Promising 6'5 point guard William McDowell-White has verbally committed to Fresno State in what shapes as a surprising choice.
McDowell-White was actively recruited by a number of high-major programs, taking official visits to a number of programs including Texas A&M and Arizona State who were considered the front-runners in securing his commitment. However it seems family has come first, with William joining brother Darryl who had earlier committed to the Bulldogs program as part of the class of 2016.
Fresno State has traditionally not been able to compete for high-major level talent, however they have been a program on the rise. The Bulldogs finished the 2015/16 season in second place in the Mountain West Conference with a 13-5 record (25-9 overall), ending conference play with a 9-game winning streak. They went on to win the conference tournament and qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001, going down to #3 seed Utah in the first round.
McDowell-White's signing is just what the Bulldogs needed, securing a ready-made NBA-sized point guard who has great play-making ability, feel for the game and a blistering turn of speed. He is adept in running the pick and roll, and should be able to make an immediate impact following the graduation of three guards in Marvelle Harris, Cezar Guerrero and Julien Lewis.
The Bulldogs latest recruit is not unfamiliar with the US-style of game, having participated in the 2014 adidas Nations Global event. McDowell-White emerged as a star for the Asia-Pacific squad in that event, averaging 13.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists on an outstanding 72% from the field. He would also participate in the 2016 Basketball Without Borders camp at the NBA All-Star weekend, and most recently at the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit where he scored 5 points with 2 assists in 25 minutes for the World Team.
McDowell-White also boasts international playing experience, having represented Australia at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championships in Greece, an event in which they would place 7th. He would post 7.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.1 steals in 24.2 minutes per game.
Fresno State is not yet able to formally announce the commitment until McDowell-White has signed his National Letter of Intent which is expected to be by the end of this coming weekend.
With Hugh Greenwood (New Mexico) and now Anthony Drmic (Boise State) having graduated over the past 2 years, the Mountain West may well have landed their next Australian male star thanks to Fresno State.