It took a while, but sooner or later it was impossible to ignore the production of North Carolina freshman guard Coby White. At one point this year, White was averaging north of 20 points per game for the Tar Heels. That certainly got the attention of NBA scouts, as White's draft stock started to soar. When you watch Coby White play one word comes to mind...speed. White has the ability to be an ideal fit at the next level with his ability to push the ball and create in transition. Often times throughout the year, White would even catch the cameraman by surprise, pushing the ball immediately up the court after made baskets, and making roadrunner like decisions that had the defense spinning. His outside shooting will be knocked as a work in progress statistically, but White has the ability to hurt defenses from deep whenever he has the ball.
The positive that we can take from Coby White's measurements is his overall size. Not often do you find a primary ball handler with his speed that stands at 6'5. The one knock on White is his wingspan, which has been previously reported at around 6'4-6'5. Usually, you'd like to see a ball handler that has an increase of several inches when comparing height and wingspan.
BY THE NUMBERS
As stated previously, we can take the three-point percentage with a grain of salt. White was relied on to score a lot for this Tar Heels team, especially with the slower than expected development of Nassir Little. Coby isn't going to be your typical distributing point guard. Some might even say that his vision is "lacking" although I came away impressed by his ability to make reads on the offensive side of the ball. White is every part of a scoring guard, and teams will focus on whether or not they believe that he can make an impact without scoring. So with all of that said, let's dive into some film and look at what makes Coby White so intriguing come draft day.
VS MIAMI (FL) 2.9.19
Like we've said before, it's hard to focus too negatively on White's 35.3% from three when you see a clip like this one. Great sequence here between North Carolina's Luke Maye and Coby White. I love the confidence that White has in his deep ball as well as his quick release. Great showing of NBA range here.
Numerous times when I was watching Coby's film, I came away impressed with his footwork. He does a great job of getting his feet set and going up with balance before each shot. It's an impressive feat for someone with such blazing speed, especially with his ability to stop on a dime. Here's a good example of White reading the defense quickly and hitting a smooth pull-up jumper.
GETTING IN THE LANE
Yes. Love this from Coby here as he does a great job of using his 6'5 frame to get downhill and to the basket through traffic. The set-up here is what makes this play. Very nice hesitation and acceleration to blow past the first defender and set up a tough and-1 opportunity.
STOPPING ON A DIME
Like I hinted before, if you have blazing speed, the next step is being able to use it in a variety of ways. Here we get a good look at Coby's ability to stop at an instance and have a quick gather for a deep ball. Offensive weapon.
What I like about watching all potential NBA Draft prospects, is seeing how they can perform when their team needs them the most. Coby was carrying North Carolina in this one, and this bucket came right after a huge make from Miami. Down 4 with 46.9 seconds remaining, the Tar Heels needed a play in the biggest way. Insert Coby White with a MASSIVE play.
VS VIRGINIA TECH 1.21.19
ATTACKING THE RIM
This is just a flat out ridiculous play on so many levels. Great job of Coby, first of all, to set up the initial defender with a cross, then he goes to work. You might notice the slight hesitation after he gets around the initial defender, which causes the secondary defender to "freeze." Then Coby sees daylight. Really impressive alteration on his shot in the air for the up and under.
Again, love seeing Coby's ability and IQ to know when he has the advantage over a smaller defender. This is simply just a tough downhill drive by Coby who gathers himself and finishes for an And-1 opportunity.
FREE THROW FORM
With all NBA Draft prospects, I like to get a visual look at their form from the line. Coby White shot 80% from the line in his only year at North Carolina, and we can see from here that there's nothing complex in his form. Smooth, simple, looks like he will be a high FT% for years to come.
VS TEXAS 11.22.18
SHOOTING ON THE MOVE
Saving the best film for last of course. I was blown away by multiple plays from White in this game. With all of these FILM ROOM studies, I like to mix up the play of these prospects throughout the year. This match-up against Texas was from the beginning of North Carolina's season. Here we get a good look at Coby on the move as he receives a cross-screen. Notice his feet when he catches this pass. He's balanced and ready to go up immediately. Wet.
PICK AND ROLL WORK
Just a beautiful one-two here to set up the defender. I came away with the feeling that White can turn into a valuable weapon in the P&R game. But this just shows you the raw potential that White possesses in one on one situations, as he does a great job of reading when his defenders are off balanced.
TRANSITION AND READ
One of White's strengths is his ability in the transition game, something that NBA teams will desire come Draft Day. This is one of my favorite clips from this game. White was starting to heat up and you can tell by his aggressiveness here. One of White's knocks is that he sometimes gets a little out of control, which is to be expected by a freshman guard with wheels like Coby. Good footwork on the step back.
OFF THE DRIBBLE
Here we get another initial look at Coby in the P&R game and it ends up with a pull-up jumper. Smooth and I like the hesitation to set up the big man who follows White defensively. Nice little late screen too by the North Carolina big.
Just a beautiful example of White's ability to shift gears and a great demonstration of body control. White does a great job of navigating through traffic and setting up the help defender with a great hop step. Very smooth.
You can make the case that no freshman helped their draft stock more than Coby White this year. As with most prospects in this class, the draft process is going to be huge for him, especially private workouts. Coby has shown enough on film that I believe he's positioned himself for the late to middle lottery and it wouldn't surprise me if he sneaks up into the top 10. With how the NBA is transitioning these days, a score first lightning quick ball-handler that can excel in transition is exactly what teams will desire. His length will worry some, especially if they are concerned about his ability on the defensive side of the ball. But at 6'5 with that scoring potential, I believe some team will have their eyes set on the Freshman guard.