Giving D.J. White his due

  • 01/22/2008 7:29 am in

D.J. WhiteForgive me, D.J. White.

You see, somewhere in between the Eric Gordon phenomenon and the 16-1 start for the Hoosiers, I lost track of the most important ingredient to this season’s success: You.

You didn’t listen to the agents who tried to persuade you to enter the NBA Draft last spring. You looked in the mirror and knew there was more for you to accomplish in Bloomington. So you returned in the best shape of your career and embraced the title of team captain from Coach Sampson.

When it came time for the preseason accolades to be handed out, it was Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert as the two best big men in the land. Two of the best college basketball minds out there, Jay Bilas and Pat Forde, didn’t find you worthy of first team accolades. You didn’t let that bother you. Instead, you decided you’d let your play do the talking. At this point, that noise is nearly deafening.

You said one of your goals when Coach Sampson came to Indiana was to win consistently on the road. How does 4-0 in true road games sound?

You were always a good rebounder, but you were never a great one. That is, until this year. The ability was there, but this season you’re a beast on the boards. Do you realize you’re pulling down 12.8 rebounds per game in Big Ten play?

You needed to become a more complete player to get to the next level. So you stayed in the gym all summer and now you’ve got an automatic 17-footer from anywhere on the court. Not to mention your signature turnaround baby jumper is just plain ridiculous.

And finally, of the utmost importance to you, the Big Ten title. You’ve led your team to a 5-0 start in the league. You’ve never been the top dog in the conference race before, have you D.J.? Feels good, doesn’t it?

So forgive me No. 3. I promise not to overlook you again.

Filed to:

  • widget

    Boom! Spot on. DJ is the heart and soul of this team. His display of grit and determination is paying off at every level. Free throws, rebounds, the turn around J…..Automatic.

    Way to go DJ. You are the reason we are where we are.

  • Mikey M

    No doubt. DJ is the man we will miss most next year.

  • Brett

    Couldn't have put it any better than that Big A. I beleive the accolades will come after a huge week from DJ. No doubt he is having the best season of his career and in my opinion the best big man in the NCAA. If we roll out two wins this week and DJ has some stellar performaces don't be suprised to see his name thrown about on espn as the best big in the country.

    Also I agree with Mikey.. hit the nail on the head.

  • scottdnvll@insightbb.com

    D.J. faces his biggest challenge against the up and coming Connecticut game because of its front line players. I hope IU is victorious in this game because it is will undoubtedly rate D.J. higher than other big man at IU in the past 30 years. It has been a pleasure to watch D.J. play and develop.

    Galena Scott

  • Tom

    Totally agree…everyone keeps talking about losing gordon next year. dj's loss will hurt more than gordons.

  • kelin

    Big A…this is damn good brother

  • CutterInChicago

    DJ White has been the man this year. Not to take away from Gordon or anyone else, but DJ has really turned into something special and someone who is a pleasure to watch. The guy has really developed into a great collegiate player who should be spoken of fondly in the future the way we speak of past great Hoosiers. He's earned it.

  • T

    It's been really fun to watch White from last year to this year. He was a good college basketball player last year, but now he's a great one.

    He'll be challenged when the Hoosiers play teams with a couple of bigs to throw at him, (like Michigan State, Wisconsin and Connecticut) It may be tough for him to stay out of foul trouble and still be aggresive on defense. But I have confidence in him.

  • Timmy

    Makes me sigh thinking about the championship we would have won had he stayed healthy the year Marco was here.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Spot on! I will miss DJ more than EJ. DJ finally has found his groove…and HE is the Big Ten POY, hands down so far.

    Now on to the knee scraping groveling…

    Please come back…Please come back. You know you want to play one more year of college basketball….stick some subliminal messages on a CD and slap them headphones on EJ while he's snoring away during naptime. Get the idea in his head too…

    I want to come back for one more year. It worked for Florida. I want to come back for one more year. It worked for Florida…I want to come back for one more year…

    Oh and DJ…In your conscious waking life…just focus on pasting the rest of the Big Ten on the way to an outright Big Ten Title and run at the National Championship.

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you DJ-You-Big-Goofy-Fella-With-A-Funky-Run-And-Silly-Fist-Pump-But-I-Still-Love-Your-Mad-Game-Baby-Jumper-And-Improved-Free-Throw-Shot-Blocking-And-Rebound-Juggernaut-Of-A-Horse-Beast-Down-Low-Slam-Bam-Jam-Look-Ma-I-Got-A-Jump-Shot-Now-Maybe-I'll-Hit-One-Three-In-My-Career-All-American-Chest-Thumping-Proud-To-Be-A-Hoosier-Team-Player-Out-To-Get-Me-A-Title-Or-Two-With-My-Boys-White.

    Sincerely,

    Smitty

  • jaime gongora

    I can't wait till he faces players like dorsey from memphis and hansbrough from unc. I think the nation will be surprised how good he has become. I still think we have a chance to win a ncaa championship ( it all depends on how well are D is).

  • MLOVE

    I keep Saying it, but at the start of every game there SHOULD be a DJ WHITE chant from the 17k fans in attendance. It should become a tradition the rest of the yr at home. He will get chills and play like even more of a stud. I cant start this chant bc i graduated a couple years back (SUCKS)… BUT, i bet a ton of you still do so DOOO ITTTTT!!!!!!!

  • shpiders

    amen

  • Just wanted to remind everyone to register with Disqus for access to avatars and to customize your profile.

    Just go to http://www.disqus.com and sign up. All they require is a username and email address. If you have any questions or problems getting it to work, just let me know and I can help you walk through it.

