Michael Ellis - 2006

Doubt we would be interested at this point, but he did have some notable accomplishments last season in the Big South - freshman of the year, for one. His HS coach notes us as one of the schools interested when he was still in HS.

Ellis to transfer from UNC Asheville

Record & Landmark
Thursday, March 16, 2006

Michael Ellis, the Big South Conference freshman of the year, plans to leave UNC Asheville at the end of the spring semester.

“I just thought it would be better for me to continue my athletic career and education at some other school,” said Ellis, a three-time Record & Landmark county boys basketball player of the year while at South Iredell High.

Ellis said he didn’t feel UNC Asheville was the place for him and that he had pondered the move since Christmas.

“It’s nothing that just came up,” Ellis said without going into detail.

“I sat down with my parents. They back me 100 percent. We talked a lot about it, and we just feel that I’m making the best move.”

In his first season with the Bulldogs, the 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard averaged 9.8 points per game. Ellis averaged 12.4 points in conference play. He started in 12 of UNC Asheville’s 16 regular-season matchups versus league opponents.

The Bulldogs finished 9-19 after their 78-62 loss to Coastal Carolina in the first round of the Big South tournament.

“We are sorry to be losing Michael but he wants to transfer to another school at this time,” UNC Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach said in a statement. “We wish him nothing but the best of luck in his future academic and basketball endeavors.”

Ellis signed a national letter of intent to attend UNC Asheville after playing a year of post-graduate basketball at Fork Union Military Academy.

Prior to attending the Virginia college preparatory school, Ellis enjoyed a star-studded career at South Iredell, where his number was retired. He scored 2,063 points to become the boys basketball program’s all-time leading scorer.

During his senior year with the Vikings, Ellis averaged 31 points and 10 rebounds a game. He was named first-team all-state by The Associated Press, and finished second in the state player of the year voting.

Ellis was named Big South freshman of the week three times this season. He scored a career-high 29 points on Feb. 1 in a 75-61 loss to Birmingham Southern.

Now he plans to continue his budding career elsewhere upon being released from his scholarship.

“I’m probably going to contact some schools that talked to me in high school and we’ll just go from there,” Ellis said. “I don’t have a definite (school lined up).”

He did say that he intends to continue playing in Division I.

South Iredell coach Gary Sherrill mentioned Vanderbilt, Mercer, Davidson and Charlotte among the schools that showed interest in Ellis during high school. “He probably had over 60 schools that contacted him,” Sherrill said.