UNC freshman Stilman White just wants to be scrappy

acarter@newsobserver.comJanuary 25, 2012 

Three North Carolina-related things to consider on this Wednesday morning:

First …

A few other reporters and I had a chance to spend some time on Tuesday with Stilman White, the UNC freshman guard who’s likely to see an expanded role given that Dexter Strickland has been lost for the season with a knee injury.

I wrote a story about White that you can read right here.

Though he spent about half of his childhood growing up in North Carolina, in Wilmington, White never dreamed he’d play at a school like UNC. The Tar Heels began recruiting him after Larry Drew III abruptly left school about a year ago.

So here White is. He has played only about four minutes per game, and it’s not all that likely he plays a lot more than that. But still, his contributions could be valuable, as he’ll be asked to give starting point guard Kendall Marshall some time to rest here and there.

Said White: “I’ve got to make sure I come in and I stay on edge, and play with some edge and play hard and just kind of be a scrappy kid and just see what happens out there.”

Second …

UNC coach Roy Williams said something interesting on Monday that you might have missed. He said the Tar Heels would experiment with a kind of offense that doesn’t necessarily require a point guard. This offense, Williams said, would be more rooted in a team passing game – which implies the idea of a lot of ball movement.

Of course, Strickland served as the backup point guard to Marshall. And without Strickland, White is really the only other point guard on the roster. And he is young and unproven to this point. So it makes sense that Williams might want to experiment with an offense that doesn’t require a point guard.

As of Tuesday afternoon, though, P.J. Hairston hadn’t yet seen what that offense would look like. He presumed the Tar Heels would practice it later on Tuesday.

“I’m looking forward to it, just to see how it works,” Hairston said.

By the way, Hairston said Strickland has been in good spirits since suffering his injury. Hairston said that in the locker room the other day, Strickland told Reggie Bullock that he’d have to learn how to be a backup point guard now that Bullock is assuming Strickland’s role as the starting shooting guard.

“I think Reggie was standing in the locker room and dribbling a basketball saying, I’ve got to get ready,” Hairston said. “It’s kind of like a joke.”

Third …

Turning our attention to football: It has been about 12 weeks since UNC officials appeared in Indianapolis before the NCAA Committee on Infractions. And still UNC is waiting to find out what penalties it will endure for the academic fraud and impermissible benefits scandals that rocked the Tar Heels football program.

Ohio State waited about 18 weeks to learn its fate from the NCAA. So it’s possible UNC could be waiting a while longer. Tar Heels football coach Larry Fedora was hoping to know the penalties by now, because the unknown has undoubtedly hurt UNC’s recruiting efforts.

With signing day approaching next week, though, it appears less and less likely that UNC will hear anything by then. Stay tuned …

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