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#KU50: 19 Perry Ellis

19 days until Kansas basketball!

Austin Peay v Kansas Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A McDonalds All-American from Wichita, Ellis got off to a bit of a slow start on the 2013 team, playing in roughly a third of the team’s minutes and making fewer than 50 percent of his shots. His coming out party in the Big 12 tournament against Iowa State, though, foretold what was to come. Ellis was 10-12 for the game, and finished with 23 points. 1798 points later, Ellis sits 9th all time in scoring in KU history.

What’s more, he did it efficiently. Ellis finished his career shooting 51 percent on twos and 43 percent on threes, and he had a turnover rate under 15 percent every year of his career. He’s made his mark on the Big 12 as well, currently ranking 17th in career PER and 14th in career win shares.

Ellis struggled defensively at the beginning of his career, but by the end of it he had turned himself into one of the most versatile defenders in the Big 12. Ellis could guard on the perimeter one possession, and then get into the post the next.

Perry’s best year was his senior year, when he finished 6th in KenPom’s player of the year standings. Ellis had an offensive rating over 120, took roughly 27 percent of the team’s shots, and had a turnover rate just over 10 percent. It was one of the best offensive seasons KU has ever had, it was just overshadowed by what would come the year after.

Ellis is what college basketball teams would ideally build around. A McDonalds All-American who didn’t quite have the athleticism to leave early for the NBA, Ellis combined talent, smarts, and the work ethic to improve every year and finished as a top 20 player in Kansas history.