Center James Ellis arrived to Duquesne men’s basketball program in 2018 with a lot of optimism.
The former Westinghouse star was viewed as a diamond in the rough and someone that could flourish in Keith Dambrot’s system.
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Unfortunately for both sides, things haven’t worked out for the 6-foot-11 center and Thursday, Pittsburgh Sports Now has learned that he’s entered the NCAA Transfer portal.
After redshirting his first season with the Dukes, Ellis played in only five games last season, averaging only 2.2 minutes per game. The only conference game that he appeared in was on Jan. 8 vs. St. Joe’s.
When he arrived at Duquesne, it was a big get for Dambrot because he was the first local recruit for Dambrot and the first player from the City League to sign with the Dukes since Jack Higgins (Schenley) in 2004.
During his senior season at Westinghouse, Ellis averaged 21.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 7.6 blocks per game in leading them to the 2018 City League title game. Ellis was named to the first team Pennsylvania Sports Writers Class 3 All-State Team and named the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette City League Player of the Year.
Ellis will have three seasons of eligibility remaining, but would need a waiver to transfer to another Division I school and play this season.
This departure helps the Dukes in terms of their scholarship situation but still find themselves two over the 13 man limit.
UPDATE (7:05 PM)-
— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) June 25, 2020