Junior forward Nick Ellington during the Racers first official practice in September.
Junior forward Nick Ellington during the Racers first official practice in September.

Ellington hopes to bring fight to rebounding game

Junior forward Nick Ellington transferred to Murray State back in May after being at Eastern Illinois University. Now, instead of the blue and white, he is ready to put in some work for the blue and gold.

He played in all 31 games of the season last year for the Panthers, and started in 21 of them. Ellington led EIU in field goal percentage, as he shot 52%from the field. On top of all of that, he was 11th in the Ohio Valley Conference in total offensive rebounds with 54 on the season. 

Ellington said he is looking to bring that fight on the boards and on defense to the Racers this season.

“We’re trying to be a really good defensive team,” Ellington said. “We have to make sure that we crash the glass hard, because we know that we’re going to score a lot of points. We’ve got a lot of double-digit scorers returning, so we’re just trying to make sure that we bring that defensive part, and the rest will come.”

Ellington knows a thing or two about bringing defensive intensity, as he has had some impressive numbers on that side of the ball in the past. In his high school career, he tallied 11 blocks in the state quarterfinal game, and that presence carried over to his college career.

He played two seasons at Meridian Community College in Mississippi and was a defensive force in his time there as well. In his first year with the team, he averaged an impressive 2.08 blocks, but it was in his second year that he really created some issues for opponents. He averaged 3.41 blocks in the 2021-2022 season, which ranked third in the NJCAA that season.

“I’m definitely going to go out there and work,” Ellington said. “Trying to fight for offensive rebounds and crash the glass hard. Bang in the post and do all of the small things, like diving on the floor and other things like that.”

Having a guy who is willing to do whatever it takes to win can change how a team functions. If Ellington is able to do what he believes he is able to do, he will quickly become a fan favorite. He has already seen just how much this team means to the city of Murray, and he notes that the devotion does not go unnoticed by the players.

“Murray basketball means a lot,” Ellington said. “Just being around town, being stopped and recognized, it kind of makes you feel special. Being a part of this team makes you a really big part of this community.”

Ellington could really make the Racers better on the boards and on the defensive side of the ball. Murray State was bottom five in the Missouri Valley Conference last year in blocked shots, and Ellington could be a big part of making the Racers a defensive force. 

As for the rebounding aspect of Ellington’s game, he could most definitely help the Racers in that area as well. Instead of bringing Murray State up from the bottom, he could help push the Racers to the top of the rebounding numbers. 

The Racers finished fifth in the MVC last season in total team rebounds per game, and they were third in offensive rebounds per game. With the athleticism and rebounding prowess of Ellington, the Racers could make the leap to number one on one or both of those lists.

Ellington is one of eight total players on Murray State’s roster that have transferred from other schools. After losing all but two of their players to the transfer portal last offseason, Head Coach Steve Prohm and the rest of the basketball program have done the best they can to rebuild this roster from the ground up. After a winning record in the program’s first year in the MVC, the Racers now have a more established group of players, which could result in the team making a big jump this season.

Ellington will have a chance to make an impact for the Racers the second he steps foot on the court. Murray State has always had an energetic player who is able to get everyone pumped up with his play and hustle on both sides of the ball. If Ellington can be that for the Racers this year, both his teammates and the fans will be singing his praises by the end of the season.


[email protected]

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Murray State News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *