All of the Orange that took part in the festivities put up solid numbers in Brooklyn.
Saturday in Brooklyn the future of Syracuse basketball took the floor in the 2013 Jordan Brand Classicat the Barclays Center. Incoming point guard Tyler Ennis played 23 minutes for the East Team in the featured “national” game on ESPN2 with the country’s top prospects. Meanwhile, two more future Orange, Tyler Roberson and Chinonso Obokoh, took part in the “regional” game with New York’s top talent.
The talented Ennis performed well, piling up 14 points, 6 dimes, 5 boards, and 4 steals in an impressive stat line on national television. Jim Boeheim is going to rely on Tyler to learn the position relatively fast to make up for the lack of depth and capable ball handlers in the backcourt. Ennis was able to put up points and play a well-rounded game with the best talent in his class. Ennis was one of the most sought after floor generals in the country, and have a very good all-around game should be a confidence booster to a young man who has lofty expectations. Tyler will be vital for next year’s Orange since Trevor Cooney has trouble creating his shot and the departure of MCW and Brandon Triche leaves the guard rotation inexperienced.
Boeheim is looking at newcomers like Michael Gbinje and Ron Patterson to help out when necessary. Although he has the size of a small forward, Gbinje handles the ball well enough to help in the guard role if needed. He has been around this team since he transferred from Duke and had an early start to develop chemistry and get familiar with the style of play. Gbinje has game experience at Duke, and should not have much trouble transitioning early on. Many have compared his style to Wes Johnson and Kris Joseph at the wing position.
Roberson showed he can contribute at the next level when his time arrives. He put up a great line of 19 points, a team-high 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Although he was only 1-5 behind the arc, his aggressive style of play shows how versatile and valuable he can be driving to the basket, while also having an outside presence. Roberson is slated to get some minutes off the bench, perhaps the same role Jerami Grant had this past year.
Obokah will likely redshirt next year with a heavy number of big men on the team already. An extra year might be good for Obokah, who will benefit in ’14 when Baye Moussa-Keita graduates and Dajuan Coleman and Rak Christmas are another year farther into their careers. Chinonso had a decent game with 8 points and 5 boards in 20 minutes. Obokah can be an important piece down the road for the Orange. Obokah is not a highly-ranked commit, but has the frame to be a threat in a zone defense, similar to Keita.
Obokah is also a teammate of Thomas Bryant, the third-best prospect in the state for ’15, at Rochester’s Bishop Kearney High. If Syracuse is able to sway the local star to play with Obokah, SU would be in good hands. The Jordan Brand Classic underscored how much exciting talent is coming to the Hill this winter.
Posted: Zephan Mayell