Growing Hoops Prospect Checks Out Auburn

Octavious Ellis made the trip from Memphis to Auburn to check out Coach Tony Barbee's basketball camp and liked what he saw.

Memphis, Tenn.--An interesting athletic basketball prospect, Octavious Ellis, visited Auburn last weekend for Coach Tony Barbee's one-day camp and was one of the players who stood out at the event.

Ellis is a rising senior at Whitehaven High School who plays AAU basketball for Memphis Select. At the camp he showed he can run the floor well and does a good job handling the basketball in transition.

"Even though I am 6-8 I can bring the ball up the court like a guard," Ellis tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I can play inside or outside and I can block shots and rebound."

Ellis notes that he just turned 17-years-old and is still growing. "The doctors told me that I could grow three or four more inches," he says.

The class of 2011 prospect says that Auburn and another SEC program, Mississippi State, have offered him a scholarship. He notes that Barbee and the Auburn coaching staff were recruiting him before they had taken the Auburn job and were at UTEP.

"I like the Auburn coaches," he says. "It is a very good coaching staff."

Ellis points out that he enjoyed the camp held at Auburn's new practice facility. "I learned some stuff that I can work on at home that will make me a better player," he says.

On his trip to the camp, he toured the new Auburn Arena, which is still under construction and scheduled to open this summer. "It is a beautiful place," Ellis says.

Ellis, who notes that he also likes Murray State, says he prefers to play an up-tempo style of basketball. He will be busy doing that this summer playing in AAU events. "AAU ball is very important because it helps you work on your game and it gives you exposure, too," he says.

Ellis didn't get as much exposure as he would have liked during his junior year at Whitehaven High because of a torn calf muscle that caused him to miss the last half of the season.

"Octavious can play power forward and small forward," says William Rhodes, who is the coach for Memphis Select. "He is a skilled big man. He has a lot of post moves and is a natural athlete.

"He blocks shots up high and slaps them down," Rhodes adds. "He runs the floor well. He keeps the ball up high and he rebounds well."

Rhodes says that he has been coaching Ellis since he was in the eighth grade as well 6-3 guard Cedrick McAfee, who made the trip to Barbee's Auburn camp with Ellis. "Both are great kids, they are very coachable," Rhodes says. "They do well in the classroom and they are very respectful kids."

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