The college basketball landscape was dealt an interesting twist when one of the top prospects in the nation, Boogie Ellis, requested a release from his Letter of Intent to the Duke Blue Devils. This news was first reported by Evan Daniels of 247Sports, and he cites that Duke is expected to grant the request from Ellis.
With the 6-foot-2 guard now expected back in the recruiting mix, he’ll have a number of high-profile and top-tier schools pursuing him once again. It’s not at all surprising, considering the schools who had interest in Ellis prior to his initial decision.
We’re going to take a look at a few key things to know about Ellis’ decommitment from Duke and the recruitment moving forward.
Boogie Ellis Committed to Duke After Citing Relationship With Coach K
While there’s no known reason to believe that anything has changed between Ellis and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, it appears the relationship between the two was a selling point for the guard at first. As Daniels and 247Sports revealed, Ellis raved about Coach K and explained what sold him on the Blue Devils.
“I just felt like Coach K has the best vision for me as well as getting to my other dreams as being a pro and stuff like that. I feel like he gave me the opportunity to be an impact player, that’s what he really sold me on,” Ellis told 247Sports.
As Rivals details, Ellis made his visit to Durham on October 26, 2018, and proceeded to commit to the Blue Devils on November 9, pointing to his decision coming fairly quickly after. This marked his final visit, coming shortly after trips to Oregon (October 19) and North Carolina (October 12).
Ellis Was a 4-Star Recruit Out of San Diego, California
Regardless of which recruiting website you looked at, Ellis had a top-tier grade and was considered among the top-50 players in the class of 2019. ESPN’s Top 100, Rivals and 247Sports’ Composite all have Ellis ranked No. 42 or better.
Here’s a look at the ranking which each site had given the talented guard:
- Rivals: No. 42 national, No. 8 position
- ESPN: No. 36 national, No. 7 position
- 247Sports: No. 34 national, No. 5 position
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Ellis’ ranking improved quite a bit since the start, as 247Sports had him jumping 37 spots from his starting point. Even more impressive is the fact that he was listed as the No. 164 player by the site on June 14, 2018, and climbed throughout the next six months.
Boogie Ellis Received 18 Offers Initially Before Choosing Duke
There was no shortage of offers for Ellis to choose from during his initial recruitment. While the Blue Devils emerged originally, the other teams in the mix were all noteworthy and intriguing. According to Rivals, there were 18 offers.
Here’s the list of offers which Ellis first received (in alphabetical order):
- Arizona Wildcats
- Duke Blue Devils
- Eastern Washington Eagles
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
- Memphis Tigers
- North Carolina Tar Heels
- Oregon Ducks
- San Diego State Aztecs
- USC Trojans
- California Golden Bears
- Colorado Buffaloes
- Gonzaga Bulldogs
- Nevada Wolf Pack
- NC State Wolfpack
- Oklahoma Sooners
- Tulane Green Wave
- Cal State Fullerton Titans
- UC Davis Aggies
Of those 18 schools, he made eight visits and five of them were official. The official visits included Arizona, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Oregon and USC.
10 Teams Reached Out to Ellis Immediately After News
It didn’t take long for the recruiting outlook to ramp up for Ellis once again after the news of his expected release from Duke came to light. As Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com reported, 10 teams reached out to him by Thursday afternoon.
Per Zagoria, this list included the Washington Huskies, Georgetown Hoyas, Virginia Cavaliers, Arizona Wildcats, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Kansas Jayhawks, Memphis Tigers, UCLA Bruins and Vanderbilt Commodores. This was just the starting point, as Zagoria’s list was posted in the afternoon at roughly 5 p.m. ET.
It’s likely that the number of teams making a late push for Ellis will only continue to grow, and there’s bound to be additional programs added to that list.
Ellis Previously Called UNC His ‘Dream School,’ Is Linked to Memphis
There’s bound to be plenty of recruiting in the immediate future from top programs before Ellis makes his decision on where to play next. While it obviously won’t be an easy call, there are a few teams which already jump out, one of which is Duke’s biggest rival in the North Carolina Tar Heels.
As Prep Circuit previously revealed, Ellis called UNC his “dream school.”
“North Carolina has always been a dream school for me since I was little,” said Ellis. “My grandparents and some of my family went there, so when I got that offer it was a great feeling. I’m just trying to check it out and see what it’s like. Like the rest of the schools I am visiting, I am going to see if it’s the best fit for me.”
Ellis also praised the Memphis Tigers and specifically assistant coach Mike Miller. He called the Tigers a “really good place to be” while citing their three coaches with NBA experience and said he has a strong relationship with Miller, who he talks to “almost every day,” per Prep Circuit.
Shortly after the Duke news, ESPN’s John Martin revealed that Rod Hampton, the father of five-star guard RJ Hampton, said there’s a strong chance his son and Ellis play together at Memphis.
Ellis now has a big decision, but Memphis does appear to be very much in the mix once again. Whether or not they’re the favorite will be interesting to monitor, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him wind up with the Tigers.