Ellison a Rising Star, Has Terps Connections

The Terps are monitoring numerous top 2015 recruits, and while Malik Ellison (Burlington, N.J.) isn't a household name, he's working his way onto the radar.

In TT's Hoops Dish on July 18, we first reported on Malik Ellison, the son of former Louisville great Pervis Ellison, who now plays for his dad at Life Center Academy in Burlington, N.J. TT spoke with LCA assistant David Boudwin this week to find out how this blossoming young guard is developing.

"Malik's growing into his body," said Boudwin. "He's up to 6-5 now, and probably about 180 pounds. Two years ago he was barely 6-0. It's safe to say the kid's got great genes. His Mom was a sprinter at Maryland, and everyone knows about Pervis' career.

"The doctors say his growth plates are still open. I don't think he'll reach his dad's height (6-9), but he's already got great size for a guard, and his game is such that he could wind up playing any of the three perimeter positions. He's getting stronger, and building up his core muscles."

Boudwin said Ellison is now showing more of his underrated athleticism.

"Malik is starting to attack the rim now, " said Boudwin. "He's doing things now he didn't do as a sophomore, and that's because of his physical maturation. I wouldn't say he's an elite athlete, but what Malik has is a 'refined' game. He does everything pretty well, and has solid moves and a fundamental understanding of the game. I'd say his versatility is what will help him at the next level.

"Malik played primarily point guard for us last year, and though we have a transfer point guard here now (Traci Carter, a D-I prospect from Philly), Malik will still play on the ball a good bit. At his size, he will most likely be recruited as a combo guard, but also someone who can play the '3' spot if need be."

Ellison plays his AAU ball for WeR1, which also features big time wing Derrick Jones from Carroll HS in Radnor, Pa. Coach Boudwin also pointed out that LCA will be playing some games in the D.C. area this winter.

"We always play National Christian Academy, and we're scheduled to be in a tournament at DeMatha (National High School Hoops Festival) as well," said Boudwin. "I think Malik will get a lot of exposure this year and that should jump start his recruitment. I know he attended a team camp at Syracuse, and all the Philly schools are on him. As for Maryland, well, yeah, I think it's safe to say he's got some interest there. I mean, his sister (Aja) is going there to play basketball, and he has another sister at Howard, so he's pretty familiar with the DC/Maryland area. I think there's some interest on both sides (Ellison's and Maryland) for sure. And, of course, Trayvon (Reed) will be a Terp too, so that's a plus."

Boudwin noted that Reed is adapting nicely so far at LCA.

"We've had him lifting, and his upper body is developing well," said Boudwin. "He needs to strengthen his lower body in order to hold his position in the post. That, and we're working on a drop step, a hook shot, and all sorts of post moves. You can't dunk everything."

As luck would have it, Malik Ellison then called to add a few more tidbits to the story.

"I was down at Maryland a couple weeks ago," said Ellison. "I was invited down by Coach (Scott) Spinelli. I met with Coach Turgeon and also some of the players. And I watched the scrimmage too. I had to go elsewhere after the scrimmage so I didn't get a full tour of the campus , but I've been on campus before. The Comcast Center is big -- really nice."

Ellison then touched on his recruitment and his feelings about Maryland.

"My offers so far are Temple, LaSalle, Penn State, and St. Joe's," said Ellison. "I should be getting some more offers as the season goes along, and then with AAU ball in the Spring. I am pretty wide open on schools, location, and all that. Maryland told me they would be up soon to see some practices, and will watch me when Life Center comes to Maryland to play this winter.

"From talking to Coach Turgeon, I think they'll do a little more evaluation and then it sounds like an offer could be coming. Certainly I will be interested in Maryland if they offer. I like the staff, the area, and the fact that Aja is going there is a plus, plus my other sister is close by as well. I am hoping to get back down to Maryland soon for another visit when I can see more of the campus."

This is a kid to keep an eye on. He doesn't yet have a huge national reputation, but could be another gem uncovered by Scott Spinelli.

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