In head coach Bobby Hurley’s second season at the helm of Arizona State, he’ll be operating with a less than polished frontcourt as news of forward Vitaliy Shibel’s torn ACL comes out. In addition to his loss, the team is still in a holding pattern when it comes to a decision on Romello White.
ASU basketball freshman Vitaliy Shibel tears ACL, fellow freshman Romello White waiting to be cleared. https://t.co/kIdECZUaAP
— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) August 20, 2016
Shibel is a three-star power forward originally from Ukraine, who played high school basketball in Lee, Maine. Standing 6-foot-9 and weighing a sinewy 215 pounds, the stretch four signed on with Arizona State in January and became the third incoming freshman commit.
From the ESPN scouting department, Shibel is “both coordinated and athletic for his size, allowing him to not only change ends but also catch and finish above the rim without slowing down or breaking his stride.”
While Shibel will miss the entire 2016 season, Romello White is more of a question mark. A four-star power forward from Marietta, Georgia, White has had academic concerns that he is attempting to clear with the school’s academic department.
The 6-foot-8, 215-pound big man chose ASU over a litany of Power 5 conference schools, including his hometown Georgia Bulldogs, Kansas, Iowa State, Miami, Clemson, and Tennessee. He is currently on campus in Tempe ready to enroll in classes, but ASU currently doesn’t know whether or not he’ll be available for the season.
The only returning forward for the Sun Devils in 2016-17 will be Obinna Oleka, who was a member of the surplus Arizona State had last season. The team will also have sophomore Andre Adams, freshman Jethro Tshisumpa, and freshman Ramon Vila.