The Ellenson Family are no strangers to the Gophers program.
Six-foot-9, 250 pound forward Henry Ellenson, the younger brother of current Gophers freshman Wally, is one of the top players in the Midwest in the Class of 2015. Ellenson has already received six scholarship offers and is off to a strong start this season. He finished with 31 points Tuesday against Hudson as Minnesota assistant coach Saul Smith was in attendance and was at the Gophers' win over Lafayette Saturday. Gopher Hole.com caught up with Ellnson after leading Rice Lake to a win over Eden Prairie at last weekend’s Breakdown Tip-Off Classic.
Ellenson is averaging 22.0 points per game as the Warriors are off to a 4-0 start. He had 31 points in a 72-39 season-opening win over Amery. Ellenson had 16 points in a 64-43 victory over Chippewa Falls. He finished with 20 points in a 54-32 win over River Falls and had 21 points and 18 rebounds in their victory over Eden Prairie in the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic.
Henry was one of three Ellenson brothers who shined for the Warriors last season, leading them to a 23-2 mark, losing to eventual Division II champion Onalaska 57-47 in the playoffs.
Ellenson, who averaged 12.1 points per game this season, receive his first scholarship offer from Georgetown in April. He later added offers from Minnesota and four others.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, a nice win against a good Minnesota team. How pleased are you with how well you are playing this season?
Henry Ellenson: I’m excited. We are really having good intensity. Our defense has been awesome lately, so it has been fun so far.
Gopher Hole: What things have you been really working on to improve yourself as a player?
Henry Ellenson: My post game. I’ve been really trying to bring that in this year. Going in and out and try to do both of that.
Gopher Hole: What is the latest on your recruitment? How many offers are you up to?
Henry Ellenson: I have six. Georgetown, Minnesota, Iowa State, Marquette, Baylor and Boston College.
Gopher Hole: Any new schools that you are starting to hear from or what other schools are you hearing from besides those six?
Henry Ellenson: I receiving letters from Indiana and Notre Dame.
Gopher Hole: Did you have many schools come up for open gyms before the start of the season?
Henry Ellenson: I had a couple. All the teams that offered me came up except for Boston College and Baylor. Marquette is going to come up for a practice next week.
Gopher Hole: Do you like the attention or is it sometimes too much?
Henry Ellenson: It’s fun. I like it.
Gopher Hole: Do you think that having your older brothers going through the recruiting process has helped you know what is going on?
Henry Ellenson: With my two older brothers, now you know what is going to happen and what they are going to do.
Gopher Hole: You had a great season last year. You lost to Onalaska in the playoffs, who went on to win the state title. What are the goals for this year?
Henry Ellenson: Go undefeated and win it. I think this year our expectations are that we are really athletic kids and we are just going to try and push it and win it all.
Gopher Hole: I know that Wally is a competitive kid. How hard was it for him to sit while recuperating?
Henry Ellenson: He said that it was the toughest thing that he has ever had to do. He is the one who is always in the gym. He was the one who was probably in the gym the most out of all the guys at Minnesota, so it was really tough for him.
Gopher Hole: What are you hearing from the Gophers? What are they saying to you? I know that they can’t talk a lot to you since you are only a sophomore.
Henry Ellenson: They were at our first game and they are talking to me.