De La Salle standout visits Northwestern

De La Salle (Ill.) Institute forward Alvin Ellis is being heavily recruited, but it's Northwestern which has offered some of the strongest interest. Ellis visited Evanston on Tuesday as the Wildcats' pursuit continued.

The recent signing of 7-foot-2 Chier Ajou tied the ribbon around Northwestern's 2012 recruiting class. It also marked the end of a busy spring for the program, notably including the Mislav Brzoja saga and cutting ties with 2013 big man Milos Kostic.

But there's no rest for the weary, and the Wildcats and head coach Bill Carmody have immediately turned their eyes to the next round of targets.

A major part of Northwestern's plans for 2013 looks to be three-star guard Alvin Ellis of Chicago's De La Salle Institute, who holds an offer from NU and visited campus yesterday.

"[The visit] went real well," said Ellis. "I talked to Coach Carmody and Coach Hardy, and they were telling me how they like my game and really need me there. [Northwestern] is close to the lake, and only about 20 minutes from downtown Chicago which I like."

Ellis toured the school and surrounding Evanston area with associate head coach Tavaras Hardy, his lead recruiter. The pair shares a tight relationship that will be a factor in Ellis' college decision.

"We're real close, [Hardy] has been recruiting me since the end of my freshman year," said Ellis. "I like how he plays with the players on the court in scrimmages, he really gets in there. He's almost like a big brother to them."

Ellis is a long, 6-foot-4 shooting guard who can score in a variety of ways and put up points in bunches. In March, having just returned from injury, Ellis notched 42 points and nearly carried De La Salle to a regional victory. Comfortable within halfcourt sets and on the break, the swingman fits in nicely with Northwestern's plans for the future.

"I'd see myself fitting in really well," said Ellis. "The coaches told me that over the next few years they're trying to take their game to an uptempo, fast pace, and I can help them with that."

According to Ellis, Northwestern, Kansas State, Minnesota and Tennessee stand out as the four schools recruiting him the hardest. With other high-major programs still trying to enter that mix, Ellis is content to wait on his commitment while his recruitment process evolves. Importantly, Northwestern was the first school to offer him a scholarship, something Ellis won't forget.

"I'm just taking my time right now, there's no set date or anything like that; I'm still going to take all my visits," explained Ellis. "Northwestern was the first team to look at me and recognize my game, and so I'll take that into consideration when I eventually make my choice."

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