The 2016-2017 college basketball is officially over and programs are already preparing for next year. Boston University brings in three recruits next year in Javante McCoy, Sukhmail Mathon and Walter Whyte. Whyte is a two time NEPSAC Class C player of the year as well as Pangos All-American Camp Participant. The 6’5 guard joins the Terriers via St. Lukes in New Canaan, Connecticut.
I caught up with the future Terrier guard to finish out the Q&A series with the 2017 men’s basketball recruit series.
Greg Levinsky: Describe how you play the game of basketball, and is there a player in the NBA that you model your game after or compare yourself to?
Walter Whyte: I’m a slasher. I can shoot the ball, I can pass, rebound, do a little bit of everything, what it takes to win. I would probably say I model my game after Rudy Gay. He’s a taller player, he can slash, he’s athletic and that’s what I like to do
GL: What skill of yours would you say is most college ready, and what do you need to work on the most for the next level?
WW: Getting to the basket, I am pretty good at doing that. I can always improve on my shooting. That’s something I’ve improved on every year in my high school career but that’s always something you can get better at.
GL: When was your first dunk, do you have a story that goes along with it?
WW: My first dunk in a game was a fall league game of my sophomore year. I got a steal, and I had been trying to practice dunking alone, and we were up by like a good amount, so I just tried it. I went off two feet and had a little rim grazer and hung on the rim. That was my first dunk in a game, it was good.
GL: Takes us behind the scenes of your official visit here at BU, how does that process work and what separated BU from all of the other schools that recruited you?
WW: Towards the end of my recruitment, it started to pick up with a lot of bigger schools. A lot of A10’s and Big East schools started to talk to me. Coach Jones was there from the beginning and I have gained a great relationship with him. We have been talking since day one. I can trust him and that’s why I felt like I should come to BU, because I knew I could trust him. Other coaches would say similar things but I knew I could trust him because we already built a great relationship before. For my visit, it was pretty fun. I just hung out with the team, went out to eat,we played pickup and I got to see the student life and how it is at BU, it was home for me. I made the decision to come to BU and it felt like the right thing to do.
GL: What was it like to play on the EYBL circuit with the PSA Cardinals? Is there one game or tournament that really stood out?
WW: Probably the Peach Jam semifinals. We were down by 20 at halftime to Team Penny and we went on a crazy run. We were going on the run and I got a big moment. I got a steal with probably 30 seconds left and A kid, Hasahn French on my team, tipped a pass and I picked up the steal and I’m running full court, there’s probably 20 seconds left and I get fouled, we’re down one. Then I’m at the line, there’s 3,000 people in the gym it’s loud. I’m at the line and we’re down one, I have two shots. I get up the line, I sink it. The first one rattled in and the second was all net. So we were up one and we won the game. I hit the game winning free throws. It was crazy.
GL: How do you value high schools vs AAU hoops, what are the benefits and disadvantages of each?
WW: There a big style difference. For high school, I know I am the best player on the team and I get to take all the shots. I’m the best player on the team so I get the most notoriety on the team. For AAU, it’s a bunch of guys, we had about 10 division one players on the team so we had to figure it out and play as a team, play as a unit for us to win games and that’s what we did. I feel like both sides befit me a lot. PSA helped me work on other things I could do to help win games. I don’t always have to score, for AAU I was the third, fourth option on the court and I would still make an impact to help us win games. We had guys going to Kentucky, I just found my niche and ended up playing 25 minutes and finding my way on the court by doing things other than scoring.
GL: What current player on the BU team are you most looking forward to play with in games, or guard in practice?
WW: I want to compete with everyone on the team to help the team get better. I want to play as hard as I can to make an impact. Pretty much all against the guards because that’s my position. Making the team better by playing hard, making my presence known and doing what I can do.
GL: With the loss of Eric Fanning, do you feel ready and able to fill the void left by his absence?
WW: I think I’m ready. I worked on my game a lot to have the confidence to play. I feel I can play and make an impact. Me and Coach Jones talked a lot before hand I think I can do it. I just want to help us win games and get to the tournament, that’s the whole goal of what we’re trying to do.
GL: What are your academic plans for BU, do you have an intended major or certain subjects that pique your interest?
WW: I like math a lot. I want to study finance, that’s what I want to do. I found an interest in that, so that’s what I want to do.
GL: Now that March Madness is over, can we expect an NCAA tournament appearance at some point in your career?
WW: Yeah, definitely, for sure. I would love to make it to March Madness and that’s the whole ultimate goal. Playing in one-bid leagues, that’s the whole goal. You making it to the big dance is where you want to be, so that’s what I want to do.