NCAA Under the Radar: Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

Dec 7, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Tyler Ennis (11) dribbles the ball up the court against the Binghamton Bearcats during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse defeated Binghamton 93-65. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Point Guard
Class: Freshman
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 180 pounds
NBA Comparison: Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

Over the course of the past decade, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs has overcome an absence of elite athleticism by mastering the fundamentals and the art of deception. He’s a magnificent playmaker due to his balance as a lethal slasher, dangerous mid-range jump shooter and creative facilitator.

Tyler Ennis possesses each of those traits, albeit at a significantly less proven level.

Ennis isn’t the most explosive athlete, but he’s a tenacious player who always seems to be in control of a game. His handles are strong and that enables him to push the pace and make decisions in the open court.

In the half court, Ennis works off of high screens as he decides between facilitating and scoring. His mid-range jumper is strong enough to keep a defense honest and his passes are well-timed. Just like Parker, Ennis is 6’2″, which enables him to work his magic against bigger defenders.

The key for the Canadian star is his ability to lead. Even as a high school player, he made his teammates better and displayed poise in clutch situations.

He’s under the radar right now, but Ennis should emerge as one of the best point guards in the nation by season’s end.

Current Draft Stock: Late Second Round

As it presently stands, Ennis’ draft stock is that of a late second-round selection. As always seems to be the case with players whose abilities outweigh their athleticism—funny how that works out, isn’t it?—the freshman point guard will be valued at a lower level than the more explosive players at his position.

As the season goes on, expect that to change.

Ennis is comparable to last year’s National Player of the Year, Trey Burke of Michigan, but with greater size at 6’2″. He’ll work his way up draft boards as the season rages on and when it’s all said and done, will be in a position to become a lottery pick.

Today, however, Ennis is on the outside looking in.

The issues for Ennis in the present day are the combination of mediocre athleticism and limited 3-point range. He’s a dynamic playmaker with outstanding defensive potential, but his lack of a consistent 3-point shot could spell trouble against the Atlantic Coast Conference’s better defensive units.

Fortunately, every other part of his game is strong enough to overcome that deficiency. For that reason, you should keep an eye on Syracuse and its freshman point guard.

Ennis could be something special.

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Topics: College Basketball, Ncaa, Syracuse, Tyler Ennis

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