This article was originally written by Brett Nierengarten and appeared in The Daily Nebraskan on November 11, 2015. It has been republished with the author’s permission.
On a basketball team that returned just five players and featured ten new faces, Nebraska coach Tim Miles knew the newcomers would be important to his team this season.
In his press conference after the team’s 95-42 exhibition win against Division II opponent Northern State, Miles praised the play of freshman Ed Morrow and Jake Hammond, but the new face he praised the most was Andrew White III.
White, a Kansas transfer, who by most standards underperformed by averaging just 2.3 points in 44 games with the Jayhawks, showed why he was the No. 42 recruit in the country in 2011 on Monday night.
White was one of two Huskers to play more than 20 minutes and anchored the scoring with 18 points.
“He just went out and played, and we have an opportunity for him to be that kind of player that he certainly had hoped to be at Kansas,” Miles said.
He did it while looking about as smooth as possible for someone who hasn’t played in live-action since playing three minutes against West Virginia on Mar. 8, 2014.
White’s six of 10 from the field performance was even more impressive considering the most the junior had ever shot in a college basketball game was eight times against Belmont back in 2012.
White said he thought the win proved how versatile the team could be. He embodied that, scoring in a multitude of ways. He was two of three from the three-point range and went to the line five times, converting four of those free throws.
“Although this was an exhibition, for all of us, it’s never too late to give a good first impression,” White said. “I am just looking forward to the opportunity of playing.”
White said he was revved up for the game and didn’t know it was an exhibition until the day before. He said he just saw the date of the Northern State game and prepared like it was the real thing.
White’s preparation showed. The Virginia native burst out of the gate and scored six of Nebraska’s first 12 points before the first media time out.
White continued, adding one of his two three-pointers before the under-12 media time out in the first half. By the 14-minute mark in the second half, White had all 18 of his points, putting the finishing touches on his night with a fast break slam.
“We were able to get him into a role where I think he can focus on being a good defender and a really good offensive player,” Miles said.
At 6-foot-7-inches, White is not just a matchup nightmare on offense, but his versatility converts to the defensive end as well.
He can guard most positions on the floor, and away from the ball, he can get into passing lanes.
On Monday, he chipped in with a steal and a block and was the only player on either side to have one of each.
White said overall he liked the way the team guarded the ball and noted that Northern State was better than the scoreboard showed.
After a year of sitting out, White knows he has a long way to go.
“Regardless of your opponent, you got to find something to get better at, something to work on and something to look forward to for the next game,” he said to open his postgame press conference.
But last night, when he was on the floor, White was just happy to be on the court again.
“I am just looking forward to the opportunity of playing,” he said.