The Texas Tech basketball program has offered a scholarship to 2021 JUCO guard El Ellis, one of the top JUCO targets in the nation.
In the world of the Texas Tech basketball fan, all focus is on what the 2020-21 roster is going to look like. That includes the impending decisions of senior guard Davide Moretti, who was recently offered a contract by a professional team in his native Italy, and high school forward Jonathan Kuminga, who may decide to reclassify and join the class of 2020.
But Chris Beard is not neglecting the 2021 recruiting class and on Friday he extended a scholarship offer to star JUCO guard El Ellis. The Tallahassee Community College product also holds offers from Louisville, N.C. State, Arizona State, Iowa State, Oregon, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Texas, A&M, Virginia Tech, and several other programs.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound guard earned his conference’s Player of the Year honors after scoring 14.3 points per game. In 27.6 minutes per game, he shot 47.9% from the field and 40.3% from three-point range.
On the boards, he collected 3.9 rebounds per game while he also dished out 4.5 assists per contest. Those numbers were good enough to earn him second-team All-American recognition.
Seven times in 33 games he surpassed the 20-point mark. That included a pair of 30-point games.
But what is interesting is the fact that Ellis is a point guard who is accustomed to having the ball in his hands and that’s the type of player Tech already has in the pipeline for the 2021-22 season. In April, Wichita State point guard Jamarius Burton signed with Texas Tech as a transfer, and Beard has since said that Burton will redshirt the upcoming season, even if the NCAA gives players a one-time transfer without penalty as many expect to happen later this month.
One has to wonder how Ellis and Burton would work together on the floor with both being ball-dominant guards. Of course, if Chris Beard believes it can work, who are we to question him?
Right now, Tech stands to lose only two players from the 2020-21 season, Moretti and grad transfer Marcus Santos-Silva. That might make one believe that the next recruiting class may be rather small.
However, Tech had only two seniors on the 2019-20 squad as well but we have seen five members of the team depart including three freshmen. In fact, in each of the last three offseasons, no fewer than five players have left the program.
Thus, we would be wise to expect even more turnover next offseason and we would be foolish to try to predict how the scholarship numbers will shake out a year from now. But what we do know without question is the fact that Beard is continuing to hunt some of the biggest targets available and El Ellis fits that description.