UPPER MARLBORO, Md. -- Here's a Terrapin Times scouting report on a prospective 2015 recruit TT checked out over the weekend, and one with plenty of name familiarity with Maryland these days....
Player: Malik Ellison
School: Life Center Academy, Burlington, NJ
Weight: 175 pounds
Venue: Riverdale Baptist School, Upper Marlboro, Md.
Shooting: Ellison nailed an early trey, and then struggled the rest of the evening, although he only took eight shots before fouling out early in the fourth quarter. He's known to be a good perimeter marksman, though on this night, he mainly concentrated on taking it to the hoop. He has solid form and a nice release.
Ball-handling: The son of former NBA player Pervis Ellison definitely has some handles, and is not shy about showing them off. In fact, at times, he got a little too enamored with his crossover and other sleight of hand maneuvers. In the case of Ellison, he's definitely grown up as a guard, and now has hit a growth spurt, but this talented junior can put it on the floor.
Passing: Though it didn't show up in the assists category, Ellison's ability to pass the ball really stood out. In fact, it was perhaps the most impressive part of his game. He can definitely find people off the bounce, though his teammates had a difficult time finishing plays.
Defense: Ellison has quick feet and long arms, and had several steals in the Riverdale Baptist game. He anticipates passing lanes well, and actually was a bit too aggressive at times, particularly when going for a steal early in the fourth quarter while already having four fouls. But we liked the effort on that end of the court.
Rebounding: Ellison needs to get stronger, but again, showed no hesitancy in going for the ball off the glass. At his height, and still growing, Ellison has the potential to be a very good rebounding guard.
Athleticism: I had heard that Ellison was only an average athlete, and got by more on his basketball IQ. That's not exactly what I observed versus Riverdale. He runs the court well, has solid quickness, and had one incredible block off the break where he flew high over the rim and rejected a shot before it hit the backboard. From this one look, he has more than sufficient athleticism to be an effective performer at the mid/high major level in college.
Intangibles: I liked Ellison's energy and effort, and his passing alone told me he knows how to play. However, he did get caught up in the "chaotic" nature of this game, and went a bit too much one-on-one.
Overview TT broke out Ellison's name this summer, and although not many folks are talking about him nationally, they probably should be. This was only one look, but despite his numbers in an easy victory (9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 2 TOs), Ellison impressed me as someone on the cusp of really breaking out nationally. He's long, pretty athletic, still growing (he was 5-11 two years ago), and has skills. He came up as a point guard, but now plays mainly off the ball, and in time will develop into someone possibly capable of playing (at times) all three perimeter positions.
Ellison already has offers from Temple, St. Joe's, Penn State and LaSalle, and I can see that list growing. Maryland coaches Mark Turgeon and Bino Ranson were at the game Saturday, and it will be interesting to see if Maryland makes a push on this intriguing backcourt performer, who was originally spotted by Coach Scott Spinelli. There's plenty of skills here, and loads of upside with this young man. We need to see him some more in a more controlled setting, but this first look impressed us in terms of pure skill and the ability to make plays.
Scouting Report: Malik Ellison
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