Name: Henry Ellenson
Measurables: 6’10”, 228 pounds, 7’1.5” wingspan
Ranking: #6 – Scout, #4 – ESPN, #17 – Rivals
High School: Rice Lake, WI
College: Marquette (Committed 10/9/14)
Henry Ellenson’s body went through a massive transformation throughout his junior year that turned the Wisconsin native into a five-star prospect. One year ago, Ellenson wrapped up a rather uninspiring weekend in Colorado Springs at the USA Developmental Camp. His three point shot fell short and he lacked the quickness to get by his defender off the dribble. Last weekend, Ellenson put together a dominant performance in the same gym complete with deep three’s, step back jumpers, and drives off the dribble.
In the spring Ellenson made a conscious effort to get in the weight room while working on his speed and agility. As a result, Ellenson slimmed up and lost 15 pounds giving him the extra burst he previously lacked. Throughout AAU play on the Nike EYBL circuit Ellenson’s versatility caught defenders by surprise. Here was a 6’10” big man that was bringing the ball up the court, going through his legs, and taking defenders off the dribble. While preferring to play on the perimeter on the offensive end, Ellenson had no trouble going up against fellow post players using his strong upper body and long reach to keep them at bay. After going into the spring as a Top 60 player, Ellenson soon became a Top 10 player in the class of 2014. He had Hall of Fame coaches watching his every move in July, but in the end it was a coach without a win to his name who won him over.
With his rise up the rankings, Ellenson was offered scholarships by schools such as Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, and UCLA; however Marquette took precedence over the aforementioned schools. In April, when Steve Wojcieschowski took the job in Milwaukee he made Ellenson his top priority. After watching him in Sacramento, Wojo got Henry’s older brother Wally to transfer to Marquette after two uninspiring seasons at Minnesota. Wojo then wrapped up the summer by watching Henry’s every move in Vegas, Augusta, and Colorado Springs. On October 9, 2014, Marquette landed their biggest commitment since Doc Rivers in the 1980’s.
The Henry Ellenson Book:
Ellenson’s versatility sets him apart from other players his size. He handles the ball like a point guard and can shoot it with range (despite what his percentages may say right now). He is a match-up problem on the wing with the ability to drive by less mobile defenders and finish at the rim with either hand. Ellenson is also comfortable taking a dribble or two towards the basket and creating space with a one dribble jump shot that he can hit out to the three point line. While he prefers to play on the wing, he can also bang down low when he needs and has a short right hook in his arsenal. As noted above, even with the weight loss Ellenson still possesses great upper body strength and a solid 7’2” reach which allows him to corral rebounds in the paint and hold his own on the defensive end.
After getting cut from the 16U USA team, Ellenson earned himself a spot on the 17U team this past summer and averaged 8.7 points in just 12 minutes giving him a ridiculous 36.4 PER according to DraftXpress.
Despite the weight loss, Ellenson still struggles with his vertical jump. A slow first jump and lack of air can often result in a blocked shot under the basket for Ellenson. He has improved over the past year, but still needs to work on his explosiveness. Also, he definitely has the tendency to fall in love with his perimeter game too much and can float outside of the arc when he could be posting up or battling down low (which he is capable of doing). During AAU play he often went long stretches without touching the paint on the offensive end. How will Wojo work the forwards unique skills into his offense? Ellenson has also shown his ability to shoot the ball in countless practices, scrimmages, and games however right now his percentages don’t match up with his ability. In the EYBL he only hit three’s at a 28.5% clip and he also went 0-6 in Dubai.
Getting a commitment from Henry Ellenson was HUGE for Wojo. Within six months on the job, Marquette now has a Top five recruiting class with three players from the state of Wisconsin in Ellenson, his AAU point guard Nick Noskowiak and 6’10” Matt Heldt. He also has a talented shooting guard from Florida in Haanif Cheatham. Ellenson will start immediately for Marquette during the 2015-16 season and he has a strong possibility of being a one and done player. While the results on the floor remain to be seen things are trending in the right direction for Wojo and Marquette.