Arkansas women’s Coach Mike Neighbors appears to have a few advantages in the recruitment of sophomore post player Emrie Ellis.
Ellis, who attends Vanoss High School in Ada, Okla., a town of about 17,000 people, visited the Razorbacks for the Alabama football game on Oct. 6 and felt at home in Fayetteville.
“For her, the kind of laid-back feel there,” Vanoss Coach Jon Hurt said. “She wasn’t in no massive city, which was great to her.”
Neighbors and his staff also made Ellis feel comfortable.
“She just loved the coaches,” Hurt said. “They were genuine and honest with her. They were the type of people she would want to be around.”
Ellis, who stands 6-2, quickly jumped on the radars of colleges after averaging 16.9 points, 14.2 rebounds and 8.4 blocked shots as a freshman.
“She had some crazy games,” Hurt said. “She had some monster, monster games, some triple doubles where she had like she had like 20 points, 14 rebounds and 18 blocked shots.”
Arkansas is her lone scholarship offer. Hurt believes Ellis playing at a Class 2A school and the lack of exposure is keeping other schools from offering.
“I think that’s because she hasn't played AAU,” Hurt said.
He thinks the Razorbacks have helped themselves by being her first offer despite her size and an impressive skill set.
“I think so. I think it’s been frustrating,” Hurt said. “They tell her all these things and tell her how much they like her, but there’s been no offer.”
Oklahoma, Baylor and Tulsa are a few of the schools showing interest.
“Baylor watched her about two weeks ago and invited her to campus to watch Baylor and UConn over Christmas,” Hurt said.
Hurt, who accompanied Ellis on her Arkansas trip, said there’s no doubt the Razorbacks are in a good place with Ellis.
“On the way home, she was speaking very highly of Arkansas,” Hurt said.