Henry Ellenson (Freshman, Marquette)
Product of…Rice Lake HS (Rice Lake, WI)
17 points/game, 9.7 rebounds/game, 1.8 assists/game
Marquette’s Henry Ellenson, the Big East Freshman of the Year, is one of the more well-rounded four men this class has to offer. When you look up and down each prospect list, only a few can check off as many boxes as Ellenson when it comes to readiness & offensive polish. With a decent arsenal facing up, and improving range, Ellenson’s physical tools (6’11, 245) are boosted by a nice, complentary skill set.
There’s a reason teams are targeting him as a potential top 10 pick: his body of work. Ellenson led the Big East in total rebounds a year ago, and was also fourth in points and blocks. He’ll be able to step in next year and provide tremendous energy in the lane, even if his shot isn’t quite there and he has a tough time stopping quicker forwards.
At age 19, Ellenson remains ahead of the curve and won’t last past 11 or 12 in the draft.
NBA Skills: Rebounding, faceup scoring
-Skilled facing up; comfortable shooting Js out to 20 feet, will size up his man and try to race by for easy paint opportunities; plays the boards well
-Super high motor, especially on the glass; an “annoying” rebounder – boxes out very well, stays active for unsuspecting tips and caroms
-Very mobile, fluid movements for a near seven footer; versatility to play the 3-5 in some cases – can attack the basket after a closeout; guard skills: can handle the rock a bit and make plays as a passer in the open court
-Not a great athlete; doesn’t explode to the hole or feature a blinding first step; not much of a post game at this stage
-Projects as a stretch four but does not fall under the category yet; NBA three will be a challenge, though Ellenson could begin by exclusively launching threes in pick and pop spots; shot only 29% from the college three, made less than one a game
-Who will he defend?; has trouble containing quicker bigs; has a long wingspan, could turn into a solid shot-blocker at the 4
NBA DOG Status: Star UnderDOG
Henry Ellenson is a perfect solution for any team looking for an active big with confidence and skill on the perimeter. A more uptempo setting like Phoenix makes the most sense, though Ellenson’s impact could come from a variety of areas as a rook.
In terms of upside, he’s right near the top of the gluttony of similar bigs this class has to offer. If Ellenson can find some sort of niche on the defensive side, as well as developing a way to stay as effective (setting screens, fighting hard to get open, go-to hooks, faders) on offense despite lacking explosiveness, he’ll justify a top-10 selection.
NBA Comparison: Markieff Morris