Derrick White tried to warn his teammates, some of whom already had plenty of personal experience trying to guard Xavier Johnson over the years.

Johnson seemingly still made an impression.

This past weekend both White and Johnson, who just completed their eligibility with the Colorado Buffaloes men's basketball team, competed at the Portsmouth Invitational, a showcase for college basketball seniors to perform in front of a studious audience of NBA scouts and team personnel.

White and Johnson played three games for their respective teams, including one against each other.

"I was trying to give my teammates some tips on him but he still found his way to that left hand and dunked on someone," White said. "It was cool to play against him and I wish the best for him."

Particularly for White, who is gaining attraction as a potential late second-round pick in the June NBA draft, the weekend was another step forward in what has been a dizzying ascension from an overlooked Division II recruit out of Legend High School in Parker to an All-Pac-12 Conference performer as the leading scorer of the Buffs.

The weekend was White's first true opportunity to talk with NBA personnel, and he said he spoke to administrators from about 12 different teams.

"It was a fun atmosphere and a lot of competitive games we were part of," White said. "I found out a lot, actually. I learned a lot from what they saw in my game and things I need to improve on. It was a successful weekend and I'm just going to keep improving."


White, who competed for Roger Brown's Restaurant alongside fellow Pac-12 alums Isaac Hamilton (UCLA), Josh Hawkinson (Washington State), and Torian Graham (Arizona State), averaged 15 points, 3.7 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in the three games. He shot below his norm from the field (.368) but went 7-for-21 on 3-pointers and 10-for-11 at the free throw line. White's best effort was a 23-point game in a 106-105 win against Sales System Ltd. in which he went 7-for-16 with four assists and four rebounds.

White's squad was victorious against Johnson's Mike Duman Auto Sales, with White scoring 18 points while going 4-for-8 from 3-point range. Johnson scored 12 points against his now-former CU teammate and averaged 13.7 points during the showcase. Johnson topped out with a 20-point game where he went 7-for-10 from the field.

In the coming weeks White hopes to receive an invitation to the May NBA scouting combine and he already has hired an agent, signing with Mike Lindeman from Excel Sports Management.

"The combine, hopefully I get invited to well at the combine hopefully, and then Excel has a pro day," White said. "I'll go to that pro day. Another chance to get in front of teams and showcase my talents. After that I'll go to different cities and work out for the teams. After that, hopefully on draft day I'll hear my name get called."

Pat Rooney: or