In the ramp up to the 2008-09 basketball season, I will be profiling key Tar Heels who will likely be major contributors this season. Today’s profile looks at junior SG Wayne Ellington
Weight: 200 lbs
2007-08 Stats: 39 gms, 16.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.1 spg, 40% 3P%
Career: 77 gms, 14.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 38% 3P%
What Happened Last Season
Wayne Ellington became the shooting guard we had all been hoping he would be. At 40% from behind the arc and numerous clutch shots at Ohio State in early December and the now infamous dagger that dropped Clemson at Littlejohn, Ellington had the breakthrough season he needed to have. The only negatives lay with his defense and his ability to finish at the rim off the drive. Aside from that his 16.6 ppg was 2nd on the team providing the outside shooting threat to compliment to inside play of Tyler Hansbrough. Following the season, Ellington did test the waters along with Danny Green and Ty Lawson. As was the case with Green, Ellington did not make a grand enough impression to work himself into the first round so he came back.
Outlook For This Season
Ellington is one of the few players who probably has less to work on than others. Coming into this season, Ellington should be an even better shooter than he was a season ago which is pretty scary considering. Beyond that, look for Ellington to improve his defense as well as becoming more of a scorer rather than just a shooter. UNC needs a wing player who can break down a defender and take it to the basket with a strong finish. Obviously Hansbrough will be option #1 and Ty Lawson's drive is nearly unstoppable but having Ellington as a threat to drill threes or take you to the hole would create a whole new layer of nightmares for opposing defenses.
If Ellington does not pick up his effort on defense it will hurt. This is really a team wide concern but Ellington playing good defense makes his a more valuable player and keeps him on the floor more than off.
Lockdown defense and some sweet slashing moves to the basket.