Tracking the College Stars of the Future
Friday, March 1, 2002
By Thad Mumau
Rouse Before ACC Caught On
Kinston's Corey Rouse, who is headed
East Carolina to ply his hoops trade next
fall, was busy Thursday night (February 28)
leading the Vikings to a 100-79 blowout
win over Pender High in the state playoffs.
[Photo: Scott Lowe,
The Kinston Free Press]
East Carolina made a great "get" when it signed small forward Corey Rouse of
Kinston High School in November.
"I think if he
was unsigned at this point that it might be very difficult for East Carolina
to get him," Kinston coach Wells Gulledge said. "A lot of college coaches,
including some from the ACC, have come to see some of our other kids, and
they have been very impressed with Corey.
is a great fit for him. I think he can step right in and play as a
stands 6-7 1/2 and weighs 190 pounds, was the Piratesí only November signee.
Kinston in both scoring and rebounding with respective averages of 21.9 and
12.6 and is second on the team with 4.5 assists per game. He is shooting
over 60 percent from the field and 75 percent from the foul line.
Rouse would be
scoring even more for many teams. He is one of four Vikings who are Division
I prospects. East Carolina and several other schools are in hot pursuit of
6-9 Herbert Hill, while Dodson Worthington, also 6-9, is looking at Yale and
Pennsylvania. Jeremy Ingram, a 6-3 combination guard, is ranked as one of
the top 50 juniors in the country.
consistent performer all season, Rouse scored 29 points, grabbed 22 rebounds
and blocked four shots against Charles B. Aycock High School and had 23
points, a dozen boards and eight assists against West Craven.
"Corey is very
unselfish," Gulledge said. "He doesnít act like the go-to guy and is not
looking for points. He lets the game come to him. He picks up a lot of his
points on transition, getting to the basket, and jumpers from 12-15 feet. He
posts up real well and creates a lot of mismatches because of his size and
"His style of
play reminds me of Scottie Pippen. Corey is very quick for his size and has
a long wing span. He moves as well at 6-7 as anyone Iíve seen. A lot of guys
in high school have to play inside and develop into a wing player. But he
can step right in at his natural position for Coach (Bill) Herrion."
Charleston, Virginia Tech and South Florida also offered Rouse scholarships,
but he liked everything about East Carolina.
Conference USA," he said, "and I feel I can play a lot right away at East
Carolina. The coaches told me that if I work hard, I could have a chance to
start as a freshman. I visited the campus after I committed, and I like it
"I think if I
had waited and not signed in the fall that I might have had some other
opportunities, but East Carolina is the best place for me. Iím happy with my
decision. I like Coach Herrion, and I like the tough conference. I like the
idea of being part of building something. Iím excited about being a Pirate."
Not one to rest on his laurels, Rouse is
focused on continuing to develop his skills.
"I have some
work to do," Rouse said. "I need to handle the ball better and shoot threes
more consistently. I donít shoot that many in our games (at Kinston). My
strengths are rebounding and defense. I play good on-the-ball defense."
Gulledge notes that some additional muscle
along with an early dose of the routine of being a college student will go a
long way towards preparing Rouse for his freshman campaign as a Pirate.
to increase his range," Gulledge said, "and that will come with added
strength. The key for him is to get to East Carolina this summer, work in
the weight room and maybe take a class or two. That would help him adjust to
college life before practice starts in the fall."
Rouseís explosiveness, the Kinston coach said, "The other night, Corey had
dunks on four straight possessions, and I have never seen that before. He
made two steals from half-court traps and dunked, and got two dunks on
alley-oops from Jeremy.
really matured. He recognizes when to pull up and shoot a jumper and not
barrel into a defender for a charge. He makes good decisions and doesnít
play out of control.
this summer," Gulledge said, "I think he can be a real asset on the wing for
Rouse has a
2.5 grade-point average. He has taken the SAT twice and is very close to
scoring the 820 required for freshman eligibility.
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