Here is my Q&A with Henry Ellenson.
John Dodds: Tough game tonight. Tosa West got out to a quick lead, you caught them, took the lead but Tosa West worked it down to the end and made a shot with six seconds to go in the game.
Ellenson: “They slowed the ball down a lot and it was tough to play the game at the pace we wanted to. .
JD: They played “box in 1” defense on you. Is that what teams have done typically this year? .
Ellenson: “I see different defenses geared to stop me. This is the first time we saw the “box in 1” but we see different things every game as teams try to change their defenses to stop me. We face a lot of zones and “box and 1s” where a man just follows me all over the court. Tonight they played a 1-2-2 zone and then rotated into the box in 1 so that is something slightly different than what I have seen.< /p>
JD: We had you unofficially for 24 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks and you played an excellent floor game. A lot of Marquette fans were here watching you tonight. .
Ellenson: “I was excited to play in Milwaukee for the first time since I signed up at Marquette. I am excited and looking forward to coming down here in the summer next year and becoming acclimated to Milwaukee. I cannot wait for that. I cannot wait to come in and get after it and make an impact as soon as I can. I will be ready to go but right now I just want to focus on this year and get through it. .
JD: When Steve Wojciechowski took over as head coach of Marquette in early April. When was the first time he contacted you? .
Ellenson: “The first time was right when he signed “at Marquette”. He said he would contact me the next week. He came up the following Friday to Rice Lake, so I got to know him really early and he was a guy who always kept in touch with me. Then he texted me and kept in contact with me about Marquette. .
JD: What part of your game are you working on? You have always seemed much more comfortable at the perimeter and now you seem to be stronger down low in the post. .
Ellenson: “I have been working on every part of my game. I want to be known as a player who can do things all over the court. I am not afraid of bringing the ball up, not afraid of posting down low. I just want to be a true player and that is what I want to do at Marquette. This year I have been working on being a better leader. I want to be a leader to these guys and I try to talk to the guys on the court and really help them out. .
JD: I have been around the Marquette program since 1978 and I remember when your father came to Marquette in 1985. Your brother Wally who signed with Marquette after transferring from Minnesota, his game reminds me of your dad’s. Can you give us a scouting report about Wally? .
Ellenson: “ Wally is a 6’ 6” wing who attacks the rim hard. He is an aggressive player. Whenever we play each other, we go at each other every time. He is an aggressive guy who is not afraid to go dunk on a 7 footer in the middle of the lane, like a big man. He is aggressive but has a really nice shot. I think he is a good all- around player. .
JD: I spoke to your dad at Midnight Madness and he remembered me except for the gray hair. I asked him ‘How did your son Henry as a 6 11” big, become such a good ball handler and have the passing skills almost that of a much smaller player? How did you teach that to him? He told me that when Henry played with two older brothers, the only way he could compete was to shoot over them or dribble past them. Is that how you developed those unusual skills? .
Ellenson: “Yes, that’s it. I was playing with those guys and I had to figure out a way to score somehow. When I was in 4th grade, I sure couldn’t back them down especially with my older brother playing center. That’s why I have always been working on my ball handling skills. I developed that part of my game because of my brothers for sure. .
JD: Have you had the opportunity to look at Marquette on TV since Luke Fisher became eligible? What do you think? .
Ellenson: “Yes, it is a different team. It allows Steve Taylor to go back to his original forward position. It is always better to have a 7 footer playing the 5. I know he was perfect for at least one game shooting. [6 for 6 vs ASU]. It is nice seeing him down there. It is another guy who can help me. It put me on the wing. We will be able to create mismatches together and run the Big. .
JD: The biggest difference is spacing. You can see spacing on the court. The guards and the forwards have space in which to move because you have to guard a guy down low.& nbsp; I thought of that tonight when Tosa West was sagging two and three players on you. .
Ellenson: “Yes, it is all about spacing. You want to get your players spaced out so you can give your players room to work. With Luke Fisher in there (now opponent) cannot have their big cover multiple guys. Luke is a big player so you have to help double him. That just spaces out the court so you can cater out to the wings. Today (Rice Lake) we had trouble because they kept collapsing on me. They are a good team. They played their pace and they really slowed it down. They really took their time. We had open shots. We just couldn’t hit them. .