Has Tyler Ennis perfected college basketball? No. Would there be plenty of things for him to polish and improve by returning to Syracuse? Yes. But can you blame any one for cashing in their multi-million dollar lottery ticket? No way.
Syracuse’s freshman point guard will join good company as a one-and-done this year (Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins, Kentucky’s Julius Randle, Duke’s Jabari Parker), and enter the NBA Draft. It’s not a deep draft for PGs (Okie State’s Marcus Smart may be the only one taken before Ennis). For any Orange fan that watched him this season he exceeded expectations. He was tremendous in late-game situations (outside of the NCAA loss to Dayton). He calmly handled the point for a once undefeated team. He had a knack for the dramatic (his heave at the buzzer in Pitt will live in Syracuse lore).
It’s disappointing to see him head to the pros when there’s clearly more to accomplish on the Hill. But it’s impossible to begrudge him. Ennis is projected by most to be taken as one of the first point guards, somewhere in the 7-10 range. Michigan PG Trey Burke was selected by the Jazz last year at #9. He signed a two-year deal at $2.5M guaranteed each season, and then a club option the third and fourth years for $2.6M and $3.4M.
Would we all like to see Ennis come back? Yeah. Is there a possibility he’s the next Jonny Flynn – a young, dynamic PG that was ruined and flushed after leaving college too early? Sure. But it’s hard to argue with the paycheck. Ennis probably has $5M staring him in the face, or he can play for free for another season.
It’s all about the benjamins, baby.