If a player is good at everything he does, but not great at any one thing, can he be a great player?
That’s the question Travis McKie will try to answer when he sets foot on campus at Wake Forest as one of four current members of the Demon Deacons’ 2010 recruiting class.
To be sure, McKie is a good get for Wake. He is currently rated as the No. 36 prospect in the 2010 class by Scout.com, No. 43 by PrepStars.com and No. 78 by Rivals.com (Quite a discrepancy on that last one, huh?)
There’s a reason why Clemson, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Virginia were also chasing after the 6-6 swing forward from Richmond’s John Marshall High School.
“I think McKie is the kind of forward that carves out his role based on the personnel in the program,” said Dave Telep, national recruiting director for Scout.com. “He's a guy that can be effective from mid-range and give you a rebounder from the wing slot. He's really a Wake kid in that he's a good player, high-character kid and outstanding student. It's a good match."
McKie reportedly would have liked to match up with North Carolina, but it wasn’t to be.
“They had him ranked behind, probably in order, Harrison Barnes and either Casey Prather or Roscoe Smith, which left McKie in fourth place and highly unlikely to get an offer,” said ACCSports.com recruiting analyst Brick Oettinger.
Oettinger thinks there’s a good reason why McKie fell behind Barnes and the others on the Tar Heels’ wish list.
“I thought all along that McKie could play for somebody in the ACC but he wasn’t going to be a main man for anybody in the top half of the ACC,” Oettinger said. “He wasn’t going to be a go-to guy, He was going to be a role player. I think that at Wale Forest that’s what he’ll be.”
It’s not that Oettinger has any major criticisms about McKie’s game. It’s that he doesn’t see anything in McKie’s game that makes him ooh or ahhh.
“Pretty decent to 3-point range.”
“He’s an aggressive rebound, but as a 6-6 wing forward, he’s not a great rebounder.”
“He’s a good defender, but not a great defender. He’s not quite quick enough against other wing forwards that he’s going to get a lot of steals.”
You see where this is going, don’t you? It leads Oettinger to this conclusion.
“You have to do something exceptionally well, I think, to be an exceptional, big-time basketball player,” he said.
Oettinger doesn’t see that right now with McKie.
Still there is much there for Dino Gaudio and his coaches to work with. McKie’s versatility has been well documented. If the future Demon Deacon can keep developing and turn one or two of his “good” attributes into “exceptional” ones, then he’ll become the impact player that Wake needs from its 2010 recruiting class.