ARIZONA STATE BASKETBALL

ASU’s Hurley: Forward Romello White will have ‘breakout’ year

Sep 19, 2017, 9:11 PM | Updated: Sep 20, 2017, 11:34 am
(Sun Devil Athletics/Twitter)...
(Sun Devil Athletics/Twitter)
(Sun Devil Athletics/Twitter)

Topping Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley’s list of things to be fixed heading into 2017-18: Frontcourt production.

Of the items Hurley can feel confident about: His depth, experience and skill in the backcourt.

So in a podcast with Scout.com’s Evan Daniels, it surprised that Hurley repeatedly came back to his expectations for Romello White, who spent his freshman year sitting out due to academic reasons.

“We’ve improved our size and our ability to rebound and defend: Those were our two main issues last year,” Hurley told Daniels. “(White) had a whole year of practice under the belt and he’s been outstanding in our workouts. I think he’s gonna have a breakout year for us in the frontcourt. He’ll bring a dimension to our team that we really didn’t have.”

Listed at 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, White missed last year after failing to academically qualify, but he came into ASU with some clout. He was the 82nd overall prospect in the 2016 recruiting class out of Marietta, Ga.

The extent of how he’ll help ASU remains to be seen, but there are some known commodities Hurley is leaning on.

Arizona State returns senior guards Tra Holder, Shannon Evans and Kodi Justice, who played for a thin, small starting lineup last season.

Beyond that, the Sun Devils expect to have more depth. Freshman swingman Kimani Lawrence and freshman guard Remy Martin could play immediately, according to Hurley.

While White is not the only newcomer expected to provide production inside — redshirt freshman Vitaliy Shibel is coming off an ACL injury and JC transfer De’Quon Lake could vie for playing time — he could eat up many of the minutes at power forward or center considering the Sun Devils graduated undersized center Obinna Oleka, the only big man to earn regular minutes in 2016-17.

Asked by Daniels if any returning player could break out, Hurley listed his three senior guards before circling back to White.

“Romello White is a guy that’s been pretty dominant in our workouts,” Hurley added. “A lot of times, the team that he’s on has had a lot of success and that’s a great sign. Just think he’s got a chance to have a major impact on what we’re going to do this year.”

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