Coby White: On-Ball Offense

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.


 

Ball-handling

White’s handle is a bit too high, resulting in a loose dribble that can be disrupted or stolen by quick-handed defenders. A key result of this are live ball turnovers which lead to high-quality transition plays for the opponent. Even so, he has a solid dribble overall and does not seem distressed by pressure, although elite point-of-attack defenders have given him trouble. His first step is excellent and he is impressive in his changes of speed and direction. His hesitation moves can lull defenders to sleep before he accelerates and blows them away. He is not extremely comfortable with his left hand and continues to attack to the right side of the floor with the ball in his right hand. In the open court he can blow by almost anyone; anytime he can build up speed he is deadly. In tight, crowded half-court situations his maneuverability is in question.


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Passing

White entered high school as more of a spot-up shooter and scorer, and it shows up in this area. His passing vision and skill is underwhelming and limits him as a playmaker. While he is a generally accurate passer when the read is simple, he turns the ball over frequently when under pressure or making a more difficult pass. His ability to attack the defense will open up passing lanes to a teammate and he loves to hit the big in the dunker spot. His vision is not there on more advanced reads, and when he speeds up he often gets a type of tunnel vision where he misses all but the most obvious passes. He struggles to pass guys open or create great looks for anyone on the perimeter. In transition he is at his best finding open teammates, which suggests untapped potential in this category as he becomes more comfortable in a lead guard role in the half court. For now he has poor awareness and anticipation but has a good execution of what he does see.


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Shooting off the dribble

This is an area where the results are not completely in line with how White projects. His shooting statistics are quite poor (0.63 PPP on dribble jumpers per Synergy) over the course of the season, but his mechanics are solid in contrast. He can pull up from all three levels, with good feet and shoulders that allow him to pop quickly and smoothly into the shooting motion. He does a great job using his body to create space to get his shot off, and he has consistently good distance control. Because of the speed at which he operates he often fails to control his momentum, hurting his side-to-side accuracy. He shoots effortlessly from any range including beyond the NBA line with the exact same motion.


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Finishing off the dribble

White has a number of tools that lend themselves to finishing off the dribble, but in practice this is an area where he struggles. His speed and change of direction ability help him to get into the paint and to the rim, and if he beats his man there or attacks a standing big he can finish well. He has excellent body control and touch to finish well despite significant momentum, and in transition is an elite finisher. When challenged he is much more inconsistent, getting blocked a high percentage of the time or turning the ball over trying to pass at the last moment to a teammate through traffic. His lack of length hurts him as a finisher and he will need to add strength to finish through contact. His craft can use some polish but helps buoy his projection for the next level.


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Finishing in the post

White does not and likely will not post up in his career. He creates a ton of separation on his turnaround jumpers on the move, so he might be able to become more comfortable in standstill situations. Learning some post footwork could potentially help him gain better separation on wing actions; however any post skill developed would be applied indirectly. His frame isn't strong enough to post up right now, and even filling out his frame will not change this projection much.