Royce White from Iowa State declares for the NBA draft

Kaleb Smith@Kaleb SmithCorrespondent IMarch 22, 2012

Recently announced, Royce White has decided to forgo his remaining two years at Iowa State to enter the upcoming NBA draft.

One of the most exciting players to watch has decided now is his time to step up his game and play with the big boys.  After leading the Iowa State Cyclones in five categories and being the most valuable player of the Cyclones, he helped lead the team to the Big Dance behind the savvy coaching of Fred Hoiberg.

Before the season, outside of Minnesota and Iowa, he had fallen under the radar since his stellar high school career.  Being touted one of the best in his high school graduating class of 2009, Royce went forward and signed a letter of intent to play basketball for the University of Minnesota.  Unfortunately after a scandal tainted his reputation, Royce White was granted his release from the school.

Taking time off and focusing on life, the Minnesota native turned the negatives into positives and elected Iowa State over the likes of the Kentucky Wildcats.  The choice definitely proved to be in the favor of White. After red-shirting the 2010-2011 season, this latest season had Royce White written all over the Cyclone’s entertaining and competing run.

He led the Cyclones in five categories of team statistics: 13.1 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game, 5.1 assists per game, 1 block per game, and 1.2 steals per game.  Iowa State surged through the Big 12 earning them a third place finish.  Despite Hoiberg’s crafty coaching, none of this would have happened without the leader that Royce White had become.

Is he NBA ready?

Royce White is a hundred percent ready physically and mentally for the NBA.  Are all of his skills polished to a tee?  No, a full range jumper would be nice to work on and maybe a better free throw percentage, but what he does have is the leadership and body.  White has grown an inch since graduating from high school and bulked up quite a bit weighing near the 270-mark, yet does not appear as such except for being bulky.  With a strong back to the basket game, the 6’8" power forward will be able to bang in the post with the best of them while showcasing his talent defensively.  The witty forward even has the strength to drive past defenders with much improved ball handling skills developed in the past year.  With an all-around talent, a knack at hustling, and a great work ethic, it would be a shame to surpass him in the draft. 

Where to pick Royce White?

The upcoming NBA draft has the potential to be a smash or a dud as everyone awaits to hear the draftees.  One thing for sure is the presence of White in the draft due to his signing of an agent, which will force White to forgo his final two years of eligibility at Iowa State. Fortunately for White and his skill set, he will not have to wait long this June before he hears his name called.  The NBA team who snags him will be obtaining one of the most all-around talents in this draft most likely to bust through and be an NBA impact player. 

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