Gharib: USC Gets Lift from Memphis Transfer Boogie Ellis

The combo guard elevates USC into position to compete for the Pac-12 championship again

Posted on May 12, 2021

  By Anthony Gharib, SportsPac12

It’s been a quiet couple of weeks in all of college basketball, but especially in the world of USC basketball. Outside of the declaration of both Mobley Brothers to the NBA Draft, news has been as thin as ice. 

It is spring, which means college football is around the corner and players are still recovering from the bizarre season. However, things are still being shaken and stirred around for the Trojans next season. 

Boogie Ellis | John McGillen/USC Athletics

As March Madness concluded and USC lost bodies to the draft, they received a blessing from the basketball gods—the explosive combo guard Boogie Ellis deciding to transfer from Memphis to USC. 

Ellis, a 6-foot-3 junior, is an enormous get for the Trojans, especially with the departure of Tahj Eaddy. He elevates USC back into a great position to compete for the Pac-12 championship once again.

Ellis is simply an elusive combo guard who controls the ball on a string with skillful ballhandling and a quick step into the paint. Most importantly though, Ellis can drain threes from beyond the arc, spreading the floor for a USC team that struggled from three at times the last season.

He’s an offensive weapon Enfield and company will be able to utilize.


And if Isaiah Mobley returns, leaving Ellis open to double Mobley will more than likely result in a three-pointer—something Ellis showcased in the small sample he had playing along with James Wiseman—or the right pass for a better shot.

As Eaddy departs, Ellis can practically fit into the role of an excellent guard for the Trojans. He might not have the consistency of a grizzled veteran like Eaddy, but he has promise. What he lacks in experience in a conference as deep as the Pac-12 and consistent play, Ellis makes up with his potential to go off on the offensive end. 

Against Houston, the only ranked team Memphis played last season, Ellis went off for a season-high 27 points along with five threes. He also shot 62.5% from the three, and over 50% from the field. 

Even with all the positives on the offensive side, Ellis hasn’t been a great playmaker during his short college career. He only averaged 1.5 assists per game in both seasons at Memphis.


However, this really shouldn’t be a problem, especially with Drew Peterson returning, and possibly Isaiah Mobley. Ellis makes it up with the quick speed he possesses. 

And on the defensive side, he has the potential to be an itch on the ball when guards come up the court. Scouts have mentioned he can hound ballhandlers throughout a game, but, like much of Ellis’s game, we haven’t really seen much at a level of competition like the Pac-12.

Outside of Ellis, USC did receive commitments from raw talent such as Malik Thomas, Kobe Johnson and Harrison Hornery. 

With the fresh faces, it’s still going to be a familiar cast of ballers at Galen Center. 


Surprising returns from Chevez Goodwin and Isaiah White make the Trojans as deep as last year. Goodwin and White are surely going to become fan favorites among the faithful at Galen. 

As summer approaches, the college basketball season does too, and the commitment of Ellis will put USC in the mix for another great run.

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