The Loyola men’s basketball team features five players from the Baltimore area on its roster this season. A year from now, Maurice White will be the sixth.
White, a 6-foot-3 ½, 200-pound shooting guard, committed to the Greyhounds this week. The St. Frances senior will team up with combo guard Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons), power forward Josh Forney (St. Frances), wing Jarred Jones (John Carroll), power forward Jordan Latham (City) and point guard R.J. Williams (St. Frances) at Loyola starting with the 2013-14 season.
“It actually feels real good to go to college,” said White, who was also recruited by Drexel, Morgan State, NJIT, Robert Morris and UMBC. “I think we can make a bond and do something next year.”
White joined St. Frances’ junior varsity as an unheralded freshman three years ago. Panthers coach Nick Myles said White’s jump shot needed plenty of work, but putting in extra time in the gym was never an issue with the future Greyhound.
“The one thing I can give Maurice is that everything he’s getting right now is earned,” Myles said. “[He wasn’t] a big-hyped guy. [He] wasn’t [a guy] everyone was talking about. He just came in the gym and worked and worked. He worked his way into being that kind of guy. He’s a hard-working, blue-collar guy that will win games for you.”
White won plenty of games for the Panthers when he was elevated to their varsity squad last season. At 17 points and eight rebounds per game, White was one of the biggest surprises in Baltimore Catholic League play last year.
“He’s just a tenacious defender,” Myles said. “He gets to the basket at will. His jump shot is much improved. He’s just a hard-working kid that’s going to go the extra mile to get better. He has a good future ahead of him.”
Loyola began recruiting White more than a year ago, with assistant coach Luke D’Alessio as the point man for the Greyhounds. White said he followed Loyola’s run to the MAAC championship and NCAA tournament with great interest.
“I see myself fitting in with what they want to do,” White said. “I see myself just playing my role and doing what it takes to win.”
White said he didn’t talk a ton with former Panthers Forney and Williams about their Loyola experiences. But Jamel Williams, White’s AAU coach with Baltimore Supreme and the older brother of R.J. Williams, said the connection was a definite plus.
“I think it helped his decision out a lot,” Jamel Williams said. “They used to be teammates. I think that will help him transition from high school to college. I think that helps a lot.”
Myles, meanwhile, said that the Loyola staff’s expectation is for White to eventually take over the role currently held by another former BCL star in Cormier, who averaged 13 points for the Greyhounds as a sophomore.
“Dylon will be a senior next year, so Dylon is going to be an all-league type of guy,” Myles said. “At [the 2], Dylon’s going to be starting next year. [White will] have to get adjusted to the league [and adjusted to college] academically. He’ll play some minutes, but he should be ready to step right in [as a starter as a sophomore]. [He’ll be] learning from Dylon and then replacing Dylon.”
White said he’s happy to stay close to home and continue the Baltimore-to-Loyola pipeline. He’s looking forward to helping the Greyhounds transition to the Patriot League and compete for NCAA tournament berths again.
“I’m planning to play hard, stay till the end and just do what I have to do to win.”