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El Ellis an intriguing option in the backcourt for Indiana basketball



Feb 1, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard El Ellis (3) dribbles against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the second half at KFC Yum! Center. Louisville defeated Georgia Tech 68-58. (Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports)

While the Indiana basketball program is trending nicely with most of its transfer portal targets, the addition of backcourt pieces and shooting is still a priority.

One player that has popped up as a potential target is Louisville transfer El Ellis. Albeit early in his process, Ellis has heard from the Indiana basketball staff.

Ellis is planning on going through the NBA Draft process, while maintaining his eligibility, with the hope of receiving an NBA Combine invite. After that, he will look at his college options.

Ellis averaged 17.7 points and 4.4 assists per game last season for a struggling Louisville team that finished just 4-28. He played 36 minutes a game and ranked third in the ACC in usage rate and top-50 nationally (29.8).

Ellis was fourth in the ACC in points produced (574).

Because Ellis was the only playmaker and main ball handler on the roster, his efficiency wasn’t always the highest. He led the ACC in total turnovers (120), but was also fourth in the ACC in assist rate (30.7).

“I struggled with turning the ball over but I was in a difficult situation and my usage was very high, higher than it has ever been in my career,” Ellis told Travis Branham of 247Sports. “So I want to show them that I can really run a team and be solid so they can trust me with the ball in my hands.”

Ellis is a career 33.4 percent three-point shooter on 1.6 made 3s per game. He shot 36 percent as a junior on 3.6 attempts per game and then 31.9 percent as a senior on 5.8 attempts per game.

The 6-foot-2 guard has the ability to play both on and off of the ball. Indiana has now made it a priority to have two potential on-ball guards on the floor at the same time. That was shown this season with the pairing of Xavier Johnson and Jalen Hood-Schifino, albeit in limited action.

If Ellis is paired alongside another primary ball handler, the usage rate will likely decrease from that of last year but the efficiency is something that should increase.

Ellis starred his college career at Tallahassee C.C (Fla.). He was ranked as the No. 2 junior college prospect.

In 64 career games across two seasons, El Ellis has averaged 13.2 points per game.

The NBA Draft combine runs from May 15-21. The early entree deadline for collegiate players to return to school is May 31 at 11:59 pm.

SEE ALSO: Indiana Basketball Mailbag: Key transfer targets, Big Ten style of play & more

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.