Is Keenan Ellis a U of L recruiting priority?

6-foot-11 rising junior Keenan Ellis is considered one of the elite prospects in the Class of 2007. He's receiving recruiting attention from several of the nation's top basketball programs, including Iowa, but is the Indianapolis, IN native a recruiting priority for Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals?

A rising junior, Keenan Ellis has received an intense amount of recruiting attention, and up to this point the 6-foot-11 center has lived up to his hype.

Ellis, who runs with the D-I Greyhounds and is rated one of the Top 20 prospects in his class, has been forced to play with the 16-under team until June because of an Ohio rule. And while he's playing with the 16's, he's still dominating competition that is equal to his age. Last weekend in the BCI tournament in New Albany, IN., Ellis demonstrated just how good he is. He's extremely long and tries to block everything in site.

Not often do you see a 185-pounder who can dominate the paint, and keep the defense honest by migrating out to the three-point line for one or two treys per game.

Of course, it doesn't hurt playing along side the top two players in the Class of 2007, guards O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker.

"They are amazing players. They are the best there is. They just make the game so much easier for me," Ellis said. "All I have to do is run the floor, rebound, do the things I'm supposed to do, and they'll give me the ball and I'll get my points. It's real fun."

Ellis is being recruited by teams all over the country, and said over the weekend that Steve Alford and the Iowa Hawkeyes are recruiting him the hardest.

Ellis, who has already unofficially visited Louisville, said that the Cardinals are recruiting him, but that he'd like to receive more recruiting interest from them.

"I like Pitino," Ellis stated. "I like Rick Pitino a lot. I like the way they play and how they do everything."

Ellis' cousin, John Stewart, signed with the Kentucky Wildcats. Tragically, Stewart died before his high school graduation. With that connection to the Wildcats, Ellis indicated he'd like to hear more from Tubby Smith and Kentucky, and would consider them when it's time for him to make a college decision.

With all of the recruitment and attention he has received, Ellis remains grounded, focused instead on his game, and not the recruiting process.

"I haven't really been paying attention to it. All the letters come to the school and to my house, but I don't really pay attention to it," Ellis said. "I just focus on getting better. Next year we'll start focusing on schools."

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