Louisville adds play-making junior college guard El Ellis for Class of 2021 | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / February 25.
  • Louisville adds play-making junior college guard El Ellis for Class of 2021

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Louisville may have lost one star junior college guard in the Class of 2020, but they added another for 2021.

    The Cardinals lost out on Jay Scrubb when the former Louisville commit declared for the NBA and signed with an agent, but they added El Ellis from Tallahassee (FL) Community College on Wednesday.

    The 6-foot-3, 170-pound play-making point guard chose the Cardinals over Texas Tech, Iowa State, UConn, Ole Miss, Oregon, Georgia and N.C. Central.

    Louisville now has the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in 2021 behind USC, per 247Sports.com. They also added point guard Bobby Pettiford and power forward Bryce Hopkins.

    The Durham, N.C. native averaged 14.3 points, 4.5 assists and 3.9 rebounds while shooting 48 percent from the field last season and 40 percent from deep.

    “I have the opportunity too play in the best conference in college basketball, compete for a National Championship, and play under a great coaching staff!” Ellis told ZAGSBLOG. “Also on a stage players dream of playing on. My family will be able too see me play in person and that’s huge.”

    As for what skillset he will bring, he said, “My ability to make plays either for myself or my teammates. I will be a leader and will do anything to win.”

    At Quality Education (N.C.), Ellis finished his prep career with 2,383 career points. He averaged 16.7 points, 4.7 assists and 1.2 steals during his senior season.

    His father, Elbert Ellis, Jr., was a multi-sport athlete in football and track at the University of Pittsburgh and later played in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers.

    “He’s an elite scorer who’s transformed into a play-making point guard,” Tallahassee coach Zach Settembre said. “We won our league for the first time since 2001 and got to the NJCAA National tournament for the first time since 2011 because we had a deep and talented roster, but El was the straw that stirred the drink.”

    He added: “El Ellis is the hardest worker I’ve ever coached. He has an uncommon hunger that separates him from many other talented players. He is not afraid of the spotlight, not afraid to miss the big shot, and certainly not afraid to fail and get back up to try again.

    “His character and willingness to accept hard coaching makes him special. He can score at all 3 levels, has elite quickness in transition, finishes well around the rim with both hands, and knows how to play the point guard position. He’s come a long way since he first stepped on campus in Tallahassee in June of 2019. He’s developed into a college-ready play-maker who feels when to push the pace, when to get his team into an offensive set, and when a certain player needs a touch. His defense has improved and will continue to improve as he adds strength to his frame.

    “I expect him to be a driving force of leadership on our team this year, a team that’s already signed 5 D-1 transfers and could end up with as many as seven, on top of adding an NJCAA freshman All-American that joins our TCC family.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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