The Spartans received their first basketball pledge last week, with forward Gavin Schilling of Henderson Nev. Today, Tom Izzo picked up his second pledge for the 2013 class by adding De La Salle Institute of Chicago Alvin Ellis III.
A 6-foot-4 combo guard, Ellis — who signed with Minnesota, but later decomitted following Tubby Smith’s dismissal — played 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.
After Brandon Kearney left the team following Christmas break, a guard seemed inevitable for the class.
“Alvin will be a great addition to our backcourt,” Izzo said in a statement released by the school. “We like his offensive skill set, especially his shooting touch, hitting 40 percent from three each of the last two seasons. He has good length and versatility, with the ability to defend a couple different positions on the perimeter. Combine his great work ethic, his great family background and his commitment to academics, and I expect him to be the type of player that really develops during his time as a Spartan, enjoying the complete student-athlete experience.”
Ellis averaged 20 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists as a senior at Chicago De La Salle High School, according to the Spartans website.