By Kevin McPherson
LITTLE ROCK — Louisville grad-transfer El Ellis has committed to Arkansas.
Ellis (6-3 combo guard) committed to Razorbacks coaches over the weekend and made his Razorbacks pledge announcement via Twitter on Monday morning.
“Razorback Nation, Let’s Get It,” was Ellis’ message on his commitment tweet.
He is Arkansas’ fifth 2023 transfer-portal commitment (and seventh pledge combining 2023 portal prospects and two high school signees) as he joins Houston junior-transfer Tramon Mark, Temple grad-transfer Khalif Battle, Washington freshman-transfer Keyon Menifield, Jr., Cincinnati grad-transfer Jeremiah Davenport, 2023 5-star high school signee Baye Fall, and 2023 5-star high school signee Layden Blocker.
Ellis will have one season of immediate playing eligibility in 2023-24. He had previously entered the 2023 NBA Draft pool and will need to withdraw by the deadline of June 1 to be eligible to return for his final season of college basketball.
Ellis started all 32 games for the Cardinals and averaged a team-high 17.7 points to go with 4.4 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.0 steal in 36.0 minutes while shooting 41.0% from the field, including 59-of-185 from 3 for 31.9%, and 81.0% from the free throw line.
In seven games against ranked teams in ’22-23, Ellis averaged 17.7 points, 2.9 assists, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.1 steals while shooting 40.0% from the field, including 31.1% from 3, and 76.5% from the free throw line.
One of those games was against then-No. 9 Arkansas in the Maui Invitational in Hawaii in November, when Ellis finished with 11 points (4-of-16 field goals, including 2-of-5 from 3, and 1-of-2 free throws), 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in 31 minutes in the Hogs’ 80-54 first-round win.
Ellis scored 20 or more points 13 times in ’22-23, including two games of scoring 30 or more points. His career-high was 33 points in a 93-85 road loss against then-No. 19 Miami on Feb. 11, and he registered a double-double — 30 points and 10 assists — in a 94-83 home win over Western Kentucky on Dec. 14. He also had 15 games of 5 or more assists.
In two seasons at Louisville, Ellis started 41 of the 64 games he played in and totaled 843 points, 191 assists, 129 rebounds, and 43 steals. He was a collective 100-of-299 from 3 for 33.4%.
Generally considered the No. 1 junior college player in the nation in 2020-21, Ellis wrapped up his two seasons at Tallahasee (Fla.) Community College and signed with Louisville of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Ellis is a volume scorer who can create offense for himself as well as others as a facilitator. He has a quick burst on his first step and he’s able to continue his acceleration under control to finish in the paint and at the rim. He’s a streaky shooter from distance.