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Thursday, October 31, 2013

White’s work ethic evident in, after win

Kansas guard Andrew White defends against a shot from Pittsburg State guard Terrell Eaddy during the first half of an exhibition game on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Andrew White defends against a shot from Pittsburg State guard Terrell Eaddy during the first half of an exhibition game on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Andrew White III was in no hurry to tear off his Kansas University basketball jersey, shower and go out and celebrate after playing a major role in KU’s 97-57 exhibition rout of Pittsburg State on Tuesday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound sophomore from Richmond, Va., instead put himself through an individual workout after his 12-point, four-rebound performance, which included 4-of-7 shooting, 2-of-3 from three.

“He’s in the back doing pushups,” KU senior Tarik Black said incredulously while standing on the court 30 minutes after the game. “He has a pushup routine he does after every practice.

“I asked him, ‘Man, after a game, really?’ He was like, ‘The game was light. It was lighter than practice. I’ve got to get my workout in.’ Andrew White is a machine actually. It’s just crazy,” Black added.

White, who played sparingly his freshman year, averaging 2.2 points and 5.0 minutes a game in 25 games, went to work on his game and his body this past offseason.

He not only obeyed the instructions of coach Bill Self and strength coach Andrea Hudy, but decided to put in voluntary overtime.

All summer long, he was a fixture in KU’s practice gym at the oddest hours — midnight into the wee hours of the morning, even on weekends.

“When did I see him work out at midnight? We’d work out at midnight together (during summer). Andrew would call me,” Black said. “Andrew works out every night.

“His mouth is salivating. He wants it. He wants it more than a lot of guys I know, trust me,” Black added.

White, who played 15 minutes vs. Pitt State, said he began his workout regimen right after KU’s season-ending NCAA Tournament loss to Michigan.

“I committed myself to working on things I’m not good at — ballhandling, getting my body a little better, faster,” White said. “Lateral speed, do whatever I can to help the team. Hustle has helped my game, really just the hustle, making plays on defense.”

Fans and media — who are not allowed to watch practices in both the summer and preseason — assumed White might be a red-shirt candidate this year.

Turns out he’s one of the Jayhawks’ most important players. He was first off the bench on Tuesday.

“He’s worked his butt off. He’s the hardest worker we have,” Self said. “Last year we thought he could shoot it. He struggled in other areas. He’s addressed every area head-first. He has to become a better rebounder, ballhandler; his passing skills need to get better. But he has a better understanding of how we want him to play every possession. He’s bigger, stronger, but he was pretty big and strong last year.”

Self went on ... “Andrew is stealing extra possessions. You watch Andrew. He’ll take rebounds away from our bigs because he’s going after the ball. I like that. Andrew White has been good.”

The soft-spoken White, who says he likes the “calm atmosphere” of the practice gym late at night, said he actually has the same work ethic of a year ago. He just wasn’t ready for prime-time basketball after averaging 22.9 points and 10 rebounds a game his senior year at Miller School in Charlottesville, Va.

“I think I played real hard. I tried hard in practice every day,” White said. “You learn new things. This year I know how to read somebody when they are getting ready to make a handoff, so I can get a steal. I’m faster (in) jumping to the ball in help defense. It wasn’t a matter of a big effort jump. It was that you become more aware of what’s going on the more experience you get. I try to see things a little early, try to be in position and focus a lot more because now I have younger guys looking up to me. I need to try to do my stuff right. That’s a big part of it too, leadership.”

Comments

Doug Cramer 1 year ago

Love it. Nice work Andrew !

Boy do we have some big guards on this team.

Suzi Marshall 1 year ago

All summer long while all of us posters and KUSports writers were unaminous White would redshirt, he was in the gym working like a champ. White is the perfect example of "Speak softly but carry a big stick." You have to love the guy.

Robert Brown 1 year ago

Under Bill Self, it always seems there is 1-2 players each year who unexpectedly make a positive contribution to the team. I think of Travis Releford two years ago, T. Reed, D.Jackson during the championship year. It is really a testament to the coaching staff.

Asad Zoberi 1 year ago

AWIII, Very proud of you and all the work you have put in the offseason. I am looking forward to your game this season. Rock Chalk Mr. White

Craig Kristi Alexander 1 year ago

Wish nothing but the best for guys with this kind of work ethic and dedication. I'm glad most of us were wrong. This is the type of story that you love with a program like KU. Hard work, dedication, paying dues, and then contributing to a great team.

Jonathan Allison 1 year ago

"Fans and media — who are not allowed to watch practices in both the summer and preseason — assumed White might be a red-shirt candidate this year."

Fans on this board were assuming White would be a potential transfer. Especially after the Kelly Oubre commitment. Next year White will be competing with the standout recruit for minutes. Something tells me he's not one to take the easy way out, even if he'd be a star at VCU playing for Shaka Smart.

Erich Hartmann 12 months ago

Good point. I do think White will be a star at KU playing for Bill Self, thus he made a good choice, and clearly has the work ethic to aim at a royalty school & get the playing time. No offense to Shaka/VCU.

Steve Swart 1 year ago

Watched the exhibition game like most of you and although I was impressed with getting Wiggy with it and White and Black but mostly when did we pick up Flash Gordon as a yell leader?... That's sweet! :s)

Jonathan Allison 1 year ago

I didn't see Flash Gordon, but I did notice Thor tossing cheerleaders up and down during timeouts.

Erich Hartmann 12 months ago

Definitely Thor...no need to ask what that guy dressed up as on Halloween...

Jonathan Allison 1 year ago

I get all of the hype for Wiggins, I really do, but as KU fans we should get that it's not all about the one and done freshman. Wiggins will be Wiggins, and we know what we've got in Tharpe and Perry Ellis, but our success this season I really believe is simply a Black and White issue.

Karen Collier 1 year ago

Gary Another great Article, And good candid information.

With that said I would like to comment on a couple post. Let's not talk about another school or next year's opportunities. AWIII Deserves to start and play this year based on his performances in games and practice. " Best Pure Shooting Guard in Kansas". I agree my two favorite players this year are Black, and White. Go JHawks!

Dirk Andrews 12 months ago

Excited to see how this hard work is going to pay off for AWIII and the Jayhawks. Love to read articles like this, love to see the hard work being put in! What a great example for the freshman.

Mark Lindrud 12 months ago

Titles are rarely won with a team of most oad players. Leadership, maturity, hardwork. We need more than Wiggins, Joel and selden for the title. it sounds like we may have it

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