Ennis Wants To Lead Syracuse Back To The Top
Senior NBA Writer & College Basketball Editor
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Earlier this month Syracuse received their first big commitment from the 2013 recruiting class: point guard Tyler Ennis. Ennis, who attends St. Benedict’s High School in New Jersey and plays for CIA Bounce on the AAU circuit, is one of the best point guards the class has to offer.
“I think I decided to go to Syracuse just because I felt the most comfortable with them throughout the year,” Ennis said in an exclusive interview with HOOPSWORLD. “They’re the only school out of my last five that I had visited. They had an upper hand. Along with the situation they have it’s close to home.”
Making his collegiate choice before the start of his senior year was important for Ennis as he wanted to focus solely on his goals of going undefeated at St. Benedict’s, becoming a McDonald’s High School All-American, and making the Jordan Brand Classic game.
Those are high aspirations, but strong possibilities for a player of Ennis’ caliber. Once he gets to Syracuse, he’s going to be aiming even higher.
“Individually I want to be on the all-conference freshman team, that’s the main thing I want to do because it’s difficult to play in the ACC and be on the all-freshman team,” Ennis said. “Hopefully Freshman of the Year, anything more than that would be a plus.
“I definitely want to win a championship on the 10th anniversary of them winning a national championship. That and bringing my team together, being a leader playing with guys who are Mcdonalds All-Americans and potential NBA players. That’d be good for me as a player and my resume.”
If Ennis is going to reach those heights at Syracuse, he’s going to have to smoothly adapt to playing their patented 2-3 zone defense.
“I haven’t played on a team that just plays zone before but I played zone before, not fully, but partially,” Ennis said. “I think I’ll be able to adjust. I don’t think it’s going to be too hard. I know they play man-to-man in practice so it’s not like I’m going to completely forget about playing man-to-man.”
Another key for Ennis, a true playmaker patterned after Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving with a gift for setting up his teammates, is having quality players around him. Syracuse has always been a potential destination for top-flight recruits like Ennis, but he has his eyes on two players in particular who he would love to join him.
“I have a couple guys I play with in Andrew Wiggins and Isaiah Briscoe,” Ennis said. “Those two, I would love for them to come and play with me at Syracuse but if it’s not the best situation for them I’m not going to pressure them but it’d be great for us to all go to the same school if that happens like that.”
Wiggins, Ennis’ teammate on CIA Bounce, is widely regarded as the top-ranked recruit in the 2014 class, although rumors are running rampant that he could reclassify into the 2013 class. Briscoe, a 2015 recruit also from St. Benedict’s, is even younger. So, there’s the question of whether or not Ennis will even be around long enough to play with them if they do indeed end up choosing Syracuse. However, he doesn’t rule out the possibility.
“Right now I’m not really focusing on being a one and done or being there for how many ever years I just want to get better right now,” Ennis said. “I haven’t played a college game yet so I just want to get comfortable with college first but if the opportunity is there for me to make Coach Boeheim said he’s all for that as he did that with Dion (Waiters), if that’s a good opportunity for me and I’m ready I’ll definitely consider it.”