William McDowell-White, one of Australia’s most promising youngsters, will not play college basketball this season due to academic reasons. McDowell-White had committed to the Fresno State Bulldogs. In more Australian college news, freshman Tom Wilson will transfer from SMU, following the footsteps of fellow Aussie, Harry Froling.
McDowell-White, the four-star Aussie prospect, had been playing at the Elite Educational Institute in Anaheim, California, while trying to get clearance to play with the Bulldogs. The 6’5” guard is now expected to explore his professional basketball options, with a return home to the NBL possible, according to Olgun Uluc of FOX Sports Australia.
@wince84 I know of two NBL teams who are interested in him. I think he ends up going with that route next season, then declare for the draft
— Olgun Uluc (@OlgunUluc) December 22, 2016
“He didn’t get what he needed to get from an academic standpoint,” Fresno State coach, Rodney Terry said about McDowell-White, after the Bulldogs’ recent 75-63 loss to Oregon, via Robert Kuwada of The Fresno Bee.
“If he had his grades, he’d be in school.”
McDowell-White has had a highly impressive 2016. He entered the radar of international scouts at the 2014 adidas Nations Global event, and amplified it at this year’s Basketball Without Borders Camp at NBA All-Star Weekend, where his pure play-making skills were lauded.
If William McDowell-White was in the US he'd be a five-star PG recruit. Set up man. Talented passer with feel. Competes on both ends.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) February 13, 2016
Along with Danté Exum, William McDowell-White will be Australia's point guard of the future. He can get to his spots, and is so composed
— Olgun Uluc (@OlgunUluc) February 14, 2016
Additionally, McDowell-White was named to the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit and he had a strong SEABL campaign with the Brisbane Spartans, where the 18-year-old won Youth Player of the Year. The son of AFL Premiership player Darryl White, McDowell-White has also represented Australia at FIBA U19 World Championships level.
The declaration that McDowell-White cannot play collegiate basketball due to academic reasons puts another Aussie in the spotlight, after Ben Simmons ripped the NCAA in his recent ‘One and Done’ documentary.
Wilson informed the SMU coaching staff that he wants to speak to other schools this past week, also per Uluc. When Wilson committed to the college, it was while legendary coach, Larry Brown, was in charge. The 6’4″ guard stated Brown as a major factor in his decision to originally commit, which may help explain why Wilson has decided to leave the program. SMU is currently coached by Tim Jankovich.
Another element of Wilson’s move may be his lack of opportunity, as he is playing just 6.1 minutes per game this season.
Wilson has a long resume, including appearances at NBA Basketball Without Borders events and a MVP performance at the 2016 U20 Australian Junior Championships. Furthermore, White has represented Australia at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships and the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championships.
It’s unknown when a decision on McDowell-White and White’s future will be announced.