Boogie Ellis, who is the No. 37 overall prospect and the No. 6 combo guard in the 247Sports' Composite Rankings for the 2019 class, has committed to Memphis:
The 4-star guard out of Mission Bay High School in San Diego signed with Duke on Nov. 9 but was granted his release from the Blue Devils on May 2, according to Evan Daniels of 247Sports.
Ellis wrote the following regarding the decision, per Michael Model of the Duke Chronicle:
"I would like to thank Duke University and the coaching staff for recruiting me," Ellis stated. "However, after much thought and discussion with my family, I have decided to ask for my release and re-open my recruitment."
It's unclear why Ellis specifically decided to move on from Duke, but the Blue Devil backcourt would have been crowded with him in the mix.
Namely, point guard Tre Jones announced on April 8 that would be returning for his sophomore year. He'll almost certainly return to his starting role, and 4-star 6'5" shooting guard Cassius Stanley will likely join him to form Duke's starting backcourt.
Therefore, Ellis was best served to head to a school where he could carve out more playing time.
Teams naturally lined up to recruit Ellis shortly after the choice to leave Duke, per Adam Zagoria of Sportsnet New York:
247Sports' Director of College Basketball Scouting Jerry Meyer offered the following scouting report and provided a pro comparison to Orlando Magic floor general D.J. Augustin:
"Has average size for a point guard. Possesses quickness and slick ball handling. Can penetrate and make plays but greatest strength is shooting. Proficient from deep and in mid-range off the dribble and the catch. Capable of hounding the ball as an on-the-ball defender. Alert to snagging rebounds and quick to loose balls. All-around solid guard with NBA talent."
Ultimately, Duke's loss is Memphis' gain, as the Tigers bolstered what is already a promising recruiting class.
He will join center James Wiseman, power forward DJ Jeffries, shooting guard Lester Quinones, center Malcolm Dandridge and combo guard Damion Baugh. According to 247Sports, Wiseman is a 5-star prospect and the rest are 4-star players.
What's more, 3-star graduate transfer guard Rayjon Tucker is immediately eligible to play.
Memphis was just 22-14 and failed to reach the NCAA tournament in head coach Penny Hardaway's first season, but it hired him with this type of recruiting in mind.
The Tigers figure to be national contenders and a frequent presence in the Top 25 rankings throughout the season on the back of this recruiting class, and Ellis gives them yet another piece to work with as they look to win the American Athletic Conference and re-establish themselves as Final Four threats.