The University of Tennessee will honor one of their very best players on March 1, 2014. Dale Ellis‘ No. 14 jersey will be pulled to the rafters of Thompson-Boling arena. The raucous crowd will all raise their eyes and heads as this Volunteer legend is properly enshrined in history. The Vols will honor Ellis during halftime of their game with in-state rival Vanderbilt. The game and ceremony will be shown on ESPN and in front of a national audience.
During his playing days in Knoxville, Ellis was a back-to-back SEC Player of the Year and an All-American. His points total of 2,065 is more impressive when you know he didn’t have the use of the three-point line. The three-pointer was not introduced into the college game until the 1986-87 season. Ellis’ time in Knoxville also included nine games where he scored 30 points or more. He was nicknamed “Mr. Inside” pouring in the points from around the basket and becoming the fifth leading scorer in Tennessee history. Ellis is one of only five players to score more than 2,000 points in a career. His SEC leading field-goal percentage of 65.4% is still a Vols record.
After his time in the orange and white was complete, he continued to leave his mark in the NBA. Ellis is arguably one of the best three-point shooters in history. As a pro, he was nicknamed “Mr. Outside” for his marksmanship from deep. He led the league in three-point shooting during the 1997-98 season by shooting an astounding 46.7%. He finished his 17-year career with over 19,000 points.
Ellis will be the fourth men’s basketball player to be honored in Thompson-Boling arena. Tennessee has also retired Bernard King (No.53), Ernie Grunfeld (No. 22) and Allan Houston (No.20).
Brian Lewis is an SEC Basketball Writer for Rant Sports.com. You can add him on Google for more of his work.