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Ellis signs with MSU, makes mom happy
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Rmun Offline
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<a href='http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041112/SPORTS06/411120348/1025/SPORTS' target='_blank'>http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll...348/1025/SPORTS</a>

Lanier's Ellis signs with MSU, makes mom happy

By Todd Kelly
tkelly@clarionledger.com

Monta Ellis made a verbal commitment to Mississippi State during February of his stellar junior season at Lanier.

Thursday in a news conference at his school's gymnasium, Ellis made his choice official by signing a binding national letter-of-intent with MSU.

A 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior guard, Ellis is ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Class of 2005 by national recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons. Ellis initially considered Alabama, North Carolina and Texas before casting his lot with the Bulldogs.

"I wanted to go on, get it over with and put it behind me so I can focus on other things like my schoolwork and what I've got to do to win a state championship," he said. "It's just something me, my mom and my stepdad sat down and had a talk about. We made a decision not to go too far. Mississippi State is just an hour and 45 minutes away."

Rosa Ellis sat beside her son at a table near midcourt when he signed the paperwork to the cheers of 100 or so Lanier students.

"It made it better for me that I wouldn't have to travel so far to see Monta play," she said. "It's a good decision he made."

A three-time All-State pick and two-time Metro Player of the Year by The Clarion-Ledger, Ellis is averaging 42 points, 11 rebounds, 10.5 assists and 4.5 steals for the state's top-ranked team (2-0). He averaged 29.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.8 steals in 2003-04 as Lanier finished as the Class 4A runner-up for the second consecutive season.

Lanier coach Thomas Billups is confident Ellis can make an immediate impact at Mississippi State, where shooting guard Winsome Frazier is a senior.

"There's no doubt about it," Billups said. "Monta could probably go to any college in the country and start."

Ellis downplayed speculation that he could follow in the footsteps of Jonathan Bender, Travis Outlaw and Al Jefferson by going straight from the Mississippi high school ranks to the NBA.

"I'm not thinking about that too much. I just want to go to college, get better and hopefully my chance will come," Ellis said.

"Monta talks about Mississippi State so much," Billups said. "I think he really wants to stay for a while just to get the feel of college life. I think if he's doing well after two years, he'll have a chance to make that jump."

Ellis is slated to join ex-Lanier standout and MSU freshman forward Charles Rhodes in Starkville. State's current recruiting class, which is ranked in the Top 10 nationally by several recruiting Web sites, also includes Reginald and Richard Delk, 6-5 twins from Jackson, Tenn.

Vernon Goodridge, a 6-9 center from Philadelphia (Pa.) Lutheran Christian Academy, made an oral commitment to the Bulldogs but apparently has yet to sign. He could not be reached Thursday.
11-12-2004 08:13 PM
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stratecashomie Offline
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RE: Ellis signs with MSU, makes mom happy
well, Monta's ballin' pretty hard with Golden State.
02-15-2011 12:21 AM
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