It did not take long for Citadel freshman Brian White to make an impact on Bulldogs basketball.
Two games into his college career, the 6-6 forward from Richmond, Va., is averaging 24 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
“No, I can’t say any of us on the coaching staff or on the team are surprised,” said Citadel coach Chuck Driesell. “Brian has shown that kind of ability since he arrived on campus.”
Citadel fans will get there first real look at the promising freshmen when the 0-2 Bulldogs play their home opener at 8:05 p.m. today against Presbyterian (0-1) at McAlister Field House.
White made his college debut last Friday against VMI, hitting 10 of 18 shots for 21 points with nine rebounds in an 82-71 loss.
“That was not an easy place to play your first college game,” Driesell said. “It’s a tough atmosphere at VMI, but Brian handled it well.”
He was even better the next night against Army, making 9 of 14 shots for 27 points to go with 12 rebounds. For the weekend, he shot 59.4 percent from the field, made all nine of his free throws and turned the ball over just twice.
Asked what he could nitpick in White’s performance, Driesell said, “Just focus, especially on defense. It’s not unheard of for freshman to lose focus sometimes, and we’re working with him to stay intense and focused throughout the possession on defense.”
Despite White’s strong showing, the Bulldogs lost both games at the All-Military Classic. Sophomore Matt Van Scyoc averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds on the trip, but the Bulldogs turned the ball over 36 times in two games and shot just 36.7 percent from the field and 31 percent from 3-point range.
“We did not shoot the ball the way we know we can,” Driesell said. “We defended the 3-point line pretty well in both games, but the turnovers led to too many easy buckets inside.”
With freshman guard Warren Sledge (foot) and sophomore forward C.J. Bray (shoulder) still out, the Bulldogs dressed only nine players on the road trip.
Presbyterian is coming off an 88-57 loss at Georgia Tech on Friday in its opener. Guard Jordan Downing, a 6-5 junior, scored 22 points with six rebounds in that game. Former Citadel player John Reynolds, a 2011 graduate, is in his first year on the PC coaching staff.