Henry Ellenson is a power forward from the Marquette University. Ellenson is 6’10 and has a wingspan of 7’2. For the year, he averaged, 33.5 minutes per game, 17.0 points per game, 9.7 rebounds per game, 1.8 assists per game, 1.5 blocks per game, while shooting 44.6% from the field, and 28.8% from three.
- Dynamic offensive piece
- Developing stretch four
- Good shooting mechanics
- Above average free throw shooter(74.9%)
- Good touch around the rim
- Good footwork
- Good distributor
- Decent ball handler for a big man
- Excellent rebounder
- Potential for shot blocking development due to length
- High basketball IQ
- Shows a lot of confidence in his game
- Below average athleticism
- Streaky shooter from three
- Needs to expand his post moves
- Stays away from contact
- Poor transition player
- Slow feet make him a defensive liability
- Big, but not very muscular
Henry Ellenson has been viewed by some as a potential top five pick, while others have in the top twenty. I watched a lot of Marquette games this year, and quickly fell for Ellenson, but he needs a lot of development, and is not the star type player some are trying to make him out to be.
On the offensive side of the ball, Ellenson can be a deadly shooter from anywhere on the court. His favorite move is to face up opponents, and take them off the dribble, which is effective in college, but his slower speed might lead to more turnovers in the NBA. He will camp around the perimeter for good chunks of the game, and shooting less than 30% from three is a little nerve wracking going into the next level, but the form is there, Ellenson just needs to practice it more. Ellenson has a crafty ability to shake off opponents in the paint, but his limited arsenal of offensive moves will become easy for those defenders to anticipate, and must work on more moves to be successful. Ellenson also has the task of looking to draw more contact once in the NBA, as he is a good free throw shooting big, and has the lengthy body to draw a lot of contact at the next level. Ellenson’s high IQ on the offensive side of the ball, leads him to be a good distributor of the basketball. His assists numbers do not give him the credit he deserves for his ball movement.
Defensively, ellenson has a lot of work to do. Ellenson has very little athleticism, and is very slow moving. With the majority of stretch fours becoming more and more athletic, Ellenson’s slow lateral footwork is going to have players blowing by him off the perimeter. His interior defense is suspect as well. He uses his length well to contest shots near the basket, but his lack of strength is apparent when he gets back down with ease from bigger players. If Ellenson can go to a team with a defensive minded coach, he could evolve into a terrorizing two-way player. Rebounding is a huge strength of Ellenson. He uses his tracking ability and length to scoop up anything near him.
As an overall player, Ellenson does have lottery type potential, but will need a year or two to fulfil that potential. Offensively, Ellenson is second to none in his ability to score, but he would benefit from developing an array of offensive moves. Ellenson also need to target contact to become an effective player at the next level, as shooting only jumpers could kill his career at the next level. Defensively, a lot of fault can be placed on his athleticism not being elite, as his speed and agility suffer. Unless he puts a lot of work in with coaching, this might be a permanent liability for him. Come draft night, I think Ellenson’s range will be in the 12-20 range. I would not be surprised for a General Manager to fall in love with him in the top ten, but think value wise, he sits in the mid-teens. Teams like Denver, Boston, and Phoenix, who have multiple first round picks could look to scoop him up in the mid-teens to add a versatile big to their rotation, and give him the time to possibly develop into a good two-way player, but for now all those teams could use his offensive spark off the bench.
Pro Comparison: Kevin Love
The two biggest things to draw these two together for me was the lack of athleticism and defensive woes. Kevin Love has developed into a good co-star in the league. He possesses elite scoring ability, much like Ellenson, but can struggle mightily with consistency and confidence. Both players are very comfortable in the mid-range game. Coming out of college, Love had a very small post move arsenal, but has developed that nicely over the years, and Ellenson could follow in similar fashion. Both players are very keen passers, due to their high basketball IQ and general awareness. Love did come out of college a much more consistent three point shooter, so to develop into the high level player, Ellenson will need to hammer this skill down.
On the defensive side of the ball, both players are plagued by a lack of elite athleticism. Kevin Love has tried to even out his lack of defensive awareness, by becoming a prolific scorer for his teams. Love was also a little overweight coming out of college, while Ellenson is in great shape. Since Love has slimmed down over the years, his defense has become a little better, but very beatable. Ellenson should watch a lot of film of Love to show how both players suffer from lack of speed, and how he can develop moves to counter this to become a better defender. Both players were excellent rebounders in college, and Love has kept this going in the NBA, much like I expect Ellenson to continue as well.
Ellenson has a long way to go if he wants to become the player Love currently is. His offensive game has a lot of potential, but also needs a lot of work to add some more consistency. Both players suffer from lack of elite athleticism, so whether or not Ellenson can learn to counter act on the defensive side of the ball will be a big question mark for many GM’s. Ellenson has the potential to become Kevin Love, but he is very raw form of that, and may take 3-5 years for him to develop into that type of player.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17