NCB On The Trail: Tyler Ennis

In order to return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Syracuse and its chances of dancing again in 2015.

Quick references:
2013-14 roster
2014 recruiting

Possible 2014-15 starting five:
G: Tyler Ennis
G: Trevor Cooney
F: Michael Gbinije
F: Jerami Grant
C: Rakeem Christmas

#AskCoachB: A point for Syracuse

January, 15, 2014
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He is from a physical standpoint. Joseph (Nashua, N.H./Cushing Academy) has good speed in the open floor to push the ball on missed shots and turnovers. His versatility as a point guard will serve him well. Down the road, the 6-foot-3 Joseph can be a strong defender as well.

The learning curve will be understanding the nuances of the position, which usually takes years. Tyler Ennis has been outstanding in both the physical and mental portion of being a high-level point guard. Right now, Ennis is projected to be a middle-to-late first-round draft pick in the NBA. I believe his draft position will only creep higher.

#AskCoachB: Jones or Ennis?

December, 17, 2013
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Well, first off I have never been asked this question and I like the idea of comparing these two elite point guards. From a physical standpoint, Tyler Ennis is bigger and can take a hit a little better coming out of high school. I have seen Ennis get hit hard and, not only get up, but stay in the game. In the conversion game pushing the pace, I believe Tyus Jones is more efficient at a faster pace and is a good steal guy.

Both really can process the game while they are performing and both keep their focus on what the coach wants and the team needs in order to win while avoiding getting caught in one-on-one matchups. They both make the game easy for their teammates by their excellent vision and skill to deliver passes on time and on target. Each can make big shots demonstrating poise in crunch time. Ennis is a slightly better on-ball defender but he needs work in that department as well. Both make winning a priority and that's why their ranking, grade and evaluation was so high. I’ll take either one to run my team!

#AskCoachB: Talking Tyler Ennis

December, 9, 2013
12/09/13
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I agree, as I absolutely loved Tyler Ennis in the high school ranks. What I respected most about his game was the poise in which he played with and how he led.

As a freshman he is doing an outstanding job leading the Orange to a top-5 national ranking in an unassuming fashion. Over nine games he is playing 31 minutes per game, and he is making the most of those minutes.

He serves as Syracuse’s primary ball-handler, making decisions and scoring when needed. His assist to turnover ratio is 5:1, which is tremendous . He is nailing the 3-point shot at a 42 percent clip, which is impressive since the college 3-point line is a foot further than then the high school line (20-foot-9 vs. 19-9).

It’s obvious that Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, and Aaron Gordon are elite players and difference makers as freshmen, but Ennis is definitely in the conversation as a top-10 freshman.
The ACC, SEC, Pac-12, Big East and AAC all held their annual media days this week, with the Big 12 and Big Ten scheduled to follow suit next week. That means we’re seeing a variety of preseason coaches' polls identifying the top teams, players and freshmen in each conference.

From a recruiting perspective, one of the most interesting aspects of the preseason polls is finding the discrepancies between our final ESPN 100 rankings and coaches’ expectations just a few months later.

[+] EnlargeTyler Innis
AP PhotoFreshman Tyler Ennis will likely play big minutes at point guard for Syracuse.
The reality is that player rankings and preseason polls are projecting two different things, so sometimes the highest-ranked players coming out of high school aren’t the ones coaches expect to make the most immediate impact as college freshmen.

Our ESPN rankings are based on three weighted criteria: NBA potential, projected college impact and high school productivity. Preseason polls are only relevant to the second and have a narrower lens since they’re only considering the upcoming season and not the entire scope of a college career.

The other major difference between final recruit rankings and preseason college polls is the presence of variables. Opportunity and fit, both with style of play and current personnel, are exceptionally important when assessing how impactful freshmen can be in their debut season but aren’t relevant when calculating final rankings coming out of high school.

With those variances in mind, here’s a look at five college freshmen whose immediate impact should exceed their final ESPN 100 ranking in the Class of 2013.


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Jahlil Okafor, Tyus JonesESPN, Icon SMIJahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones have discussed going to school together and the ESPN 100 prospects have scheduled several official visits as a tandem.
One of the lasting themes of the Class of 2014 has been the perpetual rumors of package deals, and yet as we get closer to and closer to November’s early signing period we’re still waiting for the first to come to fruition.

With that in mind, we examined the most rumored potential package deals in the country and set the odds in order to determine which have the best chance of actually happening.

First though, it’s necessary to define what a “package deal” is. In it’s purest form, it would be a situation where two or more prospects are recruited in unison and make one collaborative decision. But there really aren’t many situations currently like that in the 2014 class, with one notable exception.

