COWLES: Fans shouldn’t tell Ellenson what to do

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COWLES: Fans shouldn’t tell Ellenson what to do

Ellenson will be a top pick in the draft if he opts to leave after the season (Photo by Mike Carpenter/michael.carpenter@mu.edu)

Ellenson will be a top pick in the draft if he opts to leave after the season (Photo by Mike Carpenter/michael.carpenter@mu.edu)

Ellenson will be a top pick in the draft if he opts to leave after the season (Photo by Mike Carpenter/michael.carpenter@mu.edu)

Ellenson will be a top pick in the draft if he opts to leave after the season (Photo by Mike Carpenter/michael.carpenter@mu.edu)

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With Marquette’s men’s basketball season nearing its end, all eyes are on Henry Ellenson. The All-Big East forward has been a bright spot in an up-and-down season. He has made Marquette games a destination for NBA scouts.

The NBA’s mandate on a year of college has essentially put Ellenson in a yearlong waiting room in the NCAA. National pundits and draft experts have pegged him as a first-round pick from the start of the season with his stock rising throughout the year.

If Ellenson was drafted with a lottery pick, he would instantly become a multi-millionaire once he signs his rookie contract. He would have financial stability for what would be, at the bare minimum, the next two years (likely four years).

Of course, Marquette fans dread hearing this. If Ellenson returned for another year, the Golden Eagles would be in conference title contention next season without question.

But Marquette fans shouldn’t tell Ellenson what they think is best for his life. The only person that knows what Ellenson wants and what is best for his career are him and his family. Don’t act like you’re doing him any favors by telling him to stay in school and improve his game. Let’s be honest, fans only want him to stay for selfish reasons. They don’t really care if he gets an education or improves his game for the next level. They want Ellenson to help Marquette win.

I understand the wish for Ellenson to come back, but it makes more sense for him to cash in when he can. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to athletics.

I would like to point to another Milwaukee basketball talent, Bucks forward Jabari Parker. Like Ellenson could be, Parker was a one-and-done from Duke and was taken second overall in the draft. In his rookie season, he suffered a torn ACL that cost him nearly a year. If Parker had returned to Duke and torn an ACL, he likely would have had to return for his junior year to repair his damaged draft stock. That would have been two years of his life lost in the college game instead of the NBA. Ellenson’s ankle scare against Georgetown shows how fluky these injuries can be.

Ellenson will decide what is best for him. If he decides to return, hope that nothing significant happens to hurt his career opportunities. If he leaves, be thankful for all that he has done for Marquette and what he’ll do for Marquette’s brand in the NBA.

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