Henry Ellenson is one of the best stretch big men in the nation. The Marquette Golden Eagles haven’t had a pro prospect like this since Dwayne Wade. And because of his presence, the Eagles are making a run at postseason play.
It would take a Herculean-type effort in the Big East Tournament to obtain a bid for the Big Dance, but the NIT is certainly a distinct possibility. And judging by his impressive resume before Marquette, there is a good chance that Ellenson will succeed in any matchup.
Ellenson is one the most decorated high school athletes to come from the state of Wisconsin. The 6’10 forward was named to the McDonald’s All-American team. In addition, he was a Parade All-American, and the Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year. Ellenson also competed at the 2014 FIBA U-17 Championships.
Like most top prospects, the lure of the NBA is too great to pass up.
Currently, Ellenson is a projected top-10 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Some experts even have Ellenson going as high as the fourth overall pick. His game is catered well to the NBA style of play, and is indeed worthy of a lottery selection.
On the season, Ellenson averages 16.5 points and 10 rebounds. He’s had seven games of 20 or more points, including a 30 point performance January 30th against Butler. Ellenson also shoots a respectable 43.5 from the field.
The best player comparison for Ellenson is Kevin Love, whom is one of the best floor-spacers in the NBA. Ellenson has a great post game, and moves well around the basket. But what makes the Marquette freshman exceptional is his ability to play away from the hoop.
Ellenson is an extremely gifted shooter away from the basket. This is where the Kevin Love comparisons come into play. Love features a wide array of post moves, and pairs that with the threat of outside shooting, as does Ellenson.
While Ellenson might not shoot the three ball at a respectable percentage (.279), it’s important to remember that Love himself struggled at the three point line in college, only shooting .343 from beyond the arc. And while Loves percentages are much higher, Ellenson is on pace to shoot a higher number of three point shots than Love did in college.
Ellenson is only a freshman at the collegiate level. That makes him a prime candidate for the NBA. Teams love the high upside players like Ellenson. He still hasn’t grown into his game, but the payoff will be tremendous for the team that takes the chance on him.
Follow Daniel James Gentile on Twitter @Dgentleman9288