In a move that surprised nobody, Iowa junior guard Brady Ellingson will take a graduate transfer and play his final season elsewhere.
— Brady Ellingson (@B_Ellingson24) March 20, 2018
Ellingson was the designated shooter in an Iowa 2014 recruiting class that also included Dom Uhl and Trey Dickerson. Unfortunately, he never really broke through. After taking a redshirt in 2014-15, Ellingson couldn't find his stroke in 2015-16 and barely played during the Big Ten season. In 2016-17, Ellingson was an effective outside weapon, shooting 47 percent from three and logging a career high in minutes.
However, Ellingson never has had the ballhandling ability to play point guard for any extended period of time, a problem which sunk him in 2017-18, as Iowa desperately searched for someone to spell Jordan Bohannon. An audition as backup point guard in December did not go well (to the tune of a 21 percent turnover rate), and Ellingson was quickly passed by Maishe Dailey as the first guard off the bench. He played just 82 minutes in January and February, and was left out of seven games entirely, despite shooting 40 percent from three for the season.
Iowa had already opened one scholarship for next year when Christian Williams transferred in October, and will have a second through the graduating Dom Uhl. Those spots figure to be filled by Fran McCaffery's two incoming recruits, Joe Weiskamp and C.J. Fredrick; though there had been rumors that Fredrick might grayshirt, he had a phenomenal senior season as one of the best players in Kentucky and told Rivals after winning the state championship that he wants to contribute next season. Ellingson's departure could be used to put walk-on Connor McCaffery on scholarship, but McCaffery's desire to play both basketball and baseball makes his walk-on status advantageous for both programs, and obviously his dad can afford in-state tuition. I'd expect Iowa to do something it almost never does: Shop the transfer market for a point guard to pair with Bohannon.
As for Ellingson, we hope there are no hard feelings. He was exactly what was advertised: A great outside shooter. It just turned out that, due to recruiting misses and roster makeup, Iowa needed more than that. We hope he finds a good landing spot, and we wish him the best of luck wherever that may be.