Iowa CITY, Iowa - Nobody on the Iowa team exceeded expectations the way that Aaron White did last season. The Ohio product arrived on campus as an under-the-radar recruit.
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound White chose the Hawkeyes ahead of Duquesne. He wasn't close to the most-most heralded recruit from his Strongsville high school. That was highly-regarded tight end and good friend, Ray Hamilton.
The unassuming White promptly scored the fifth most points ever by Hawkeye freshman and the fourth most rebounds. He scored 19 in his debut, the most by a first-year Iowa player since Dick Ives tallied that many in 1943.
"I'm a lot more confident this year; know what to expect," White said. "Expectations are obviously different than they were last year. Last year, I as one of the guys (at media day) that nobody came up and asked a lot of questions to.
"It's a good feeling but you also know that you have a lot expected of you and you have to bring it every game. The defensive game plans are going to be different from the other teams. I'm looking forward to it. "
White said he's prepared for his increased role by expanding his game.
"I talked to Matt (Gatens) at the end of the year about that," White said. "He said to work on a couple of things that they don't think that you have. Last year, I either shot a spot-up three or I got a dunk from Bruce or Dev going through the lane.
"This year I'm trying to incorporate a mid-range game that I didn't have last year; shooting off of the dribble; more touch shots in the lane, floaters, stuff like that. I don;t think people saw me do that last year. I kind of could do it, but I wasn't as confident."
Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery is one of the people expecting more from White.
"Aaron White's role will be a little bit different in that he's going to play some three," McCaffery said. "He likes that, but he was a difficult cover for most fours, no matter who we were to play against.
"He needs to finish a little bit better, because he can get to the rim any time he wants and his stamina has to improve. He struggled last year with that, with just being a freshman.
"I'd like to see him step up offensively and take those 11 points to 15 or 16, which I think he's capable of doing."
White said the biggest difference for him between the two forward positions is guarding quicker guys at the three.
"You have to stay in front of them," he said. "You can't just let them go by you, but you also have to contest (the outside shot).
"Offensively, I still crash the glass. I feel like my shot is a lot better than it was last year at this point. I've really been working on it."