By MATT GRAVETT
Special to ZAGSBLOG
MINNEAPOLIS – One of the most versatile players in the Class of 2015 is Henry Ellenson.
A 6-foot-10 power forward from Rice Lake, WI, Ellenson is ranked No. 9 at his position in the class by 247Sports.com. He is comfortable putting the ball on the floor, banging down low or shooting from long-range. His mix of size, athleticism, and skill made him an All-State player in Wisconsin, and Playground Elite’s leading scorer and rebounder on the EYBL circuit.
Ellenson wants to utilize his diverse skill set at a program that will let him play different positions.
“I’m looking at a place where I’ll be able to play inside and outside, and put it on the floor and be able to shoot,” he told SNY.tv exclusively this past weekend at the Nike EYBL stop here.. “I don’t want to be stuck in a certain position. Playing my way and where they would play me — I don’t want to be stuck in one spot. That’s probably the biggest factor in my decision.”
Ellenson reports that the schools recruiting him the hardest are Duke, Iowa State, Marquette, Michigan State, North Carolina, UCLA, and Wisconsin.
His three most recent offers came from North Carolina, Duke, and UCLA.
Tar Heels coach Roy Williams has had Ellenson on his radar since sophomore year, when he started flying to Rice Lake to scout the talented big man.
“They want another guy who can stretch the floor and hit a shot,” he said.
Ellenson has been on Duke’s radar since the fall.
“I talked to them a little bit in the fall, and then they came up here in my [high school] season, then they came up in the Spring,” he said.
The UCLA offer took Henry by surprise, but he’s intrigued by the Bruins.
“When they offered was actually the first time I had talked to them,” he said. “I talked to [head coach Steve] Alford. He said that he liked my game. He likes using a stretch four that can shoot the ball.”
His brother, Wally, could potentially throw a twist into his recruitment. A sophomore small forward and high jumper at Minnesota last season, he left the basketball team mid-season.
The elder Ellenson currently holds an offer to play basketball and run track at Texas Tech. Wally isn’t being recruited by the Red Raiders, however. Henry admits he’d like to play with his brother under the right scenario.
“It would be fun,” he says. “We’ll see if we can play with each other.”
For now, Ellenson just wants to focus on the schools that are actively recruiting him. He doesn’t want to name any leaders yet, but will likely narrow down his list in July or August. The four-star plans to take his official visits during the fall and commit soon after.