Instead, most of the recent talk around “package deals” really reflects prospects that could potentially end up at the same school, even if they don’t go through the recruiting process together. As such, that is the definition which we’ll operate under for the purposes of this article and projecting the likelihood of such deals actually happening.


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Scout's take: Syracuse gets floor leader 

August, 17, 2013
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Sometimes, these things just aren’t that complicated. Class of 2014 ESPN 100 point guard Kaleb Joseph (Nashua, N.H./Cushing Academy) is headed to Syracuse and the implication of his commitment is simple: Joseph is a good player and Syracuse coveted him.


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Several ESPN 100 recruits to play in NHSI

March, 12, 2013
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The field is set for the fifth annual National High School Invitational, and it promises to be the most talented group in the event’s history.

All eight teams in the NHSI field are ranked in the ESPN 25 Power Rankings, and six are in the top 10. The tournament will be held April 4-6 in Bethesda, Md., and televised on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Seedings and matchups will be announced at a later date.

[+] EnlargeNigel Williams-Goss
Josh Holmberg/Icon SMIWashington recruit Nigel Williams-Goss and Findlay Prep look to defend their NHSI title.
This year’s NHSI is headlined by the No. 1 team in the nation, Findlay Prep (Nev.). The undefeated Pilots are the reigning NHSI champs and boast a loaded roster that features a quartet of ESPN 100 stars in Nigel Williams-Goss (Washington, No. 20), Allerik Freeman (UCLA, No. 65), Christian Wood (UNLV, No. 74) and Stanford Robinson (Indiana, No. 98).

“It’s going to be difficult [to repeat],” said Findlay head coach Todd Simon. "This appears to be the strongest field yet for the NHSI. The fact that we are 34-0 and have won NHSI three times it makes us a gigantic target. But it’s a nice little challenge.”

Top-15 recruits Kasey Hill (Florida, No. 9) and Dakari Johnson (Kentucky, No. 11) lead No. 2 Montverde Academy (Fla.). The Eagles are still smarting after consecutive losses to Findlay, first in last year’s NHSI title game and again in January on a Williams-Goss buzzer-beater that ended Montverde’s reign at No. 1.

Also in the mix for the coveted NHSI crown are: No. 4 Prime Prep (Texas), led by No. 53 senior Jordan Mickey (LSU) and No. 3 junior Emmanuel Mudiay (undecided); No. 5 St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.) and ESPN 100 point guard Tyler Ennis (Syracuse); No. 8 La Lumiere (Ind.) with talented wing Detrick Mostella (Oklahoma State) leading the way; No. 9 Blanche Ely (Fla.), the Florida Class 7A state champ; and perennial top-25 squads No. 19 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) and No. 25 Montrose Christian (Md.).

“To win this event we’d be 37-0, and with the schedule we’ve played it would put us in rare air in high school basketball,” Simon added.


The most important position on the basketball court when it comes to winning games is point guard. They come in all shapes and sizes with different talents, but the one common denominator is that a good point guard is a must in recruiting.

Here is a look at five of the nation’s top point guards in the Class of 2013, what each does better than anyone in the country and what they’ll bring to their college teams next season.

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Syracuse strikes again with SF B.J. Johnson 

October, 16, 2012
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ESPN.com has confirmed that small forward B.J. Johnson (Ardmore, Pa./Lower Merion) has verbally committed to Syracuse. He is expected to officially announce his decision on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-7 Johnson officially visited Syracuse last weekend along with center Chinonso Obokoh (Rochester, N.Y./Bishop Kearney), who committed to the Orange Monday night. Johnson had narrowed his choices to Syracuse, Villanova, Temple and Rutgers.

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Center Chinonso Obokoh picks Orange 

October, 15, 2012
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Syracuse nabbed a verbal pledge from center Chinonso Obokoh (Rochester, N.Y./Bishop Kearney) on Monday night, multiple sources are reporting.

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Orange on the board with Tyler Ennis 

August, 16, 2012
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Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim landed his first commitment from the 2013 class on Thursday with a pledge from ESPN 100 point guard Tyler Ennis (Brampton, Ont./St. Benedict's).

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ESPN 100 PG to announce Thursday 

August, 15, 2012
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ESPN 100 point guard Tyler Ennis (Brampton, Ont./St. Benedict's Prep) is expected to announce his college decision on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Ennis' AAU coach Mike George confirmed to the paper that the 6-foot-2 point guard will announce his decision via the CIA Bounce website.

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