Gavin Schilling, the 6-foot-9 star from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., made his signing official by emailing his national letter of intent to Michigan State today. In a statement, Tom Izzo addressed why Schilling fits with the Spartans.
“I’m excited about Gavin Schilling’s addition to our program,” Izzo said in the school’s released statement. “He comes from a tremendous program and a great family. He defends, rebounds and runs the court very well. He’s a great worker that wants to learn and improve. Not only will he be a young freshman who doesn’t turn 18 until next November, he’s also young to the game, having picked up the game later in life than most college players. With that in mind, I look forward to watching him grow and develop.”
Following swingman Brandon Kearney’s exit, the Spartans have an open scholorship for an incoming guard. Alvin Ellis may be their man.
Ellis signed with the Minnesota Golpher’s, prior to Tubby Smith’s abrupt exit, and assisted in the Golpher’s recruitment of Schilling.
— Alvin Ellis (@AEllis21) March 19, 2013
Now the tables turn. On Friday — during a visit to the MSU campus — he told Chicago Hoops he received a scholorship offer from Izzo.
“The visit to Michigan State on Friday was really nice,” Ellis told Chicago Hoops following his visit. “I got a chance to talk with the coaches and workout with the team. I felt like I could fit right in with the coaches, players, and support staff. Also, I had a tour around campus it was nice and big. I got a chance to talk to the coaches and they were straight up with me. I feel like they could be able to push me to get to the next level.”
A 6-foot-4 combo guard, Ellis starred at De La Salle Institute in Chicago, playing with Schilling for a year before his teammate transferred to Findlay Prep prior to his senior year. Izzo has made it a point to dip into the Chicago talent pool, making a full fledged push for Jabari Parker.
Now, Ellis is no physical freak, nor will he light up the scoreboard for the Spartans as a freshman. However, he defends with a great defensive base, has quick hands, great eye for passing lanes, and attacks the rim. Izzo is notorious for recruiting players who defend early and have potential to grow offensively later in their career. Ellis does just that. He possesses a smooth jump shot that ranges to the three point line but struggles on his shot with long defenders. With a lack of depth behind starting guard Gary Harris, Izzo may look to add that depth through the 3-star recruit.
With the friendship Ellis and Schilling share — combined with the Spartans determination to recruit in the Chicago area — it just may be a match made in heaven.
Ellis averaged 20 points a game while earning Class 4A all-state second-team honors in Illinois this season.