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Hoops Recruiting Report
Friday, March 1, 2002

By Thad Mumau
Special Correspondent

Pirates Landed Rouse Before ACC Caught On


Kinston's Corey Rouse, who is headed to
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.

"East Carolina is a great fit for him. I think he can step right in and play as a freshman."

Rouse, who stands 6-7 1/2 and weighs 190 pounds, was the Piratesí only November signee.

He leads 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.

A very 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 quickness.

"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."

College of Charleston, Virginia Tech and South Florida also offered Rouse scholarships, but he liked everything about East Carolina.

"I like 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 there.

"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.

"Corey needs 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."

Talking about 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.

"Corey has 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.

"With work this summer," Gulledge said, "I think he can be a real asset on the wing for East Carolina."

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.

Send an e-mail message to Thad Mumau.

Click here to dig into Thad Mumau's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 02:39:42 PM

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