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By LARRY VAUGHT
Perry Ellis was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Kansas last season as a freshman when he averaged 19.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game and now heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s clearly on KentuckyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s recruiting radar.
John Calipari offered him a scholarship during his freshman year when Calipari was still coaching at Memphis and he extended the same offer from Kentucky to the 6-8 Ellis, who attended the recent LeBron Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio, as well as the Vince Carter Skills Academy this summer and recently was one of 24 players to play in the Boost Mobile Elite 24 in New York where former Wildcat Rajon Rondo was one of the coaches.
Jonathan Long covers high school sports for the Wichita Eagle and has seen Ellis play. Her are his observations about the talented sophomore who recently added a scholarship offer from Oklahoma.
Question: How good a player is he and what do you like best about his game?
Long: Ã¢â‚¬Å“He has one of a kind talent. The best part of his game, in my opinion, is his ability to adapt. He reads the defense extremely well for someone his age.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: How mature is he for his age and how does he handle all the accolades and attention?
Long: Ã¢â‚¬Å“On the court his talent defines him, not his age. But off the court heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shy, very shy. He honestly doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t act like what heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s doing is a big deal. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a winner, so all this extra stuff heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s kind of used to. But not in a Ã¢â‚¬ËœIÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m the greatest type of attitude.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ More of a I love basketball, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m doing what I love.
Question: Is there a realistic chance Kentucky, or any school, can outrecruit Kansas or do you see him eventually playing for the Jayhawks?
Long: Ã¢â‚¬Å“As far as I understand, he is still open. KU is going hard, but so is Memphis (where his sister plays). I also expect North Carolina to get into the conversation at some point.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: What type of high school teammate is he and how good is his high school team?
Long: Ã¢â‚¬Å“He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t try and do to much, and he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t shy away from doing what he has to do. His team was solid all-around. Perry was obviously the star, but he had a couple of other guys around him. This season will be different. They wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a lot of senior leadership, so he will have to take on that role.Ã¢â‚¬Â