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Player Profile: F Aaron Rountree III

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Our second week of player previews in advance of the start of the Manning Era begins with a profile of rising Junior Forward Aaron Rountree III, whose career numbers belie the contributions he has, and can, make to the team.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rountree III, affectionately known by many as Tree, is the type of player who on paper would be an afterthought.  He's averaged 1.6 PPG, 1,5 RPG, and .5 APG to go with a handful of blocks and steals in about 10 minutes a game for his career.  The long and lanky Rountree, listed as a forward, really doesn't have a true position, at least to this point in his career.  Yes, he most frequently plays on the wing, but there have even been times that he's played like a 6'8" point guard.  A jack of all trades, master of none, Tree is a pretty great prototype for an energy guy coming off the bench.  Even if the stat sheet doesn't reflect much, any significant examination of his time on the court tells a story of a guy who, while unable to take a game over and dominate, can impact the game in a myriad of ways on either end of the floor at any given time.

Aaron is undoubtedly one of the most consistent and energetic defenders on the team, and the guy really exemplifies everything Wake Forest, right down to the Twitter handle he's had since before playing a game in a Wake Forest uniform.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Tree for BSD some time ago, and he's one of several players on the team (one of whom I'll also be profiling later in the week) who has been a joy to interact with any time I've had the pleasure, and for all we joke around about "culture", the fact is that this team really is full of quality individuals on and off the court, and Aaron might be, for my money, chief among them, which says a lot.

As for Aaron's role in the coming season, I mostly expect more of the same.  From what I saw in summer league, his jumper is a bit smoother, which is nice, and I almost feel like he'll either see less time or be slotted more out of position (perhaps, anyway), with Greg McClinton debuting for the Deacs this year and Wake likely using lots of guard heavy sets given the talent on the roster.  I expect him to be more of an impact on the defensive end, with getting steals and blocks, disrupting passing lanes, and just generally bringing energy.  That being said, Travis McKie is gone, and long and lanky though Tree may be, he has the ability to play in the frontcourt, so who knows what we'll see.  The only thing I'd say for certain is that whatever Coach Manning calls on Aaron to do, he'll do it like he does everything else: with gusto.