick-up. He’s not going to be expected to contribute more than 5-8 minutes next year, if that, but having him for only one year before the mission removes a potential chemistry issue of having KM, Paige, and a Juco PG in 2012-13, especially with most of these Juco PG’s expecting major minutes. White can then come back after KM is gone and be a NC kid who will be stronger and bigger and who might be able to contribute and, if not, probably won’t mind being the 11th or 12th man for his dream school. This and the Simmons preferred walk-on deal are very smart moves by Roy. Always need two or three kids like them, at least.

  • brsett

    I think I understand what you guys are saying now: you’re saying that Henson’s physical tools are harder to replace.

    I get confused because you keep saying skills (when you really mean physical attributes), and that point does not compute. I suppose it would be hard to replace the physical tools of Manute Bol as well, but in terms of skills, replacing mediocre ball handlers and bad shooters ain’t that tough.

    I really like Henson. He seems like a great guy. He isn’t very skilled yet. Players with less physical tools than him were better than him at every facet of the game (e.g. Ho Grant, E. Okafor).

    Barnes on the other hand is highly skilled, and will be tough to replace. But finding an un-skilled 6-8 wingman isn’t that difficult — so easy to find a guy that looks or jumps like him. It will be easy for BYU to replace Freddette’s body type. But under no circumstances will they replace his skills.

  • Heel in Purple

    ^^Singler isn’t good. Put length on him and he was done, just like any Dook player for that matter. You can’t argue that we would be fine defensively without Henson. CM could probably back me up with stats here.

    I can’t argue about Barnes’ clutchness, but if we’re stopping people defensively and replacing Barnes’ scoring with a more consistent Marshall, Bullock and McDonald, as well as a pure scorer in Hairston and improving Strickland, you might not need to be as clutch.

  • CarMichael

    Barnes was the only player on the team who could get his own shot. This was critical in several games where defenses were taking away the inside game and also in endgame situations. But if we can come up with some consistent 3-point shooting next year, we could still have an offense without him.

    I feel pretty hopeful that he will return, though.

  • chapelhillfan

    It is an interesting question but here’s hoping we don’t have to worry about it.

  • lviveiros

    I think it is a good pick up. It is a win win situation. Basically a imsurance policy.

  • 40yrheel

    obviously we need all the guys back, but you’re trying to choose between henson and barnes?
    henson still has flashes of not being able to avoid tripping over his own feet, while barnes has flashes of taking over a game.

  • skyblue

    As a Wilmingtonian who has watched Stillman White play, I can tell you Roy is getting a quality player, smart, disciplined, the product of a very well-coached basketball program. No superstar, but a solid, Bobby Fraser-type worker. You need players like that, and IMO, it’s something UNC has been lacking. No disrespect to Blue Steel, but…we need a more talented bench. And in this day and age, the superstar ego cases don’t want to play backup or get recruited over, or they get mad and quit. So you can’t have all superstars, you need strong role players who are willing to be part of a team and are happy to do anything asked of them. I think Stillman White has the talent to play that role and will do just fine.

  • Asheville Heel

    While you never know how a mid-major prospect will develop at the major level I think Simmons is a great walk-on pick-up by Roy. He has some skills in the open floor and is a mobile 6’8″. I have heard that his growth plate potential is another 2″. Anyway you slice it he is not a Blue Steel guy and he is playing at his dream school. He very much reminds me of Christian Moody who Roy invited to Kansas and ended-up playing two years as a starter; the last year for Bill Self.