By NICK MEDLINE
Special to ZAGSBLOG
EVANSTON, Ill. — Before a midday game at the Northwestern Saturday team camp, the entire Rice Lake (WI) team simply watched Henry Ellenson warm up.
During the game against Stevenson (IL) — without uncommitted 2015 guard Jalen Brunson — they watched his usual show. He scored a handful of buckets from the low post, and then stepped out to hit more. It was everything that explained his sudden rise.
Once a hidden gem in the Midwest, the 6-foot-10 power forward “blew up” and became the No. 17 player in the class of 2015, according to Rivals.com. He holds 19 offers, and most important, tried to list eight of the schools most involved in his recruitment. [He did not offer a top list.]
“I’ve been hearing from a lot, and I feel bad every time I say the names. I keep messing up,” he said. “But Northwestern, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Marquette, Duke, Michigan, UNC and UCLA.”
Unlike some top recruits, Ellenson seems more of the quiet type. He’s not giving any hints about his recruitment—with some speculating that Wisconsin will be difficult to beat.
“All those programs are big time,” Ellenson said. “It’s been a good process and hasn’t put too much pressure on me. It’s nice to hear from the programs and be able to talk to them.”
Ellenson will not set a specific date for when he trims his list, but said it would happen sometime in August.
Until then, he can hear from a growing number of coaches. Hoops expert Rob Harrington of Scout.com called Ellenson one of the “five rising prospects” for the class of 2015. His spring outings led to new offers including those from Duke, UNC and UCLA.
Ellenson now plans to compete with Playground Elite (WI) on the July AAU circuit. It should only give coaches incentive to recruit him harder.
“I want to show my outside game, my inside game and versatility,” he said. “I’ve been able to show off my skillset and people have been able to see it.”