I’m trying to make the #CobyContent a thing, so get on that, Bleacher Nation Bulls followers.
Anyway, we will have plenty of Coby White stuff to dissect over the next several weeks, but I think it’s important we first take a closer look at his offensive game. After all, that’s what he’s known for. Later on, we’ll break down his defensive potential as well, but let’s start with the fun stuff!
- The Athletics Stephen Noh decided to sit back, relax and watch a bunch of Coby White. Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend! I highly recommend going to read through what he has to say, I’m about to go through and point out a couple of key takeaways that I have in common with Noh, but the entire piece is a great general overview on White’s skillset.
I spent the weekend binge-watching Coby White's UNC games. My observations on what to expect from him: https://t.co/tpBczgUtKh
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) June 24, 2019
- When you talk about Coby White, you have to first talk about his quickness. The guy has an unmatched level of speed which makes him the deadliest player in transition out of this draft class. I mean, there’s a reason that 30.7 percent of all White’s offense came in transition, per The Basketball Writers. White working in transition alongside LaVine, Markkanen and Carter Jr. should make for a very well-rounded attack. When in transition, we could be seeing White drive full force toward the hoop with several options around him: lob or dump off to Carter Jr., hit Lauri Markkanen in the corner or pass back to LaVine/Otto Porter Jr. on the outside to start a new offensive set. Not to mention, with LaVine’s improved three-point shot, we could see him knock down plenty of open looks from the wing.
- White just has to learn that hitting one of his teammates should, more often than not, become his first choice. I have to assume White will have issues driving into the basket on NBA-length, which might make him try to stop on a dime and put up a mid-range, pull-up jump shot. White can certainly get into a rhythm, but, as Noh points out (per Synergy), he actually only fell within the 27th percentile in pull-up attempts.
- Speaking of that rhythm, just watch how electric White is at the end of this UNC-Miami game last season. He scored a total of 33 points to lead the team to an OT victory. Specifically, his three-point shooting ability is on full display here, and you can see how easily he should be able to adjust to the NBA three-point line. A lot of what he’s doing in this game can’t be taught… I mean look at his shot at the 1:28 mark.
- The element of White’s game that isn’t reliant on transition is clearly his sharpshooting. With LaVine in line to be the obvious offensive threat, White should find himself in plenty of catch-and-shoot situations. Although, even if he doesn’t have the appropriate spacing, he comes equipped with a pretty solid step-back move. At times, he can rely on this a bit too often, but with the force he can bring into a defender, the step-back normally gives him a significant amount of room to get a shot off. Nevertheless, the Bulls were 19th in three-point field goal percentage last season and last in the league in three-pointers made, so White’s natural shooting ability should be an immediate improvement to the Bulls roster.
Coby White finished at a very strong rate around the rim for a point guard and shot the NCAA three at a high level last season. pic.twitter.com/6knlwYDSqn
— Synergy Basketball (@SynergySST) June 21, 2019
- NOTE: For what it’s worth, NBA.com reports that White took 73 three-point shots at an NBA distance last season, sinking an impressive 42.5% in the process
- Nearly every scouting report on White will focus on his speed as his biggest strength; however, Jim Boylen and the coaching staff will need to make sure that it doesn’t become his greatest weakness. Allowing White to be himself on the court is important, but also not allowing him to run full force into trouble is key. White can have a tendency to lose the ball while working fast, after all, he averaged 2.7 turnovers a game last season. Although, I actually think this can be dealt with pretty easily with some NBA coaching. I worry about White’s turnovers coming more-so while attempting to drive in through traffic in the half-court. I could see White either getting the ball poked away due to his lack of elite ball-handling or getting the ball swatted away while trying to finish in traffic.
- The Bulls are looking for a facilitator, and while White certainly appears to be more of a score-first point guard, I think he has that “eager to learn” mindset to step into this role pretty quickly. Stephen Noh tweeted out a video of his favorite pass from White, which demonstrates well his awareness.
One of the best passes I saw Coby White throw, probably won't see it on his highlight reels because his big man didn't convert the layup. He was a much more exciting passer in transition than in UNC's halfcourt offense. pic.twitter.com/mPfKoCoJxk
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) June 23, 2019
- I give White a little more credit than others when it comes to his passing chops. Obviously, he can pass the ball well in transition due to the space he creates with his speed, but I think he has solid all-around court vision. He has proven to be able to dump the ball off well to big men, which could be really fun with Carter Jr. Could you imagine White to Carter Jr. alley-oops!? My goodness. White naturally draws defenders off other players, so as long as he can fine-tune his decision-making, I think he can facilitate the ball well.
- If you’re looking for more on White I recommend checking out what The Stepien has done. A lot of what we discussed here is touched on in their scouting report, but there is a BUNCH more as well.