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Tag:Bruce Ellington
Posted on: December 29, 2011 12:56 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 1:09 pm

Ellington's 2-sport schedule this week impressive

By Jeff Goodman

Bruce Ellington is a busy man these days, pulling double-duty at South Carolina. 

The Gamecocks two-sport guy went for a season-high 17 points last night in a win over Wofford, then set the alarm for a 5:30 a.m. flight this morning that took him to Orlando. Then it'll be a few days back at football practice in preparation for the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 2 against Nebraska.

"It's really not that hard doing both," Ellington said. "It hasn't been too crazy. Both coaching staffs have been really good at working with me and my schedule."

And somehow, Ellington has managed to keep his GPA at a 3.19.

Immediately after Monday afternoon's football game, Ellington will jump in the car with his parents and make the six or so-hour drive back to Columbia, S.C. He figures he'll get a few hours of sleep, rejoin the basketball team for the shootaround and suit up on Tuesday night against South Carolina State.

That means the lone game he'll miss due to football is Saturday night against USC Upstate.

"It's been fun," said Ellington, who is averaging 8.1 points in seven games. "It's taken a little time for me to get back in basketball shape, but I think I'm there now."

Ellington will also likely take his starting spot back when he returns. 

"I think we'll be much better after this when we have the entire team together and healthy," Ellington said.

Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:07 am
Edited on: December 16, 2011 10:20 am

South Carolina 2-sport star to miss one more game

By Jeff Goodman

Darrin Horn will get Bruce Ellington back soon. For good.

The plan is for the two-sport star -- who is also a receiver on South Carolina's football team -- to miss one more basketball game, on Dec. 31.

He'll fly with the football team after the 28th to Orlando for the Jan. 2 matchup with Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. Then he'll return and almost certainly take his old spot in the starting lineup.

"He's getting better every game," Horn told

Ellington has played three games with the basketball team and is averaging 10.0 points per game. In his last outing, he went for 15 points in 25 minutes.

He's South Carolina's best player.

Listen, I'm not saying South Carolina will be an NCAA tournament team this season - or even taste the postseason of any kind. However, when Ellington returns to basketball form - and when freshman Damien Leonard starts making shots (and he will), the Gamecocks will be competitive in the SEC.

Will they battle Kentucky, Florida, Vandy, Mississippi State or Alabama in the standings? Probably not. But they could compete with all the lower-tier teams in the SEC this season - as long as Ellington gets back to what he was a year ago, when he was focused solely on basketball.

Horn is optimistic regarding his young frontline guys, sophomores R.J. Slawson and Damontre Harris, who have been solid thus far. Freshman Anthony Gill (8.6 ppg) has gotten off to a nice start.

"We're going to keep getting better," Horn. "We've got some pieces."

But it's difficult to win without your most talented piece.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 12:21 pm

South Carolina's Ellington: Rare two-sport guy

By Jeff Goodman

The two-sport star is a dying breed.

Deion Sanders was recently inducted into the football Hall of Fame as one of the elite cover cornerbacks of all-time, but he was also a fairly accomplished major league baseball player.

Before him, there was Bo Jackson. After him, there have been guys like Charlie Ward, Todd Helton, Tony Gonzalez and Julius Peppers.

Now comes Bruce Ellington.

I know, Ellington isn’t exactly a household name – but South Carolina’s leading returning scorer on the hardwood is trying to pull double duty this year – and has joined the football team as a kick returner/slot receiver.

``I love both sports,” Ellington said. ``I played both when I was younger, so it’s second nature to me.”

The 5-foot-9, 200-pound Ellington, who averaged 12.8 points a year ago, led his Berkeley High (S.C.) to a state title as a senior quarterback. He played receiver and cornerback his freshman and sophomore seasons – and moved to running back his junior year.

The plan is to spend the season with the football team and then join the basketball team.

The difficult task, which Ellington is fully aware, will be getting on the field on a team that is expected to contend for an SEC title. South Carolina is loaded at the receiver spot – and the Gamecocks have one of the nation’s best in Alshon Jeffery.  

``When he was recruiting me, Coach (Darrin) Horn always told me it was my decision whether to play football,” Ellington said. ``I talked to him and he was 100 percent behind me. He even said he’s going to come to my games.”

Horn said he watched three of Ellington’s high school football games and calls his point guard “the best athlete he’s ever coached.”

``He’s got so much physical God-given ability,” Horn said. ``When you talk about everything – quickness, jumping, strength, balance, explosion – he has it all at the highest level. And what separates him is he can go all day. He’s got a gear and he can get to it when everyone else’s gear is stripped.”

Ellington and his teammates begin practice with full pads this past weekend and he said the most difficult part of the transition thus far is getting used to the heat.

``That and learning the playbook,” said Ellington, who admittedly favors basketball. ``There’s a lot more plays and you have to learn all the coverages.”

Ellington said he tried to pull double duty as much as possible in the summer, hitting the weight room with the football team in the morning and then playing pickup in the afternoon.

``I’ll always in good shape, so I think I’ll be able to come back to basketball and still be in the groove,” Ellington said.

Horn hopes so.

``We’re behind him 100 percent and hope he does extremely well,” Horn said. ``We look forward to getting him back after he wins a national championship.” 

Category: NCAAB
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