Originally posted on Bearcats Blog  |  Last updated 4/12/12



Octavius Ellis had a kind of weird season. The 3 star recruit by both Rivals and Scout came into UC as a player everyone tapped as a redshirt. His 6-9 frame only held 200 lbs as he came into the program. The best solution for him seemed to be to sit out a year, practice and get stronger. But, that's not exactly what happened. Then things took a turn for the worse. Let's not skip the whole story though, because there isn't really a lot of story to tell in this case. 

Octavius Ellis played in 4 of the 7 games he was a part of the roster for. He played 6.5 minutes a game in those 4. He scored 7 points on 2-5 shooting. He was 3-4 at the free throw line. He pulled in 5 rebounds. That was good for 1.2 a game. 4 of the 5 were defensive rebounds. He had 17.8% of the available defensive rebounds while on the floor. 

Ellis had a reputation as being a good defender. He showed promise by having 2 steals. He put up a 4.9% steal pct. Ellis blocked 2 shots. Do you think an 8.3% block pct is good? You should. Ellis wasn't as good with the ball. He had 1 assist to 3 turnovers. He turned the ball over an amazing 37.5% of possessions. That's what small sample sizes tend to do to people. 

Ellis was thought of to sit out the season, so when he played in the season opener against Alabama St, it turned some heads. He turned heads with his performance. He had 6 points on 2-2, 2-2 at the line, 2 boards, 2 blocks and 1 steal. He played garbage minutes against Jacksonsville St. He went 0-1 with an assist and steal. After sitting out the Presbyterian game, Ellis returned against Northwestern State. In 9 minutes he scored 1 point, had a career high 3 rebounds with a career high 3 turnovers. Ellis picked up a thumb injury along the way. He didn't play against Marshall or Miami. For some reason he entered the game for 45 seconds against Georgia. Then his season turned. 

Some of you may not be aware of this, but Cincinnati and Xavier got in a fight. Octavius Ellis didn't play in the game. At halftime with Mark Lyons barking at the Bearcats, Ellis got up and got over in his face. That set the table for what happened later. In the closing seconds, Ellis used the benches clearing as a chance to go after the Xavier loudmouth. He got suspended for 6 games. That effectively was a rest of the season suspension. Mick pointed to the thumb injury and that's why Ellis could medically redshirt this season. I'm not entirely sure how that works, but it could happen. 


(Ellis is circled)

It's impossible to say what kind of year Ellis had besides a bad one. He got injured. He wasn't going to play much. He was involved in a black eye for the program and suspended. He was involved in the fighting and not the highlight of the action. That has to be a little depressing. Not from the publicity standpoint, but for the fact his season ended and he wasn't even the centerpiece of the show. That's why you don't fight people during a game. 

I'm not entirely sure how big an impact Ellis will have on next season. He's going to get minutes because of his size and the lack of depth up front. It's him, Jackson, Gaines, Mbodj and that's about it. That's why landing a power forward this summer is big. UC will play smaller a lot with all their wings, but Ellis could fit in. He's taller than Justin Jackson. He needs to bulk up a lot. I think defensively he could be a solid player. He showed off a little ability to get up and block shots. At worst, Ellis could be a non-conference superstar who makes flashy plays off the bench and then sits against the big boys. I don't know why, but I get a Darnell Wilks vibe from him. That's probably not great since Darnell Wilks was much higher regarded and as a result, a disappointing player. The expectations on Ellis are lower and he'll have 4 years to grow into a role. I hope he can put this season behind him and grow as a player and person. 

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