Gonzaga's search for big men: David Ellis

It's no secret that in two years Gonzaga will have lost Zach Gourde, Cory Violette and Richard Fox to graduation, so the search is on for big men from the class of 2004. Meet 7' David Ellis.

David Ellis played baseball and basketball when he was a young boy but as he began growing towards 7 feet tall, it became clear to him that he was much better suited for hoops than hardball. Standing nearly as tall as Shaq, you don't have to look far to see where David gets his height. His father is 6'8", his mother is 6'0" and his sister, also a future star player, is 6'5", leading varsity scorer and just a freshman.

Zags Hoops caught the Capitol Christian (Sacramento, CA) junior center on the eve of a big state playoff showdown with Modesto Christian where Ellis would likely be matched up against 7'2" senior Liam Hughes who has committed to Oregon State. David was looking forward to the game, which was to be played in spacious Arco Arena, home of the Sacramento Kings. His team was considered the underdog.

Asked who he likens his game to and who he admires most, Ellis doesn't hesitate: "Dirk Nowitzki." Like Dirk, David likes to shoot the trey and is adept at a perimeter game, but his most dazzling stat is his 155-plus blocked shots this season alone, with 17 in a single game. That's a career for the average post player.

Needless to say, his favorite defensive play is swatting a shot and his favorite offensive play (besides hitting treys) is a nifty post move, mostly a right-handed hook shot. The athletic big man runs the floor well and says he can get out with most guards on the fast-break.

David has been tracking Gonzaga and has watched the Bulldogs on TV a couple times, and commented on how crazy The Kennel looked and sounded.

The 7-footer likes Gonzaga's playing style, how the big men can often be found out on the perimeter where, left open, a shooter like Ellis could do some damage.

His top-5 consist of Gonzaga, Minnesota, Washington, San Diego State and Texas Tech. When asked where the Zags stood, David replied "top-5." The coaches and players at the colleges on his list will be the primary determining factors when he decides. He's thinking he'll commit late-summer or fall, as no visits are currently set up. Conference doesn't matter to Ellis and he says redshirting would be welcome if necessary.

An interesting side note: David verbally committed very early to California but when a senior recruit grew from 6'6" to 6'9", his spot was unexpectedly filled and he felt it was in his best interest to reopen his recruiting options.

The Sacramento native is very thin, weighs only 195 pounds and is still growing but admits he has slowed recently and expects to start adding weight as he begins growing outward instead of upward.

This spring and summer David Ellis will be playing on the Oakland Soldiers AAU team and Zags Hoops will be keeping an eye on him during the tournaments and camps.


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