Coby White: Hustle
Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite. Our composite scouting notes help provide context for our grades.
White plays with intensity on both ends of the floor, pushing the ball up the floor quickly to initiate the secondary break and remaining engaged on the defensive end. He has great stamina, going at full speed late in games when other players are tired. His competitive drive is visible on both ends, and he is not afraid to dive after loose balls. When he does make mistakes they tend to happen while he is still playing hard, not from lack of effort. He rotates hard and fast on defense, and offensively is always looking to push the ball up fast in transition.
Whether due to his personal reluctance or North Carolina’s scheme, White does not attack the offensive glass. His effort and anticipation suggest he could make an impact here if called upon, but he lacks the strength or explosion to make this a strength of his game even if given the green light by a future team.
An average defensive rebounder for a guard, White positions himself reasonably well if he believes the ball is coming to his side of the court and goes after the ball once it misses. If he is in traffic or a big is battling with him he does not box out well and generally loses that contest. His lack of explosiveness will likely keep him from being one of the league’s best rebounding guards, but his tools and personality suggest he will always be gathering at least a few boards per game.
White takes full advantage of his speed in transition, frequently pushing the ball off of defensive rebounds and outlet passes. He has a strong handle even at top speed, and if he has a pass-ahead option he will often take it to hit an open teammate ahead of him. He is not afraid to pull up in transition and can hit that shot fairly well; he will also go right to the rim and finish, and few players can keep up with him the entire length of the court. At times he is going too fast and makes a bad pass—a bad decision or bad execution—that blows up the transition opportunity.
While some guy’s motors will rev up on offense and settle down on defense, White is not wired in that way. He is consistently is among the first guys back in transition defense, and does a solid job identifying opposing shooters or pressuring the ball handler. He needs to continue to develop his understanding of transition defense, learning when to stop the ball and when to jump out on a wing shooter. If his awareness and decision-making ever catch up to his effort level this area could be a strength down the road.