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Report: Potential top-10 pick Henry Ellenson to declare for NBA draft

Big East Basketball Tournament - First Round

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Henry Ellenson #13 of the Marquette Golden Eagles celebrates his three point shot in the second half against the St. John’s Red Storm during the Big East Basketball Tournament on March 9, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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One player you won’t see in our NCAA Tournament draft-prospect watches: Henry Ellenson.

His Marquette team didn’t qualify for the Big Dance.

But the freshman big will factor in the 2016 NBA draft:

Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress

If Ellenson hires an agent, he’ll lose his college eligibility – even with a new rule allowing players greater leeway in declaring for the draft then withdrawing. He should probably stay in the draft. He’s strongly in the discussion to go in the top 10.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson is a skilled dribbler and shooter for his size. If he continues to develop his passing ability, he could create mismatches as a stretch and distributing big. Teams are increasingly valuing power forwards with one of those skills (outside shooting and playmaking). If Ellenson can do both as a center, that’d be majorly intriguing.

Ellenson has a nice big frame that allows him to get physical with opponents (as long as he remains in shape). His soft hands help him snag passes amidst that contact.

But there are questions whether that physicality will be enough for Ellenson defensively. He’s too slow to adequately defend the pick-and-roll and some stretch fours, and he’s not a quick enough leaper to protect the rim ideally.

Add questions about his shot selection, and Ellenson is no sure thing. But Ellenson could point to Marquette’s inefficient offense to explain his low shooting percentages.

After all, there’s a reason Marquette isn’t playing this week.