October 12, 2007

D.J. looks forward to tonight, senior season

What a difference a year makes for D.J. White. Not that he was a slouch
last year when he averaged 13.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and shot 51.2% from the
floor. But the native of Alabama is looking like a serious Big Ten Player
of the Year and All-American candidate after leading the USA team in scoring and
rebounding this summer at the Pan-American Games.

"I am coming in more in shape, my body is more fit, more lean," said White.
"It is just experience too. Last year I was a year and a half without
competition. This year I am coming in after competing this summer with the
US National team."

This year he is also more prepared to take on the leadership role.

"I am not sure at this time last year we had a leader but this year we do,"
said head coach Kelvin Sampson. "I think we have two really good leaders.
D.J. has been great. Not good, he has been great. And Lance (Stemler).
Those two seniors, both captains, have earned it and earn it every day."

With six newcomers including four true freshmen, leadership is as important
as it can be. Thanks to the Labor Day weekend trip to the Bahamas, the
team had an early chance to get the young guys familiar with how things are done
under Sampson.

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