Wayne Ellington, Rivals.com's #23 ranked player in the class of 2006, returned from his trip to North Carolina on Sunday and wasted little time in scheduling a press conference for 3 p.m. Wednesday to announce his decision. Sources close to the situation have indicated that Roy Williams' Tar Heels got the nod over hometown Villanova.
When we spoke with Ellington's father last night, things were still somewhat uncertain.
"He hasn't even told us yet," Mr. Ellington stated. "I wish he'd let us know what he's going to do, but I think he's getting pretty close. Whatever he decides, we're behind him."
Mr. Ellington told us that the visit to North Carolina was everything they thought it would be and more. "We had a great time," he said. "They are real classy people. We had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with the coaching staff, sort of meet them and hang out, find out where they are coming from. They did a real good recruiting job."
A source earlier today confirmed that Ellington committed to North Carolina, saying, "The decision has been made. It's North Carolina."
Ellington is the prototypical combo-guard, a player who can create his own shot and get his teammates good looks as well. He has gotten physically stronger over the last year going from a 180 pound wiry sophomore to a chiseled 195 pound junior. Quick off the dribble, with a deadly pull-up jumper, Ellington has a smoothness to his game that reminds many of Ray Allen at the same stage, though Ellington is probably a better distributor than the former Connecticut and current NBA star.
He averaged 21.1 points per game this season, and led the Inter-AC in scoring. Playing for the Playaz Basketball Club this spring, Ellington has been a dominant force, leading them to several deep tourney runs, including the Southern Invitational championship.
Ellington's high school and AAU teammate Gerald Henderson committed to Duke last week, setting up a whole new chapter in one of the greatest rivalries in sports.
Ellington is North Carolina's third recruit from the Class of 2006. He joins dynamic point guard Tywon Lawson from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia and 6-foot-6 forward William Graves from Dudley HS in Greensboro, NC. The Tar Heels will now focus their full attention on 6-foot-10 forward Kevin Durant, a high school and AAU teammate of Lawson. A decision from Durant may be on the horizon as well.
Ellington will return to Chapel Hill this weekend with the Playaz for the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. He will likely get a hero's welcome from the fans the first time he steps on the floor as a future Tar Heel.
Rivals.com will be there covering the action.