“It was nice to see all the coaches in the stands,” said Ellenson. “Seeing all those guys brings a lot of energy to the game with all those other guys trying to get scholarships.”
With Williams in the stands during Ellenson’s games in Las Vegas and now in Augusta that fact has not gone unnoticed. “Their track record speaks for themselves,” Ellenson said of the Tar Heels. “They are an elite school and send players off to the NBA.
“They’ve been up to the gym quite a bit. (UNC assistant coach C.B. McGrath) has been keeping in touch with me. It’s been good.
“They told me they want a versatility guy. Roy likes big guys who can shoot, he says that’s the way the game is changing, so that’s how he sees me – pick and pop, or iso on the elbow, or iso in the post.”
The fast rising Rice Lake, Wis. native’s unique inside-outside skills and ball-handling ability propelled him to the top of his class this past spring and these skills were on display throughout the week. For example in the Wednesday night game with Williams in attendance, he knocked in a three in the first half and when the opponent switched to a zone he played point forward in the second half to help break the press.
“A big part of my game is handling the ball,” said Ellenson. “I helped break the press today. Ever since my rise in the spring I feel as though I have a target in my back with players coming after me. It makes me play that much harder.”
Essentially he’s shedding the label of “power forward” in the process. “I just call myself a forward,” he said. “I like playing point forward, inside-out. My guy is Carmelo (Anthony).
The way Ellenson views himself – and how a college aims to play him within its system – will play a major part in his decision.
“When I look at a school, I want to see how they are going to use me,” he said. “I don’t want to be stuck in the corner or stuck in the post. I want to be used throughout their offense – I want to be a key component to the offense.”
Ellenson has yet to take the next step in his recruitment, content to keep his focus on the court as the offers roll in. That’s about to change.
“I’ve been patient with it. I’m going to start making some moves here sooner than later. The next move is making a list and that might come up here in a little bit.
“I would like to still commit in November,” said Ellenson. “I need to cut my list down and will be doing it sooner rather than later. … Probably August, then I’m going to get my visits in.”
Ellenson said he expects to cut his list down to five or six schools, and he admitted that he already knows some that will make the cut, though he refrained from naming them.
“There are some schools I like and some where I know I’m not going to go.”
For now, Ellenson’s mind is set on the next event – the USA 17U training camp beginning next week in Colorado Springs.
“I can’t wait for the USA tryouts,” noted Ellenson. “In October, I was a completely different player. I’ve slimmed down 30 pounds, been hitting the speed and agility work in the spring and then in June when I had some time off. I feel as though I am a completely different player. I’m more aggressive and much more confident in my game.”