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Freshman Henry Ellenson Gives Marquette Frontcourt Instant Credibility

PHOTO: 247Sports

Five-star recruit, power forward Henry Ellenson had offers from Michigan State and Kentucky, but chose to join Marquette to play alongside his older brother Wally. Ellenson, a lengthy 6’10” will give the Golden Eagles’ frontcourt instant credibility.

He was chosen to the preseason All-Big East Second Team earlier this week. Starting next to Ellenson will be junior center Luke Fischer, who finished third on the team in scoring a year ago with 11 points per game. Fischer also averaged 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots per game a year ago in 19 starts as he also was voted a preseason All-Big East Honorable Mention player.

Ellenson was named Wisconsin Boys Basketball Player of the Year as he averaged 27.4 points, 12 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals as a senior at Rice Lake. He was named as one of 20 candidates on the watch list for this year’s Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award. Along with California’s Ivan Rabb, the two are the only freshman on the list.

Being named a co-winner of Wisconsin’s Mr. Basketball award alongside Maryland’s Diamond Stone, Ellenson was ranked fifth in this year’s class of freshmen by ESPN. He’s a McDonald’s All-American.

The list goes on and on about Ellenson’s achievements at the high school level. The kid is a winner, who helped improve his game each year. He has all the attributes of a great defensive power forward as he can play lockdown defense and block shots often.

Perhaps the most impressive thing that Ellenson brings to the table is his ballhandling. That mixed with his ability to knock down long distance shots, including the 3-pointer will be something fun to watch as Marquette looks to turn things around.

This is a Golden Eagles team that isn’t getting much love and the reasons for that are endless. After finishing with a 13-19 overall record and a Big East worst 4-14 showing in conference play, Marquette is going to be better in Steve Wojciechowski’s second year as head coach.

Wojciechowski, previously a longtime Duke assistant and point guard for the Blue Devils has much more depth to work with in Year 2.

Sophomore guard Duane Wilson returns as the team’s leading scorer with 11.9 points per game a year ago. He will be the feature guy in the backcourt while junior jumbo guards JaJuan Johnson and Wally Ellenson will earn plenty of minutes alongside Wilson and the two big men, Henry Ellenson and Fischer.

”Last year, we were just short of bodies,” Wilson said via Fox Sports. ”This year, I feel like we have a lot of athletic guys. You’re going to see a lot of up and down, a lot of dunks.”

Marquette didn’t make it on Today’s U top 25 preseason rankings, but this a team that’s arrow is pointing up. Despite the fact that they’ve won only 30 games including just 13 conference matchups over the last two seasons this is still a strong program that advanced to the NCAA Tournament all of the eight seasons prior (2005-12).

This is a young team that only has one senior in bench player Michael Mache, but Wojciechowski is a gifted coach who can get the job done with a more gifted group this year.

Top-100 prospect, shooting guard Haanif Cheatham joins the freshman group after averaging 24.0 points as a senior at Pembroke Pines Charter in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. As a nice complement out of the backcourt with Ellenson, the Golden Eagles have one of their best recruiting classes in quite some time.

Keep an eye on Ellenson, he should make plays game in and game out as he should be one of the most talented freshmen big men not only in the Big East, but in the entire NCAA.

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