  • Darren T

    Amazingly true! Bravo! Without DJ, we would NOT be where we are!

  • HoosierSmitty

    I've enjoyed using it. I can fix any typos I make, and see replies made to my comments. It's pretty useful. Kudos!

  • Let's not forget that he's learned to play TOUGH defense while not getting in foul trouble.

    He's also only 6'8''. DJ has stepped up for sure.

  • MultiSpork

    I get upset when I miss a game not because I miss a chance to watch Gordon, but because I miss what is becoming a truly special season for DJ. Great post.

  • IU_Vegas

    I understand Tyler is good but he is so much more hyped and I don't see much of a difference in his game compared to DJ, except that TH has 5 blocks on the season and shoots a lower percentage from the field. In big conference games DJ has shot great from the field and has expanded his range, while TH does not have the ability to make the 16 footer as consitently and has struggled field goal percentage wise in big conference games. I hope DJ can bang with him in the Tournament and then step out and hit a few in his face.

  • IU_Vegas

    And as for Hibbert he is overhyped. Everything he does is because of his size. I can't imagine what a terror DJ would be with just two more inches, let alone 5.

  • Smitty:

    I think you broke the internet. That was some binary ish right there.

  • I'll second Big A's suggestion again. It's a great way to get more of a community-type feel going on over here, most of which we owe to you guys. Keep it up.

  • T

    Hansbrough gets to the line a ton though. A lot of that though I think is due to his aggresiveness. Still, I think White is the more calm, intelligent player on the court.

    One big man who i don't see mentioned is Kevin love out of UCLA…the kid is a stud who (as weird as it sounds) throws the best outlet passes in basketball. In my opinion he's the best big man in the country, followed by Hansbrough and White.

  • HoosierSmitty

    In other Big Ten action, I'm looking forward to getting a look at Wisconsin's cababilities tonight. They're basically the only Big Ten team I haven't really seen play all season. I think I caught the end of a game once this year, and that was pretty much it.

  • If we could only keep one of the two, I would definitely keep DJ. Keeping Ebanks at the 3 all of next year would be a huge help.

  • PB

    Another reason to love D.J. White: he plays the “air drums” after a big play. I think he might be doing it in that picture above.

  • I think Hansbrough gets to the line so often because he's just stronger than almost everyone he plays against. He can muscle around inside, and for defenders to compensate, they usually have to foul him.

    I do think, though, the Hansbrough is a more polished post player, in terms of pivot fundamentals, blockouts, and the like. But we're seeing Hansbrough's peak right now; he'll never be as good in the context of his competition as he is right now. That might not be the case for D.J., who still has some developing to do.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Oops! Sorry! On my computer at work with IE, it doesn't run as one long line like that, it's constrained to the table's limitations. Looks a little different now that I'm at home and on Firefox.

  • I don't think it's a coincidence that he's playing so well this year now that he's ditched the full t-shirt and gone to the cutoff.

  • I don't think it's a coincidence that he's playing so well this year now that he's ditched the full t-shirt and gone to the cutoff.

  • dabig

    Let's see . . . he's hitting 63% of his fg attempts and 71% of his free throws. I'd think the goal would be to let him touch the ball every half court possession. He's a monster.
    Good article.

  • dabig

    Let's see . . . he's hitting 63% of his fg attempts and 71% of his free throws. I'd think the goal would be to let him touch the ball every half court possession. He's a monster.
    Good article.

  • BigT

    I couldnt understand why DJ wasn't a first team all-american at the beginning of the year when people were saying he was the best big man on the pan-american team…also there is a good one-on-one with him on the bigten network website….one more year pls!?!?!

  • BigT

    I couldnt understand why DJ wasn't a first team all-american at the beginning of the year when people were saying he was the best big man on the pan-american team…also there is a good one-on-one with him on the bigten network website….one more year pls!?!?!

  • TXHoosier

    Amen. This year's version of DJ is my favorite Hoosier since…Michael Lewis? I still can't get over how much he's improved over last year, especially on the glass.

  • TXHoosier

    Amen. This year's version of DJ is my favorite Hoosier since…Michael Lewis? I still can't get over how much he's improved over last year, especially on the glass.

  • Timmacane

    http://www.uniwatchblog.com/2008/01/22/d-is-for

    check out earl the pear calloway in the featured image of the aforlinked article

  • Timmacane

    http://www.uniwatchblog.com/2008/01/22/d-is-for

    check out earl the pear calloway in the featured image of the aforlinked article

  • Timmy

    Post a new Inside the Hall Asks… you dinks!

  • Timmy

    Post a new Inside the Hall Asks… you dinks!

  • IUBACKER

    Cudos Big A, You are right on. I always felt DJ had it in him, it was only a matter of when was he going to crack the ice. Well with 11 straight double doubles, his improved free throw shooting, I'd say he has crushed the ice. Look forward to a Big Ten Championship and what very well be a run for the NCAA. DJ RULES !!!!

  • IUBACKER

    Cudos Big A, You are right on. I always felt DJ had it in him, it was only a matter of when was he going to crack the ice. Well with 11 straight double doubles, his improved free throw shooting, I'd say he has crushed the ice. Look forward to a Big Ten Championship and what very well be a run for the NCAA. DJ RULES !!!!

  • adam

    Everyone seems to forget how awesome DJ was on the Pan American team this past Summer

  • adam

    Everyone seems to forget how awesome DJ was on the Pan American team this past Summer

  • adam

    Everyone seems to forget how awesome DJ was on the Pan American team this past Summer