Men's BasketballSports

Paul White makes an immediate impact in his debut



Four minutes into Monday’s game against the Prairie View A&M Panthers, Oregon’s Paul White stepped on the court.

Within a minute, the redshirt junior sunk a three, his first ever basket as a Duck.

“It was a great shot,” Keith Smith said. “Paul is a great shooter and any time a player makes his first shot, that’s a great sign. We encourage him to shoot.”

The Ducks (2-0) beat the Panthers (0-2) 100-67, hitting triple digits for the first time this season. They showed signs of improvement from Friday’s win against Coppin State.

“I thought we were better tonight,” head coach Dana Altman said. “I felt our activity was a little better. We still have got to get our ball movement much better on the offensive end. Defensively, we talked a little better, but we’ve got to make some big steps here. A lot of work to do, but it was a step in the right direction.”

Last season, the 6-foot-9 Georgetown transfer sat out per NCAA transfer rules. On Monday night, White finished with a career-high 16 points, and a career-high four 3-point shots made. White led both the Panthers and the Ducks in threes.

After 22 total minutes of playing time, he left with six rebounds (just one shy of his career-high), two blocks and was named the Jersey Mike’s Player of the Game.

Joining White, redshirt freshman M.J. Cage saw his first action on the court for Oregon. Cage ended with two rebounds and one point as he entered the game halfway through the second half.

“I thought Paul hit a couple buckets and got a couple big rebounds in the first half,” Altman said. “M.J., I just wanted to get him on the floor; get him going a little bit. I thought it was a good start for both of them.”

After sitting out Friday’s season-opener against Coppin State due to a foot injury, White unofficially began his first season playing for the Ducks starting in both of Oregon’s exhibition games. Against Northwest Christian University, the forward recorded nine points and four assists. Playing Idaho, he scored 12 points.

At Georgetown, the Chicago, Illinois, native played in all 33 games as a freshman in the 2014-15 season. He averaged five points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists per game and scored in double figures eight times. White helped the team advance to the NCAA Tournament, and in Georgetown’s opening round against Eastern Washington he scored 10 points.

White played in all but seven games as a sophomore for the Hoyas after receiving abdominal-repair surgery in January.

Graduating from high school, White, a McDonald’s All-American nominee, was ranked No. 34 overall in the 2014 class by ESPN. An honor student at Whitney Young high school, White averaged 22 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals per game, helping to lead his team to the 2014 Illinois IHSA 4A State Championship.

Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter @maggie_vanoni

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