We last wrote about Okaro White before his sophomore year
, after registering some interest as a freshman starting for Florida State. After a ho-hum sophomore year, White responded with a breakout junior season where he was Florida State's top rebounder and second leading scorer. Furthermore, he posted career high efficiency metrics alongside while both fouling and turning the ball over less than ever before. Now, entering his senior season, White must continue to improve individually while leading a very young and inexperienced Florida State team coming off a down year
. Regardless of how well he achieves either goal, scouts have quite a few questions about the type of player he can be at the next level.
From a physical and athletic perspective, White looks the part of a prototypical NBA small forward at 6'8 with a 204-pound frame and with a 6'11 wingspan. While he must continue to get stronger, he has added 24 pounds to his wiry frame since his senior year in high school and should continue to be able to fill out his impressive frame, especially given the fact that he is a year younger than many in his class, just having turned 21 a few days ago. He is also an excellent athlete for his size, quick laterally and in the open floor, and explosive around the basket, giving him significant room for growth as his skill-level continues to round out.
The issue, however, is that he is very much stuck between positions at the moment, without one defining skill to really hang his hat on. According to Synergy Sports Technology, nearly 60% of his shots come around the basket though only 13% of those attempts are traditional post-ups. White still doesn't show much in the way of post moves, but he finishes 65% of his shots around the basket, looking particularly good finishing off of cuts and out of the pick-and-roll due to his soft hands and quick feet. Thriving off of the ball, as well, White is also good at putting back his teammates misses, catching lobs, and scoring in transition.
He still struggles as a ball-handler, however, lacking the ability to put the ball on the floor for more than a couple of dribbles and, even then, still is only capable of straight line drives to the basket. For these reasons, he rarely is unable to create his own shot effectively, confined more or less to having his teammates create looks for him.
His offensive limitations, then, present a dilemma worth tracking as he heads into his senior season. As he lacks the bulk to do significant damage in the post and the handles to create offense for himself, he is either forced to rely on Florida State's raw facilitators, scrap for points, or spot up around the three-point line. The latter becomes an issue when he finds himself floating around the perimeter, particularly as Florida State's offense begins to stagnate.
White made 31% of his 82 3-pointers last season, shooting more jumpers than he did in the past, but still being very streaky here. His shooting mechanics are solid, but inconsistent, particularly in terms of his jumper's release point and fluidity in his shooting motion. That said, he is capable in space and with his feet set, hitting a respectable amount of shots of these nature last season, but on a very small sample size. Coupled with his 81.5% FT, this suggests that he could still become a solid spot-up shooter in time, something that would significantly improve his prospects of transitioning to the perimeter at the pro level.
Yet, for as raw as he remains on the offensive end of the floor, White still impresses on defense. His length, lateral quickness, and size coupled with his aggressive mentality -- particularly evident in his quick hands and feet, and his ability to run through screens -- allow him to guarding players inside and outside. While he is at his best guarding face-up power forwards, he is capable of guarding small forwards, as well, and can even do damage in the post thanks to his timing and length. He also ranks as one of the better rebounding combo-forwards in our database. Getting stronger is a must, but his prowess and versatility at this level suggests that he should be able to transition quickly to the NBA.
Thus, White presents scouts with more questions than answers at this point. At 6'8 and 204-pounds, he is both undersized and too slight to play in the NBA post, and lacks a small forward's offensive skill set at the moment.
That said, his intriguing physical profile, defensive potential, and youth suggest that he may still continue to improve, and possibly make another leap as a senior. Early season match-ups against Virginia Commonwealth and Florida, as well as a brutal ACC conference schedule should provide him with myriad opportunities to prove that he is not merely another Florida State tweener and that he can contribute on both ends of the floor in an NBA uniform.