One of the trends from the 2015-16 college basketball season was the fact that teams appeared to ‘waste’ the talents of their high-profile freshmen. It’s merely a matter of opinion, but several teams failed to live up to their potential and achieve their lofty expectations.
The most notable situation is Ben Simmons and the LSU Tigers. Despite Simmons’ personally strong statistical season, the Tigers failed to make the post-season, and Simmons is off to the draft after just one season. He is the projected first overall selection on June 23rd.
On Sunday, another top freshman announced his decision in regards to the NBA Draft.
Forward Henry Ellenson announced that he was entering the 2016 NBA Draft and signing with an agent, ending his tenure with the Marquette Golden Eagles in the process.
Ellenson, a 6’10”, 245-pound forward from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, was the fifth-ranked recruit in the Class of 2015 by ESPN. He opted to play at Marquette over the likes of the Michigan State Spartans and the Kentucky Wildcats.
He was able to suit up alongside his brother Wally Ellenson at Marquette.
With his commitment, the Golden Eagles were projected as a team who could contend for the Big East crown. Unfortunately, those predictions never came into focus, and the Golden Eagles weren’t able to put together the rebound season that many had hoped.
Marquette finished the season with an overall record of 20-13, but just 8-10 in conference play.
On a personal level, Ellenson put together a strong season as a freshman. He averaged 17.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game, leading the team in all three categories. Ellenson shot 44.6% from the floor on the year, and 28.8% from three point range.
He has good shooting range for a player of his size, but he needs to become more consistent with the long range jumpers. If he can continue to develop his long range shooting, he will take his game to another level.
Come the NBA Draft, it is expected by many that Ellenson will hear his name called in the top five selections. He has the tools to succeed at the next level, and whoever takes him in the draft will be more than pleased that they did.