CU men’s basketball: Derrick White eager to make jump to Division I with Buffs

Former UCCS star Derrick White will sit out the coming season because of the NCAA transfer rule, but has one season of eligibility remaining with the

Having never really spent much time in Boulder, Derrick White has used this month to adjust.

So far, the transition period for the newest member of the Colorado men’s basketball team has gone well.

“I’m starting to get used to the campus,” said White, who transferred to CU this spring after playing three years at Colorado-Colorado Springs. “It’s way bigger than UCCS’s (campus), so I’m starting to find my way around. I’m also trying to find new places here in Boulder that teammates have recommended to me.”

Of course, the biggest adjustment White is making this summer is on the basketball court.

Derrick White at a glance

A quick look at CU men’s basketball player Derrick White, a transfer from UC-Colorado Springs:

Height/weight: 6-foot-5, 180 pounds.

Position: Combo guard.

Year: Redshirt senior.

Notable: Due to the NCAA transfer rule, White must sit out this season before playing one year at CU in 2016-17. … White led UCCS to the Division II NCAA Tournament the past two years and he was named a D-II All-American by several publications. … In three years at UCCS, he set the school career scoring record (1,912 points) and career assist record (343). He’s also fourth in rebounds (513). … He averaged 25.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists as a junior this past season, leading the Mountain Lions to a program-best 27-6 record. … Before UCCS, White played at Legend High School in Parker, graduating in 2012. … White is set to graduate with a degree in business management in 2017.

After three years of tearing up Division II competition at UCCS, White elected this past spring to take on a new challenge and transfer to CU. He will sit out this coming season because of the NCAA transfer rule, but has one season of eligibility remaining.

“I’m real excited,” White said. “It’s a great opportunity for me. I’m excited to work out with the team and try to get better with the guys.”

He’s been doing that throughout June and said that so far, things are going well on the court.

“It’s been great,” he said. “I’ve been getting along with all the guys. They’re all pushing me and we’re just pushing each other to do the best we can. Even though I’m not playing next year, we just want to do well next year and try to play as well as we can.

“It’s been fun to get in the practices and get back into the competition. We’re all competitive and we all want to win and it’s fun to play against some of the best players and try to make each other better.”

White got to know head coach Tad Boyle and his staff during the transfer process, but is now getting a chance to work with them on the court a little bit.

“I’m starting to learn what coach Boyle is looking for me to do and what the coaching staff wants,” he said. “(Boyle) has done a great job of talking to me after a practice or after a play and saying what they want (on certain plays or situations). That’s been a great adjustment for me.”

Although he’s not going to play this year, White has a lot on his plate in his first year as a Buff.

For starters, he’s hoping to have a great year in the classroom (he was a good student at UCCS, he said). Second, he’s hoping to improve his own game, especially with his outside shot and on defense. He’s also hoping to add some strength to his 6-foot-5, 180-pound frame.

White also believes he can help the Buffs win games this year by being at his best in practice.

“I have to come ready because those practices are like my games,” White said. “So I have to come and play hard and try to push them and make practices a little tougher than it is in the game. I just have to push them every day in practice.”

For White, this year will be a new experience, but it’s one he’s ready to embrace.

“I’m just trying to get better every day,” he said.