The future is alive… today
Wake Forest men’s basketball recruits from the class of 2012, Aaron Rountree and Codi Miller- McIntyre, impressed many this past Saturday at Dave Telep’s Carolina Challenge, held at Ravenscroft High School in Raleigh. Coming into the single-day tournament, the future Deacs were not viewed as elite players, but their athleticism and hard work in the three games changed the minds of several recruiting experts.
Graphic by Josh Strickland/Old Gold & Black
The Carolina Challenge is run by ESPN college basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telep. He brings the top 80 freshmen, sophomores and juniors together from high schools all over the nation to play in three games. Along with the games, the players attend a recruiting and academic seminar, and also listen to a speaker. The speaker this year was Alan Stein, the strength and conditioning coach of the famed Dematha High School basketball program.
Rountree, a 6-foot-8 forward from Wilson, N.C., wowed the crowd with his ability to run the point guard position, as well as his elite passing ability for his size. He has a motor that never stops, very active hands on defense, and is a leader on and off the court.
Rountree was able to connect with his teammates immediately, despite never playing with them before. Rated as just a 2-star prospect by ESPN, Rountree is likely to move up after teaming with future Virginia Tech Hokie Montrezl Harrell and Miller-McIntyre on an AAU team this summer.
“I was recruited to play the small forward position at Wake Forest,” Rountree said.
“I will play whatever position Coach Bzdelik wants to put me at though. All of the guys coming in next year and in 2012 just want to help Wake Forest get back to the level that we are supposed to be at.”
Rountree looked comfortable playing the point guard for most of the three games, and while his offensive game needs to be a focal point next year before he comes to Wake Forest, it is very easy to see how he will fit in with Jeff Bzdelik’s team philosophy for the future.
The Twitter world was abuzz from Rountree’s performance, and a few well-known scouts were extremely impressed by what they saw. Several commented that Bzdelik got a steal in not only Rountree, but Miller-McIntyre as well.
“Aaron Rountree is getting better. Aspects of his game are improving, including his confidence,” Telep tweeted.
Miller-McIntyre is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Concord, N.C. He will play his final year of high school basketball at Hargrave Military Academy, a well-known basketball powerhouse.
Miller-McIntyre has the skills of a combo guard. He has excellent vision and passing ability, but also can knock down 3-pointers, as he did in the final game of the day, when he scored 22 points in just over 15 minutes.
He took the game over with his mid-range jumper and ability to get to the basket. There is admittedly very little defense in an event like this, but it was nice to see him perform at a high level against some of the best talent in the state.
Miller-McIntyre also crashes the boards hard, and had one of the prettiest forms on his shots at the event. His versatility is certainly a positive, as well as his ability to take over a game if necessary.
Although the offer sheet for the 2-star may not look impressive at first glance, he reluctantly told the university that there were some bigger programs that had picked up on his recruitment and were about to offer.
“Clemson and N.C State both had been on me hard in the last couple of months before Wake Forest offered,” Miller-McIntyre said. “Clemson actually offered me right after I had accepted Coach Bzdelik’s offer to come to Wake Forest.”
Wake Forest was always Miller-McIntyre’s first choice because of the proximity to his home, as well as the outstanding academics that are offered. The scouts at the event were very high on Miller-McIntyre; many admitted that they had not seen a lot of him. Evan Daniels of Scout and Fox Sports was one of the recruiting analysts in attendance.
“Codi Miller-McIntyre has proved some stuff at the Carolina Challenge. Tough, hard- nosed guard. Making a believer out of me,” Daniels tweeted.
Wake Forest commits were not the only players that had a good day at the Carolina Challenge.
The field is full of high level commits, as well as recruits that have not yet signed with a college team. Rodney Purvis, a Louisville commit, and one of the top players in the 2013 class, had an outstanding day. Braxton Ogbueze, a player that Wake Forest was looking at, and now a Florida Gator, displayed outstanding range on his 3-point shot, and also played great defense throughout the day.
Some future prospects that the Deacons are looking at include Cody and Caleb Martin. The twins are in the class of 2014, and are extremely athletic. The coaching staff has been active in attending their games and practices.
If the Martins are going to come to Wake Forest, they will actually need to not “blow up” on the AAU circuit, because they are big UNC-Chapel Hill fans and are also a package deal.
Another player that was impressive was Kennedy Meeks, from the class of 2013. The 6-foot-8 big man from West Charlotte (the same high school as J.T Terrell), displayed a legitimate mid-range game, along with his blocking and rebounding ability.
Meeks is already receiving offers from major schools like South Carolina, so the Deacs need to get on him now if they want to have a chance.
High school basketball talent in North Carolina is at an all-time high, and they are not only going to schools in North Carolina, but also colleges all over America.
Bzdelik has landed a couple of sleepers in Rountree and Miller-McIntyre, but he needs to keep tapping the kids in the talent-rich state of North Carolina to help bring Wake Forest back to respectability in the ACC.