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Former Cincinnati forward Octavius Ellis commits to Arizona State

Oct 27, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

Herb Sendek, Jordan Bachynski AP

After being dismissed from the Cincinnati basketball program in May 2012 for off-court issues, 6-foot-10 forward Octavius Ellis made the move to Trinity Valley CC in Texas in hopes of getting his career back on track. Ellis’ time at Cincinnati wasn’t particularly smooth, with a hand injury and a six-game suspension ultimately leading to his playing just four games as a Bearcat (1.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg).

But at Trinity Valley Ellis has proven to be a valuable player, as he posted averages of 13.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last season. On Sunday Ellis verbally committed to attend Arizona State, giving the Sun Devils some needed interior depth for the 2014-15 season as they’re due to lose starting center Jordan Bachynski at the end of the upcoming campaign.

According to Hod Rabino of Devils Digest, Ellis took an official visit to the school last week.

“Arizona State plays in the Pac-12 and it’s a good conference to play in,” Ellis said. “I like it that they are on the West Coast and have such a great coaching staff. I liked everything I saw on the visit, the weight room, the (basketball) facility, the whole campus and meeting with the coaches and players.”

While Bachynski (9.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.4 bpg) is the biggest personnel loss the Sun Devils will definitely have to account for in the front court after this season (grad student Richie Edwards being the other), the 7-footer was one of the most improved players in the Pac-12in 2012-13. Ellis averaged more than three blocks per game at Trinity Valley last season, and that’s an area the Sun Devils can use some production in with Bachynski on the way out.

Ellis’ best performance last season came in a 75-64 win over Panola JC on February 20, in which he tallied 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

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