Sky's the Limit for Ellis

SI Continues to bring recruiting coverage from across the nation. Today we bring you an interview with Joe Auer, Head Coach of 2012 Forward Perry Ellis out of Heights High School located in Wichita, Kansas. Ellis is a highly regarded sophomore who is receiving big time offers already.

Perry Ellis averaged 20-points and 12-rebounds last season for Heights High School (Kan.). Those numbers are impressive for any level of basketball rather it be the NBA, NCAA, or high school. What is outrageous about those stats for Ellis is that he was only a freshman in high school putting up those stats on the varsity team.

Putting up outrageous numbers wasn't the only major feat Ellis was able to accomplish as a freshman.

"Ellis was the state player of the year as a freshman," Coach Auer said. "And he led us to an undefeated record in our league and we went 24-1 overall and lead us to the state championship."

"You can't ask for much more from a freshman. He had probably the greatest freshman season out of our state. The sky is the limit for this guy."

Being so young Ellis has plenty of years to get better but is already doing well in a lot of different areas according to Coach Auer.

"Ellis is the fastest guy in our program," Coach Auer began. "He has tremendous speed for a big man especially in transition and very fast when the ball is in his hands. He is very strong and got great hands. He's a tremendous rebounder and a tremendous on the ball defender. He has to get a little better on his post defense but he is actually very good on the perimeter defensively."

Coach Auer talked about Ellis's game down low.

"It's terrific," Coach Auer said when asked about Ellis's offensive game down low. "He was about 63% from the field last year, you know 20-points a game and most of those points came from inside last year."

With Ellis being so young it's kind of hard to point out a weakness in his game since he has some years to work and get better for the next level.

"Ellis is 16 so he has the normal progression that a young player has to make. He's going to improve with his perimeter jump shooting, he already has. He is going to continue to work on that on a regular basis. He is going to continue to get better with his interior defense. Think he will probably get a little more physical defensively."

Last season defenses did not have much of an answer for Ellis. So they would just send him to the line most of the night.

"We didn't have him in a real physical roll defensively last year," Coach Auer stated.

"He took a real beating on offense. The only defense that was effective on him was to have a couple of guys foul him every time he touched the ball."

Going into his sophomore year Ellis has already compiled an extremely impressive offer list with offers from Kansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Memphis. Ellis's sister Savannah Ellis plays basketball at the University of Memphis which could be play a factor in his decision but at the moment he is wide open.

"He is wide open right now," Coach Auer said. "He's just enjoying getting ready for his next high school season. And he's taking advantage of getting to communicate with some of the best programs in the country right now. I think he enjoys finding out about great coaches, great players and great programs and he is just kind of taking it all in."

Coach Auer says they are taking the whole recruiting process nice and slow.

"We are taking it nice and easy and slow," Coach Auer stated. "We are not trying to put any pressure on the decision making process. He is simply in a play hard and evaluating what all the college programs are all about kind of mode right now. We are not in any kind of rush to make a decision right now."

Coach Jeff Capel has been doing a terrific job recruiting for Oklahoma and has made an impression on Coach Auer and Ellis.

"He was honored by it, it was quite an honor," Coach Auer explained when asked what Ellis thought about the OU offer.

"We spent some time with Coach Capel last year. We are very impressed with the job he does and the type of program he runs. Definitely very impressed with coach and the work he does and we are very excited and honored by that offer at this early stage."

Coach Auer says him and Ellis plan on seeing the Sooners later this season.

"I am sure we will be down there this season. As far as when I'm not sure yet but I'm sure we will see the Sooners in action this year."

With Ellis being only a sophomore the greatest asset he has is time.

"One of the greatest assets he has is time because he has a lot of time," Coach Auer stated. "He is taking advantage of it. He is working hard in the weight room and working hard on his skills. He is very hungry and a humble young man that I think really enjoys getting better. He is just trying to get better every day and just seeing how far we can take his game."

After watching Blake Griffin dominate the last two years and play above the rim, Sooner fans may have been spoiled by that. Ellis can play above the rim as well if he needs to do so.

"He is a big man with tremendous athleticism. He definitely is capable of doing whatever is needed in a game. He can definitely get off the ground and make things happen. He is very gifted athletically."


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