September 21, 2011
Considering that a University of Kansas banner hung above the podium where Perry Ellis made his announcement on Wednesday, there wasn't a lot of mystery to the highly touted power forward's college decision.
The Wichita native chose the Jayhawks over Kentucky, Kansas State and Wichita State, explaining that he felt more at home with Kansas than any of his other suitors.
"I've been there so many times, I just felt so comfortable there," Ellis told reporters during a press conference at his school. "All these schools were real close to me. They've been there three or four years now. It was a tough decision."
Ellis selecting Kansas was no surprise to most recruiting experts, but that doesn't diminish the significance for the Jayhawks. After a series of recruiting misses forced Bill Self to try to unearth some hidden gems in his 2011 class, he couldn't afford to let a consensus top 30 prospect and the three-time Kansas player of the year slip away to either an out-of-state power or one of his in-state rivals.
What makes Ellis an elite prospect is his ability to score in numerous ways, whether in transition, via the mid-range jump shot or off the dribble. The 6-foot-8 senior appears to be the heir apparent to current Kansas starting power forward Thomas Robinson, a projected lottery pick in the 2012 NBA draft.
For in-state schools Kansas State and Wichita State who recruited Ellis for years, Wednesday's announcement was a bitter reminder of the basketball pecking order in the Sunflower State. It hurts Kentucky to lose a player John Calipari targeted this summer, but the Wildcats will recover quickly since they're still in the running for a handful of top 50 prospects and they already landed elite wing Archie Goodwin the previous night.