Ellington On Pace For June Decision

Wayne Ellington is ready for the Southern Invitational. The 6-foot-4 guard would love to battle O.J. Mayo in Charlottesville this weekend. But first, Ellington provides the latest on his recruitment ...

Minutes before he was about to launch himself over a bar in a high jump event, we caught up with Wayne Ellington on Wednesday. The 6-foot-4 junior from Episcopal in Philly made the jump and called back later.

Well, when he called back, it was shocking to learn that there were two kids who were able to jump higher than he.

"It's more about technique," Ellington joked.

While Ellington might have finished third yesterday, he's more apt to finish in the winner's circle when it comes to hoops. The stud 2006 recruit is looking forward to this weekend's Southern Invitational with an eye on a potential match up with a 2007 standout.

"It's a pretty big tournament," Ellington said. "It's a combination of some good teams, not just Nike or adidas teams, but a combination. And I heard that if we win a few games we'll match up with O.J. Mayo."

Ellington would like nothing more than to meet up with Mayo in the playoffs.

"I just look at it as being pushed. Of course he's going to go out and compete. I want to go out and be a competitor and try to win."

Speaking of trying to win, three colleges are battling for his signature. Villanova and North Carolina top his list, with UConn fighting to stay alive.

Last weekend, he visited Villanova officially.

"It was a lot of fun, hanging out with the guys and stuff. I saw how it would be if I went to school there. A lot of students actually knew who I was. That was kind of weird."

Weird, Ellington said, but in a good way. In fact, he was rather impressed that many people knew who he was. Plus, the Wildcats have a good product to sell.

"Coming in right away and producing and being the hometown guy," Ellington listed as primary reasons for considering Villanova. "Pretty much being able to play my game and do what I do from the get go. They're a program on the rise and I can be a key piece to taking it to the next level."

Ellington's second visit of the spring belongs to North Carolina where he'll see the campus on the weekend of May 20th. So far, Ellington's been impressed by UNC's Roy Williams.

"He seems like a sincere guy," Ellington said. "He thinks that I'm a special player that would fit great in his program. He also thinks I'll be able to come in right away and produce. He also thinks that I have what it takes to get them another national championship."

And then there's UConn, another one of the heavy hitters, hoping to knock one out of the park. However, at this point, UConn needs to get a base hit to stay alive. The Huskies have done a nice job recruiting him and Ellington's interested, but it just seems like he's attracted to UNC and 'Nova a little more.

"I think I was a lot closer to [UNC and Villanova] than I was to UConn throughout the whole process. Villanova being close to home and North Carolina being one of my favorite schools since I grew up … there's nothing bad about UConn but it's just that those other two schools are that high."

Recently, speculation has increased that if teammate Gerald Henderson were to pick Duke, Ellington would stay away from Chapel Hill and not play in the same league with a good friend.

"That's not true at all," Ellington said. "We'd love to go at it. We'd love it."

Then there's the speculation about both picking Villanova.

"Of course we could [both go there]. We have a great relationship on and off the court. I don't think anything would stop us from going on a couple more years. I think we might both want to go our separate ways but it's definitely not out of the picture at all."

Right now, the big picture is that Ellington could make a decision before July. His recruitment has progressed and a decision soon is possible. He'll spend two straight weekends in North Carolina at the end of May (the visit to UNC followed by the Tournament of Champions), and expects to be ready to decide after that.

"I think I'll be ready sooner than [the fall]. I'll [commit] in early June."


Inside Carolina Top Stories