After five-star point guard Tre Mann committed to Florida last week, the North Carolina coaching staff didn’t waste any time in identifying another target. On Sunday afternoon, UNC offered 2019 guard Rejean “Boogie” Ellis. The 6-2, 165lb guard announced via twitter that the Heels had reached out.
Hailing from San Diego, CA, Ellis plays his high school ball for Mission Bay High School. During the Nike EYBL, he took the court for Oakland Soldiers where he averaged 14.3 points and 41.3% from three. During the Nike Peach Jam, those numbers jumped to 23 ppg, going 23-40 from three (57.5%). Those numbers allowed him to be one of the biggest risers in 247 Sports updated 2019 rankings, jumping 43 spots.
According to 247 Sports, Ellis is now the 25th best prospect in the 2019 class, and fourth best “combo” guard. They are the only recruiting service to have him ranked that highly or even consider him a five-star prospect. Rivals has him ranked as the 106th best recruit, whereas ESPN lists him at 40th overall. Recruiting rankings often receive too much emphasis, but that is still a large disparity for a rising senior.
Regardless of where he finishes next spring, it’s clear that Roy Williams is intent on landing a perimeter threat. Point guard Jeremiah Francis will likely require a significant amount of recovery time after two knee surgeries. Top prospect Cole Anthony is waiting until the spring to make a decision. With so much uncertainty, the Heels are still in the market for a versatile scoring threat at either guard position. Ellis fits that exact mold.
Similar to recent UNC lead guards, Ellis just knows how to score. With deep range and a quick release, he would fill an expected void behind the arc. He also has a speed and quickness that makes him dangerous in transition. An attacking mentality and ability to create his own shots make Ellis one of the few prospects in the 2019 class that can truly score from all three levels — at the rim, from mid-range, and from three. At 6-2, he skews towards the point guard position, but his scoring prowess would make him a natural fit at the traditional shooting guard spot.
The timing of the offer is interesting, and it remains to be seen if there is mutual interest. Ellis has scheduled his five allotted official visits. He already took one to Southern California, and currently plans to visit Georgia Tech, Gonzaga, Arizona, and Oregon. The Heels would have to replace one of those schools or hope Ellis takes an unofficial visit to Chapel Hill. With a heavy West Coast flavor to that list they may still be facing a significant uphill battle.
Center Armando Bacot and Jeremiah Francis are currently UNC’s lone commitments for 2019.