Ruoff making a name for himself

Alex Ruoff. Never heard of him? We didn't either until a tip this week put us onto him. Ruoff, a 6-7 wing player out of Florida, will be one of those guys who could use the spring AAU period to vault himself into the spotlight.

When you get a tip on a guy and he's leading his team in scoring (22 points), rebounding (10), assists (4.5), blocks, steals, 3-pointers and free-throw percentage, you tend to get excited. When you further learn that last year he was 6-3 and now he's 6-7, well, you start making some calls.

Meet Alex Ruoff, a 6-7, 205 pounder from Brooksville (FL) Central High. The 80% free-throw shooter who strokes it at 42% from downtown and has made 51 3s on the year has put in the time to work on his game. Growing four inches since last year, well, that's good fortune.

"I worked hard in the weight room this summer," Ruoff said. "I was stressed out. We had 6 seniors and they all wanted to workout so we went hard. I want to get up to 230-240 and be a monster. I want to be a 6-8 guy than can handle the ball. That would be pretty attractive."

No kidding.

Ruoff understands that this is just the beginning for him. There's work to be done. "As a freshman I was playing the point guard and two guard. Our three man graduated and I kept all my handles and shooting and I just grew a little bit and hit the weights hard. I'm still kind of thin, I've got a long way to go, don't get me wrong."

Colleges are starting to take notice. Florida State had him down for an unofficial visit. Florida invited him up and North Carolina talked to his coach. South Alabama and Virginia Tech started calling too. Somehow a tape made its way to Blacksburg and the Hokies liked what they saw.

"They want me to come up for an April visit," Ruoff said. "That was big news."

"Everyone keeps calling me a sleeper in Florida. Before the season I had three letters from small Division I colleges. Then, I came out averaging 25 and all these letters started coming. I went to Five-Star and made the all-star team so that helped too."

Ruoff will play for the Tallahassee Wildcats this spring and summer. He's moved from obscurity to guy that must be checked out early in the spring. Some people who are highly regarded in Florida think a lot of him. Soon it'll be time for him to tangle with the big boys on the AAU circuit.

"I want to go big time and play in front of a crowd and have an awesome college experience. I grew up liking North Carolina but I'll go anywhere. I just want to play in front of a huge crowd."

If he's as good as advertised then the seats will fill up quickly.

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