Ellenson Sees A Fit at Wisconsin

One of a handful of top prospects on hand for Wisconsin's win over No.9 Michigan State last weekend, Rice Lake (WI) four-star center Henry Ellenson sees the Badgers fitting the needs he's looking in a college program.

MADISON - Having made only one trip to the Kohl Center for a Wisconsin basketball game, Henry Ellenson remembers bits and pieces from the game he attended with his older brother, Wally Ellenson, years ago. Needless to say that Sunday's nationally-televised basketball game was a great refresher.

"It was great to see the atmosphere again, and I forgot how loud it was at Wisconsin with the crowds," Ellenson told BadgerNation. "It was fun to watch them play. It was a good time and I am hoping to go down there again."

Rolling out the red carpet for their top Midwest prospects in their win over No.9 Michigan State, Ellenson – a 6-9, 250-pound center from Rice Lake, Wis. – was one of three big-name junior recruits in attendance, joining Milwaukee Dominican five-star center Diamond Stone and Minneapolis De La Salle four-star guard Jarvis Johnson.

Like the other two, Ellenson was able to spend time around the coaching staff, particularly head coach Bo Ryan. With Ryan having made several trips up to northwest Wisconsin to watch Ellenson work, the four-star prospect –ranked the No.16 center in the county – finally got to sit in Ryan's office.

"They wanted me to get down there for sure, and I know I have put off taking visits, but they've been expressing how bad they want me and how I can help their program," said Ellenson, one of six known junior prospects who hold a Wisconsin offer. "I can see the interest level is high for them."

Ellenson says he has 16 offers and has picked the brains of his two older brothers – Wally is at Minnesota while Ellwood is at Bemidji State - about how to handle the recruiting process. With both saying to simply look for the best fit, the youngest Ellenson said he is looking for a program where he has a good relationship with the coaching staff and has the opportunity to play right away.

When he looks at Wisconsin, Ellenson sees the Badgers meet most of his needs.

"I know Bo and he's a nice guy, a funny guy, and the coaches are saying their roster is going to be cut down for big guys with my kind of game," said Ellenson. "I'd have an opportunity to play right away, which hopefully would get me started on my dream to play in the NBA."

Cruising along in its conference, Rice Lake (15-2, 10-0 Big Rivers) has received plenty of production from Ellenson, who is averaging over 25 points per game. With his 21-point performance in a 61-40 win over Ashland Tuesday, Ellenson has scored at least 20 points in 11 games this season. "I think we're playing real well right now," said Ellenson. "We're starting to click defensively, really holding teams down. Offensively we're getting there and starting to peak at the right time. I've tried to take a leadership role on my team. Not just scoring wise, but trying to lead guys on the court. The team has rallied around me to lead them."

Following the state tournament, Ellenson plans to narrow his scholarship list and possibly take more visits, hoping to decide by the start of his senior season.

"After we win state and before summer gets going, I'm going to make a list and go from there," he said. "I know I can't check out every place."

The Badgers are expected to have five scholarships available for the 2015 recruiting class.


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