Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Kansas has signed highly touted forward Perry Ellis to a national letter of intent during the early signing period.
The 6-foot-8 forward from Wichita is a five-star recruit and the 24th-ranked player in the nation for the 2012 recruiting class. He
averaged 22.1 points and 7.9 rebounds his junior season, guiding Wichita Heights to its second straight undefeated record.
The Falcons will try to win their fourth consecutive state title this season.
Ellis chose the Jayhawks over offers from Duke, Kentucky and Kansas State, among others.
Jayhawks coach Bill Self said in a statement Wednesday: "We've been recruiting Perry pretty hard for a while. We felt like he was
as important of a recruit as we have had since we've been here."
KU release on Ellis signing;
Standout forward Perry Ellis from Wichita (Kan.) Heights High School has signed a national letter of intent to play at Kansas, KU head coach Bill Self announced Wednesday.
"We've been excited about Perry Ellis for a long time," said Self, who started recruiting Ellis following KU's NCAA national championship season. "We've been recruiting Perry pretty hard for a while. We felt like he was as important of a recruit as we have had since we've been here. You have to get your local guys and certainly he has a chance to be in that same mold of a Wayne Simien-type guy. Fans are going to fall in love with him because he is so responsible and disciplined. He's a great student and will be a great ambassador for any program."
The list of accolades for Ellis is long. With a 4.0 grade point average, the 6-8, 220-pound Rivals.com five-star recruit is the three-time Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year heading into his senior season. Last year, Ellis guided Wichita Heights to its second-straight undefeated season and its third-straight 6A state championship. The Falcons, under head coach Joe Auer, will be vying for their fourth consecutive state title in the largest class in the state in 2011-12. Ellis led Kansas Players AAU team, based in Wichita and coached by Steve Young, to several high finishes in major AAU events this past summer.
"He has progressed to the point to where he may play as much on the perimeter than on the inside for us," Self said in describing Ellis' game. "He's going to be a three man. He has a very good skill set. Coach Auer and his staff; Steve Young and his team's AAU program have put him into a position that he is able to do different things. He's an athlete. He can really, really run. (He) is so explosive and so strong now. I've seen him develop and I think he's prepared to have an impactful freshman year because we can pretty much put him out there and he can figure it out because he's so versatile."
Ranked No. 24 overall by Rivals.com, Ellis averaged 22.1 points and 7.9 rebounds his junior season at Wichita Heights. As a freshman, he averaged 19.2 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists, while the following year he averaged 22.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per contest.
"Perry plays for one of the historical premiere programs in the country at Wichita Heights," Self said. "They are going for their fourth straight state championship. Joe Auer and his staff have done a great job in running that program. He (Ellis) has also been put in a situation through his AAU program and Steve Young to be exposed to different things and has really been able to develop there as well. He's had a nice blend of summer and high school, where everybody is on the same page."
Off the court, besides his 4.0 GPA, Ellis is a volunteer youth basketball instructor and gives time to the Wichita Children's Home.
"He's so talented and going to be great. The fact he has never made a `B'. The fact he's competitive in the classroom. The fact he will be a great ambassador for our University and athletic program, shows that he comes from great parents in Fonda and Will. They do a remarkable job with their children. We're really excited about having this family be a part of everything we do," Self added.
To hear Bill Self's comments on Perry Ellis