|Sweet hair. Please keep this style.|
Welcome to the team, Alvin Ellis. It's not the kind of signing that will blow your skirt up or anything, but I still think it's a pretty decent signing - and at least it's a signing of some kind. Ellis is a three star recruit according to both ESPN and Rivals, with ESPN getting more specific and calling him the 52nd best SG in his class and scouting him with a 72 rating. For reference, that rating is about on par with what Chip Armelin was ranked coming in by ESPN, and actually makes him the lowest ranked recruit (according to them) Tubby has brought in since coming to Minnesota. Normally news like that would have be ranting and raving and breaking things and stabbing people with broken things, but the scouting report ESPN put out there makes it sound like he's got some actual potential.
According to their report he's both strong and athletic with a high basketball IQ (and I love me some high basketball IQ guys) with good ability to get to the rim as well as knock down an open jumper and is a very good defender. Hell, I'll take that. It also points out he's not the best ball-handler, which for a guard in the Big 10 is a pretty big negative, and also he needs to work on his jumper and is a good, not great athlete. They also say he gets it done at a high level and has tremendous upside. Cool. Sounds like a good base to start from, because his shooting and ball-handling can always improve with more practice - the fact that he's a good (and willing) defender and smart player makes me think this could end up being one of those underrated type signings who may not do much for a year or two but ends up being a major contributor as an upper classman.
Additionally, despite the low rating from ESPN this wasn't a last minute recruit to fill a scholarship that was still open and sitting there in spring (like Maverick). According to everything I've read this guy was recruited hard by the Gophers who wanted him bad and have for a couple of years. Say what you want about the lukewarm success, both recruiting and on the court, the team has seen since hiring Tubby, but if he identifies a kid he wants that long ago, stays on him, and ends up signing him I'm going to trust his judgement.
Lastly, depending on what you read, it sounds like he had offers from Kansas State, Wichita State, Northwestern, and Butler. Considering Butler and Wichita State have been very successful lately and built their success by finding underrated and under-recruited kids, I gotta say I'm on board here.
Seriously, what is wrong with me? I've turned into Pollyanna. I'm going to go push some kids down some stairs to balance myself out. Then maybe I'll eat a puppy.