New coach Steve Wojciechowski continues to reconstruct the Marquette basketball program, and Wednesday he added another piece in Minnesota transfer Wally Ellenson.
The school announced the news, which quickly ignited social-media speculation that the move could impact the recruitment of Ellenson’s younger — and more highly coveted — brother, Henry, a five-star player in the Class of 2015. Henry Ellenson, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound forward/center at Rice Lake High School in Rice Lake, Wis., is being pursued by numerous major programs and has received offers from the likes of Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA and Wisconsin, as well as Marquette.
Wally Ellenson (6-6, 210 pounds) will enroll at Marquette in the fall and, after sitting out the 2014-15 season because of NCAA transfer rules, will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Golden Eagles.
"We are thrilled to welcome Wally to the Marquette men’s basketball family," Wojciechowski said in a statement. "Wally is a young man of outstanding character. He is an elite-level athlete and adds talent, athleticism, and competitive spirit to our basketball team. We are extremely excited about the impact he will have at Marquette."
On his Twitter page, Wally Ellenson said: "I’m excited to join Marquette University and be part of the basketball family. #wearemarquette."
Ellenson was recruited by former Gophers coach Tubby Smith and played at Minnesota for two years before deciding to leave the team in February. The rising junior is a two-sport athlete in basketball and track, a twice consecutive first-team All-American in the high jump who finished as the national runner-up in that event at last month’s NCAA Division I Championships.
Before leaving the Gophers basketball team last season, Ellenson averaged 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds in 6.9 minutes a game. He played in a total of 18 games over two seasons at Minnesota.
In 2011-12, Ellenson led Rice Lake to a 24-2 record and both the league and regional championships, averaging 20.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game as a senior. He graduated as the school’s all-time leading scorer.