skip navigation

Gophers Freshman Wally Ellenson Can Jump, Shoot and Rap?!

10/24/2012, 12:45pm CDT
By Nadine Babu

Ellenson's athletcisim will keep Gophers fans on the edge of their seats.

Wally Ellenson (left) and Charles Buggs (right) have impressed Gopher coaches and players this Fall.

It's no secret that Tubby Smith loves athletes. And it's no secret that the Gophers could use some outside shooting help. Enter Wally Ellenson. The 6-4 freshman guard from Rice Lake, Wisconsin comes to the U with a reputation as both an incredible athlete and solid shooter. Ellenson may challenge senior Rodney Williams as the most explosive Gopher in the open court and his third place finish at the 2012 American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk Championships brought national attention to the athletic new Gopher. Ellenson's high jump of seven feet, one inch in the 2012 regional track meet was the nation's best by a high school athlete last year. In addition, he averaged 20.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.96 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1 block as a senior leading Rice Lake to a 24-2 record.

GopherHole's Nadine Babu recently caught up with the Gopher freshman to hear how his move to the U is going so far.

GH: Your roommate Charles Buggs says you are quite the prolific rapper. You have to tell me about that.
WE: (laughs) I don't know about that. I don't think Buggs knows what he's talking about.

GH: What have been your impressions since you've been at the U?
WE: It's been great, it's been a lot of fun. I like the classes and the workouts have been exceptional.

GH: Have there been any upperclassmen who have taken you under their wings a bit?
WE: Definitely in practices I am learning a lot from Austin (Hollins). I learn a lot from watching him and he gives me a lot of tips and I am just thankful that he's doing that.

GH: What have you been most surprised with during your transition to college?
WE: I knew the physicality would be more but I am surprised at how much. I am working to adapt to that.

GH: What are you doing to prepare yourself for the physical play in the Big Ten?
WE: Definitely working out a lot. I am working out with the strength and conditioning coach, working to build more muscle.

GH: What do you expect your role to be on the team?
WE: I want to do as much as the coach needs. I will do the little things or whatever is needed.

GH: How are classes going?
WE: It's pretty good. It's a lot different. Fewer assignments but more work so I am getting used to that.

Talk about college basketball and the Golden Gopher Basketball Team on the Tubby's Barn message board.

Tag(s): Gopher Basketball