December 28, 2011

Rountree eyes future

Raleigh, N.C. - Wake Forest signee Aaron Rountree's near double-double effort of nine points and 11 rebounds before fouling out at the end was not nearly enough to overcome Ravenscroft in Holiday Invitational Tournament Action, as Greenfield fell 68-54.

Rountree said he talks with Jeff Bzdelik after most games, and the two dissect the senior's performance. The topic of conversation after Tuesday's loss to the Ravens should be an obvious one … shooting.

He struggled from the tip-off to the final buzzer find his shot, finishing 2-6 from the field, 1-5 from three-point land and 2-4 at the free-throw line.

"He's [Bzdelik] telling me I have to get stronger, which is obvious and telling me that I've got to keep working on my shot and just playing hard every play, because at the college level there's no plays off," Rountree said. "My shot is still improving. I hit a three tonight. I could have shot better. I shot pretty well from the free-throw line."

Despite a shooting touch in need of improvement Rountree looks impact the game in other areas. He added three assists, two blocks and a steal to his stat sheet.

The 6-foot-9 and 190-pounder has a crow's nest vantage point compared to most lead guards, making it easy for him to see the court and orchestrate the offense.

Rountree's size gives Greenfield length in its perimeter defense. For example in the first half he stuck out his arm at the top of the key to deflect a pass, made the steal for an easy breakaway dunk.

"He doesn't have to score to completely take over a game," Greenfield head coach Rob Salter. "He sees the floor well. He could do it defensively by blocking shots. He could do it rebounding. He's such an unusual player. That's what makes him so good. He can really control and dominate a game without putting the ball in the hole. You don't see many kids that can do that."

The future Demon Deacon definitely leaves his fingerprints all over a game, but he needs to call on his own number more. That proved to be true tonight as 2013 Louisville commitment Anton Gill burned the Knights for 23 points, while teammate Madison Jones added 16.

"Sometimes my coach tells me I'm a little bit too unselfish, but I like to get other guys involved when I have such good teammates," Rountree said. "Sometimes I have to learn that I need to take over the game. I'm working on a balance of knowing when to take over and when to pass the rock, so I'm going to keep working on it and keep going hard."

Rountree's (Rated as a three-star small forward by offensive responsibility will likely be limited when he joins the Deacs, which should make the transition easier for the pass-first player.

Scoring roles will most assuredly remain in the hands of current Demon Deacons C.J. Harris (18.3 points per game) and Travis McKie (17.7 points per game), with reserve guard Chase Fischer gaining more opportunities and incoming freshmen other than Rountree adding to the scoring punch.

"Everybody's having a good season," Rountree said. "Devin Thomas just started his season, but he's playing good. Tyler Cavanaugh is playing good, and [Arnaud Adala] Moto just killed it at the tournament up in DeMatha. Everybody's ready to play together, and we're all excited."

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