Indiana’s landing of DJ, White was huge but actually was not a big surprise. White had a long relationship with Mike Davis and was a good friend of his oldest son, Mike Davis Jr.
White ended up as the No. 15 overall player in the Class of 2004 per the 247Sports Composite index.
Blessed with a terrific frame including broad shoulders, White played bigger than his height and therefore thrived in the post or off a drive in triple threat position. He wasn’t a big 3-pointe thread but capable of hitting a mid-range jumper.
White had an immediate impact, averaging 13.3 points as a true freshman, shooting 57.2 percent from the floor. After the season he was names Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Here is a look at his four-year stats:
White’s second season was cut short by a broken foot and he played in just five games. That was the final season of the Mike Davis era and it led to some speculation at the time of whether the Davis era might have lasted longer if not for the White injury.
Playing for Kelvin Sampson in his third year in Bloomington, White put up similar scoring numbers and did improve his rebounding.
That 2006-07 season was arguably the best for Indiana since the 2001-02 title game run as the Hoosiers when 10-6 in the Big Ten and knocked off Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament before falling to UCLA in the round of 32.
As a senior, White was terrific, averaging a team high 17.4 points and 10.3 rebounds. While that team rose to a high ranking and went 14-4 in the Big Ten, it played under the NCAA investigation cloud and resultant resignation of Sampson, and dropped its final three games of the year.
White could have returned to play the next season under Tom Crean but he left for the NBA and went at the end of the first round to San Antonio. The Spurs traded him to Seattle which became the Oklahoma City Thunder. White played parts of seven seasons in the NBA and made a lot of good money in overseas basketball, playing this past season in the Korean Basketball League.
Peegs’ Take: White was a bright spot in a dark time for Indiana and a guy to be admired. He played through a couple of coaching changes and was always respected by teammates and was really a fan favorite. On the court, he played to his strengths as well as player can. He went to work in the post so well, just a joy to watch. He also responded to the challenge Kelvin Sampson gave him about being more of a man on the court – for instance, he went from averaging 4.9 rebounds as a freshman to 10.3 rebounds as a senior, despite the fact he played a lot of minutes his first year.
No surprise to see that White has had a long and successful professional career.