HAMPTON, Va. – Coby White is well aware that the whole “man on a mission” spiel headed into the first session of his final season on the Nike EYBL is cliché to say the least.
“A lot of guys say that in the beginning,” White said. “I know that. But, still, I know what I’ve got to do. I’m just ready.”
His unrest was inevitable.
Despite a dominant junior season in which he averaged 31 points, seven rebounds and six assists in route to claiming Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year honors, White took a dip in the most recent ESPN 60 rankings, dropping from a five-star prospect to a four-star.
Still, while most players dwell on the “why,” White said he’s focused on the response.
White’s message was received loud and clear Saturday night, scoring 19 points, including a game-winning buzzer beater three-pointer, to lead Team CP3 (N.C.) past Team United (N.C..) 49-47 at the Boo Williams Sportsplex.
“It is what it is with the rankings,” said White, a point guard at Greenfield (Wilson, N.C.) who is committed to North Carolina. “That’s not something I can change. What I can do is go as hard as possible every time I step on the court and get my team wins. I’m trying to dominate.”
To prepare for his hostile EYBL takeover this season, White has been engaging in three-a-days four days a week since his high school season ended in late February. He’s also added seven pounds of muscle and improved his decision-making ability.
“Everything for me now isn’t 100 miles per hour,” White said. “I still love to run, but I’ve learned to control the tempo and pick my spots. I work hard; I get home at about 8:30 p.m. everyday. No one is gonna outwork me. No one.”
White’s just as confident in his standing among the country’s most elite players. He won’t haggle over top dog status, but he’s adamant that he belongs in the 10-15 range.
Currently, White checks in at No. 33.
“I think my game backs up being top 15 or top 10,” White said. “By the time the summer is over, as long as I come in and play the way I’m supposed to that will take care of itself.
“I definitely feel like I have an advantage since I’m already committed. I don’t have to worry about talking to coaches constantly or worry about impressing them at my games. I can just play. I’m gonna control what I can control.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY