Since I am home on Christmas break, I decided to take a trip back to my alma matter Bishop Carroll to watch them take on Wichita Heights last night. Being a former player in the program, I knew that Carroll would be looking to pack the middle and play the sort of scrappy defense, similar to that of the Wildcats, if they were going to have a chance in this game. As expected, this was the defensive game plan for the night, but Heights was just too athletic. Which brings me to the point of this article, one Perry Ellis.
As many of you know, Kansas State is in on Ellis' list of schools as he narrows down to finally making a decision. As I sat and watched him play, a couple things came to mind:
1. Ellis didn't seem to really be trying all that hard in the first quarter: Bishop Carroll is a team that does not have a single player over 6' 4" which would lead me to believe that Ellis would be able to have his way with them in the paint, but it did not show in the first quarter. Worth noting, Ellis had 1 point the entire first quarter
2. Ellis shows flashes of potential greatness. From the second quarter on, Ellis seemed to get into more of a rhythm and looked for his shot more. I was very impressed with the way that he composed himself when he caught the ball in the paint. He slowed down, took in the situation and made some athletic moves to score. In the second half, he had two monster dunks on alley oops, the second of which was called off due to an offensive foul on the pass.
3. Even with all this, I think he looked a little soft all night. I never really felt like he was dominating the glass like he should have been or took over offensively in the post. Also worth noting, he did finish the game with 21 points (about 7-8 of which came from the line I think), but it was a very quite 21 for the most part.
All of this makes me wonder just how well Ellis would fit into Kansas State's program. I do cut the guy a little bit of slack considering that it was the first game back from break, and being who he is everyone is focusing on him over anyone else on the team, but there is still one thing that concerns me about him.
At times, his free throw shooting would fit in perfectly with the Wildcats, but he did shoot better than average in the game against Carroll, but what still bugs me is the fact that he just played so soft. I think Frank could change that, but with what I've seen from our bigs this year, I just don't know if we need another guy that will play soft in the post.
He definitely has the talent and the basketball IQ to play for us and be a great addition, and I would love to see him in a Wildcat uniform. I just hope that if it does happen, he is not intimidated to the point of not being effective, and that HCFM can toughen him up and turn him into the type of guy that will bang in the post.
Yes, I understand this was just one game, and these are my concerns for what I saw in just that game. I know he is an incredible athlete with a very good ability to score, and I know for a fact that he is a hard worker because from his freshman year (when I was a senior and played against him) to now being in his junior year, he has developed a mid range jump shot to compliment his post play. This is the type of guy that I don't believe will give up, and will continue to work hard, as to whether or not he'll be a Wildcat... Well... Nobody can say for sure.
Also worth noting: Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel were both in attendance at the game