City of Palms: Wayne Ellington

FT. MYERS, Fla. -- During the fall there was a lot of talk about how much Wayne Ellington had been improving since the summer. While it isn't a surprise that a high school junior would improve, in Ellington's case you're talking about a guy who was already considered one of the top 20 or so players in his class nationally.

Friday night at the City of Palms in Ft. Myers, Fla., Ellington had an opportunity to show just how much he had improved in recent months and didn't disappoint in a 28-point, six-rebound effort as Merion (Pa.) Episcopal took out Laplace (La.) Reserve Christian.

"During the first half I felt great, in the second half I came out a little slow," said Ellington. "We finally got it together during the fourth quarter and were able to come away with the win."

Ellington has always been known as a player who is capable of putting up points in a hurry thanks to an advanced mid-range game, but he's developed into much more than that. The mid-range ability is still there, but he's become deadly to 21 feet, become more aware of what is going on around him and on top of all of that he's in the middle of a growth spurt and looks to have grown to a legitimate 6-5.

Really, you only need one word to describe his game -- confident.

"I'm confident mostly, I'm confident in my shot and I'm confident that I'm going to make plays out there," Ellington told Inside Carolina. "Everything about my game could use improvement, though, and I'm working to be a complete player."

While he may say that everything in his game needs work, there really aren't many holes in Ellington's game. He needs to add strength and he's learning to use newfound height and athleticism to his advantage while shoring up his overall ball-handling, but outside of that he's pretty close to being the total package.

In the past he's listed schools like North Carolina, Arizona, Wake Forest, UConn, Maryland, Villanova and North Carolina State among others but Ellington is guarded when it comes to giving out a more defined list and wants to see what is out there.

"It's still the same, and I'm wide open," said Ellington. "I like a lot of ACC schools and Big East schools pretty much. North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, pretty much I like all of them in the ACC. Off the East Coast Arizona is maybe the only one."

Ellington is fully aware of the benefits of playing alongside another stud from the class of 2006 in 6-5 wing Gerald Henderson. He's also not afraid to admit that he'd like to add a little bit of his friend's game to his own.

"His jumping ability, man," said Ellington. "I don't see anybody out there who can get off the floor like he can."

With the rest of his junior season to go, Ellington hinted that he'll probably get more serious about schools during the early spring. Right now he's just worrying about making plays.

"I just like making big plays and making opportunities for my team to win, that's what excites the most," he said.


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