Royce White’s posted better lines in the box score this season. Just three points and four rebounds? That’s ho-hum at best.
Until you consider that he also dished seven assists during a 77-70 win against Oklahoma. Then you notice that the 6-8, 250-pound power forward took just one shot (made it) and was content to facilitate for the Cyclones because the Sooners wanted to shut him down.
Hat works on most players. Not White. He leads Iowa State (17-6) in scoring, rebounding and assists, a testament to his all-around game and team-first approach. He can carry the Cyclones or make things easier on everyone else.
“Arguably your best player is your most unselfish player,” said Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, via the Cedar Rapids Gazette. “I played with a couple guys like that in the NBA. It’s a great thing to have. Sometimes you have selfish superstars, sometimes those aren’t the best teams.”
Oklahoma State plays host to White and the Cyclones Tuesday night. The Cowboys are well aware of White’s abilities, too. Last time the teams played, he scored 17 points and had six assists and five rebounds. He also only missed three shots.
Guessing Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford didn’t get much sleep last night.
“There’s not just one way to guard him,” Ford said, via the Des Moines Register. “It’s a tough task for anybody.”
“We had two or three different guys trying to guard him. We doubled him at times, and at times we didn’t. There’s not just one thing you can do to stop him. He can hurt you in so many ways.”
Only bad thing for White? He plays in the same league as Thomas Robinson and Marcus Denmon. Most years he’d be the front-runner for player of the year. Even if he keeps Iowa State in the Big 12 race, topping those two is a tall order.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.