Alvin Ellis is a 6'-4" shooting guard from De La Salle High School. He checks in as one of the top 10 sophomores in the state of Illinois. Although many are just starting to learn about his game, he is already being recruited by home state schools including the Illini.
The class of 2013 wing shared the schools showing early interest in him.
"Illinois, Northwestern, and DePaul."
Ellis has been to Champaign multiple times over the past year including trips to the North Carolina game in November and Michigan State game in January. He discussed what he thought of the Big 10 matchup he viewed.
"It was a nice visit. It was a rivalry and Illinois won, so the crowd was loud and excited about winning the game."The Illini host a Midnight Madness event to begin every basketball season, an event that attracts the best of the best from around the state of Illinois. If you are a top recruit, you were in Huff Hall that night. Ellis was among them.
"It was fun. The fans and recruits were all into it. I enjoyed the three point and dunk contests. It was a nice atmosphere."
He enjoyed hanging out with many of his friends from around Chicago that were also visiting as Illinois recruiting targets. It was essentially a block party for all the elite Chicago basketball players. Ellis said he had a blast with his fellow recruits.
"It was fun because I know almost all of them from playing AAU on the circuit. It was a nice time."
He already has a good feel for what Illinois basketball is all about.
"I like the atmosphere and the crowd. Everybody is dressed in orange and is behind the team. I like that about them, and the coaches. They are really friendly."
The bouncy wing says he talks with assistant coach Jerrance Howard and has built a tight relationship in a short period of time.
"I have talked to Jerrance a few times. We have a good friendship."
Howard lets the guard know what he needs to continue to develop to be successful and have a chance to play at Illinois.
"We talk about how I've been playing, what I need to work on, and my grades. He said I can be a great two guard and to keep working on my shot every day."
Does Ellis think he's a fit for the Illinois 2013 recruiting class?
"Yes. I can see myself playing there."
Currently, Ellis does not have any offers on the table, but with the way he has been playing on a high profile high school team, that will likely change soon. He will compete on the AAU scene with Meanstreets this spring. The sophomore talked about his timeline for making a college decision.
"Probably the end of my senior year."
De La Salle bowed out of the Class 4A state championship with a two point loss to Chicago Whitney Young. But the Meteors had a highly successful regular season.
Although just a sophomore, Ellis played a key role for his team. He talked about his play during the year.
"My play helped the team out a lot with my ability in transition, my shooting and ability to get up the court."
Ellis has the potential to be an explosive offensive weapon. What does he feel are the best parts of his game?
"The strengths in my game are driving to the basket and pull-up jumpers."
The first two words that come to mind when scouting Ellis are bouncy and active. The shooting guard has a high level of athleticism and uses it in running and jumping all over the floor. He is everywhere on the court and is fast getting there. Ellis plays hard on both ends.
The sophomore is impressive on defense with his technique and anticipation in passing lanes. He has the potential to become a monster defender with his combination of length and athletic ability.
You can expect the Illinois coaching staff to spend a considerable amount of time in the De La Salle gym despite the graduation of Illini commitment Mike Shaw.