Ellis takes game to new high


When Tim Ellis shoots, one tends to say ... "swish" ... when the ball's in mid-flight.

Everything about Ellis' jumper right now is pristine: the form, technique sound; the backward ball rotation, precise; the result, barely a ripple of the twine.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Seattle, Wash., is shooting to such a level, to such an accuracy that has seldom been seen before in Bramlage Coliseum history.

In the last five games, Ellis has scored 104 points (20.8 per game) on 30-of-54 shooting (.666). From 3-point range, he's made 9-of-16 (.562) and from the free-throw line 23-of-24 (.958).

"He's been pretty good," KSU coach Jim Wooldridge said with a smile. "He's been a real workhorse for us.

"He's been better recently than he was early in the year when he was playing better than anyone on the team. He's taken his game to another level," Wooldridge said.

That was never advertised more than Wednesday in a 63-58 road victory over Nebraska.

Ellis netted 25, made all 12 of his free tosses, and oh yes, had the last rebound in the game that resulted in a game-winning tap-in with 2.8 seconds remaining. He then capped the game with four foul shots after a conventional foul and a technical foul on the Cornhuskers giving him six points in 2.8 seconds.

"I just didn't want to give up on the rebound," Ellis said. "I positioned myself to go get it."

Ellis' 88 points in the last four games is the highest four-game total for any Wildcat dating back to Askia Jones in 1994. Playing the last four games in the NIT, Jones scored 22 against Gonzaga, a school-record 62 versus Fresno State, and at the Final Four, 17 against Vanderbilt and 31 versus Siena.

That's 132 points; that's 33 per game.

Ellis has led the Wildcats in scoring eight times this year. He currently leads the team in average (14.2), free throwing (.780), 3-point shooting (.420) and is second in overall accuracy (.546).

In a serious tone, Ellis only says, "I'm playing pretty well. I'm just trying to help the team anyway that I can."

When pressed more, Ellis credits his recent play to a higher energy level.

"I've always been an energy guy. I try to out work my defender," Ellis said. "It's usually one of the best players on me ... usually a great defender. I just try to keep working and see how much energy he's got."

Ellis played with energy last year, but averaged just 9.4 points on 44 percent shooting.

"I was just getting used to the system and my role," Ellis said. "I didn't want to just jump right in and take all the shots. I wanted to see how things worked."

Right now, all things are working on all cylinders.

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