Duke Basketball: Boogie Ellis scores eye-opening 51 points in opener

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Future Duke basketball guard Boogie Ellis made his four-star rating look insufficient on Saturday night by eclipsing the half-century mark in points, outscoring on his own his high school team’s first opponent of the season.

First, remember that high school basketball games consist of only 32 minutes. With that in mind, imagine how difficult it is to score 51 points in that small amount of time. Apparently, though, the word “difficult” isn’t an accurate description of the performance on Saturday night from Duke basketball commit Boogie Ellis.

After his San Diego (Calif.) Mission Bay High School defeated Mt. Miguel, 83-49, in its first game of the season, the four-star (should be bumped up to five) 2019 combo guard retweeted this description of his attention-grabbing stat: “51 easyyyyyyyy points.”

The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder, who announced his decision to become a Blue Devil on Nov. 9 and is likely to sign his letter of intent by the end of the fall signing period on Nov. 21, has been climbing up rankings during the past year as a result of his knowing his weaknesses, determination to better his skills, and work to beef up his frame.

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"“It’s important to know your game,” Ellis said recently, according to John Maffei of The San Diego Union-Tribune. “I want to emphasize that I’m a two-way player. I want to play with energy. I’ve put on eight pounds of muscle since last season and I want to be a lockdown defender…I’ve worked a lot on my vision. I’m not a gifted passer. I need to see the flow of the game better and hit the open man.”"

It’s that level of self-awareness and work ethic that should bode well for Ellis when he arrives in Durham next year to play for Mike Krzyzewski. While some experts don’t consider him a true point guard at the moment, he could be asked to play that role — possibly even start — for the 2019-20 Blue Devils if current freshman Tre Jones decides to bolt for the NBA after this season.

No matter who else is on the squad, though, if Ellis — ranked No. 35 overall and No. 7 at his position on the 247Sports Composite — continues to find the bottom of the net as often as he did on Saturday and turns his admitted weaknesses into strengths, Duke basketball fans are likely to be clamoring to see him get a ton of minutes as a college freshman.

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As a high school junior, Ellis was named the San Diego Section Player of the Year after leading his team to a 27-6 record while averaging 24 points, six assists, and six rebounds.

The only other 2019 recruit who has committed to Duke so far is five-star small forward Wendell Moore (No. 23 on the composite rankings), who signed his letter of intent on Friday.

Coach K currently has offers extended to three other five-stars: centers Vernon Carey Jr. (ranked No. 2) and Isaiah Stewart (No. 5), who are both expected to announce their college choice within the next month, and forward Matthew Hurt (No. 6), who isn’t expected to make up his mind until the spring.

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