Jim Boeheim and his staff over recent months have expressed major interest in Class of 2013 PG Tyler Ennis, and the Orange has made the final cut. The St. Benedict Prep star has considered SU for quite some time, but the Orange are now in his top 3 with Illinois and Louisville.
The 6’2 175 lb. Ennis has showcased himself as a five-star talent and should make an immediate impact wherever he decides to attend school. The NCAA changed its rules in April to allow coaches to talk to recruits earlier, and the value of the Brampton, Ontario native has only risen. He can score in bunches with his consistent mid-range jumper, and his ability to get to the basket is polished. His high basketball IQ separates him even more, which makes Ennis a consensus top-five PG in the nation.
Ennis just participated in The LeBron James Skills Academy this past weekend, and landing a spot there proves how highly he’s regarded. An environment mixed with both collegiate and high school players, this Nike skills camp attracts 93 of the best HS players from around the country. Ennis has a swarm of offers coming his way, including Kansas, Villanova, and Georgetown. From the camp emerged his top 3 destinations. The Fizz breaks down each program and how he fits the schools.
Getting Ennis would be another big get for SU. Many don’t see him as a one-and-done type player, so his value comes with staying on campus for awhile before he looks at the NBA. Ennis has said that playing time right away is a factor, but the Orange do have Michael Carter-Williams at that spot.
Ennis would also be closer to home than the other finalists, since he attends high school in New Jersey and his family lives in Buffalo. After enjoying his visit to SU and Midnight Madness, he has repeatedly mentioned the idea of playing under Jim Boeheim and the SU bond.
“It’s close to home. I like how they have a family atmosphere. Even when you graduate, you’re still a part of the Syracuse family.”
By the time Ennis is on campus, Syracuse will also be playing in the ACC. It does’t get much bigger than when you’re battling North Carolina or Duke.
With the Fighting Illini, playing time should be made available to him. A multitude of guards are returning to next year’s team, but many are upperclassmen. Illinois has already landed two recruits for the 2013 class in Malcolm Hill and Maverick Morgan.
Head Coach John Groce was just hired and will be entering his first season next year. He would love to add a program cornerstone in Ennis to get off to a good start. Ennis told SB Nation Chicago back in May that Illinois is not the front-rummer but has been in contact.
“They’re not favorites, but they’re who keeps in touch the most. Who I’m in touch with the most right now.”
The Big Ten is not quite the ACC in prestige, but last year the conference was one of the best in the nation. Groce is on board to help revamp their program, and Ennis could easily get the role of star in that scenario.
The Cards only have one returning underclassmen guard in Kevin Ware and stand-out Kyle Kuric is on his way out. But Rick Pitino may be looking towards another top 5 PG in Virginia native Anthony Barber, who has received offers from Alabama and Kansas as well according to Scout. He is ranked as the 3rd best point in the nation, right in front of Ennis.
Ennis told the Carrier-Journal that he has plenty of respect for Slick Rick:
“Louisville has a Hall of Fame coach in Rick Pitino and he’s always keeping in touch with me. He’s been to see me and I like how they play. I like Louisville’s style and the way they are able to develop point guards.”
Ennis certainly has plenty of other offers he may consider, but it comes down to this from these three schools: a leader of a rebuilding program in Illinois, joining Pitino’s parade of dynamic guards, or a formidable starter on Boeheim’s national contender. We will see as a decision may be coming soon.
Posted: Brendan Glasheen