Players in their transition from high school ball to the college game are often labeled "tweeners." They don't have a sure position they can play at the college level. For example, "he is too small to play at the four but cannot handle the ball well enough to play the three." The exact opposite is the case for incoming 2012 Wake Forest basketball player Aaron Rountree. The 6'8 Wake commit can play multiple positions.
For Rountree, it is a matter of at which position to play him.
Click through for a look at the recruit's strengths and weaknesses after the jump...
Last Saturday night, Rountree's high school team, Greenfield, played in their state championship game. Rountree did not have his best performance and his team lost, but he showed flashes of why he is so unique. Throughout the game, I witnessed him play every position on the floor. On one possession he was bringing the ball up the floor and running the offense, and on the next he was posting up a smaller defender at the high-post.
His talent was on full display in fast break situations, as he scored or assisted on multiple plays in transition. When given space in the open floor, he is tough to stop. These things are not to say he is a Magic Johnson reincarnation, but I do think his versatility is impressive, especially at his age and stage of development.
In the future, I think Wake could reap benefits from this versatility. We haven't had a player that height able to handle the ball like he can since Josh Howard. Granted, Rountree is not near the scorer that J-Ho was, but that is not what Rountree takes pride in doing.
He knows he is not a scorer. He is a facilitator that does most everything well, nothing great. The fact that he knows his role makes him even more intriguing. So many players these days think they can only affect the game by scoring, even though that is only one facet of the game. Rountree recognizes this, and it shows on the court. His versatility has shown up in the box score as well, as he had a few triple doubles this season.
We should not, however, expect Rountree to put up impressive numbers like these and make an impact the minute he steps on campus. He has to get stronger and has to improve his jump shot. At 6'8, he is only listed at weighing 190 pounds, and it was clear in the game that he can get pushed around a little bit out there. His body is awkwardly thin, and for him to make an impact in the ACC he will really have to add weight to his frame.
His main offensive setback is his jump shot. He has funky form and clearly does not shoot a good percentage from the outside. The defense was more than happy to let him shoot 15-20 footers. Down the stretch, this was a reason why Greenfield lost the game. Rountree helped them claw their way back into the game, but when given space he could not put the ball in the basket.
Again, his identity is not a scorer, but for him to be most effective as a creator, he will have to make the defenders at least respect his outside shot. This would allow him to get in the lane and create for himself and others more often.
Nevertheless, strength and shooting can be worked on. That is why down the road, I believe Rountree can be an impact contributor for Wake. His length will be an asset on defense, and his versatility on offense as a creator and distributor will add a different dimension to Wake's team, especially in transition.
The decision of where to play him will be up to the coaching staff. They will have some options.