By Bryan Zarpentine @BZarp on March 27, 2014
For much of the season, it’s been assumed that Syracuse freshman point guard Tyler Ennis would be a one-and-done player. Those suspicions were confirmed on Thursday when Ennis made his decision to leave Syracuse official. But here are five reasons why Ennis is making a mistake by going to the NBA and why he should stay at Syracuse for one more year.
Ennis isn’t particularly tall, long, or fast, nor does he possess amazing athleticism. He simply doesn’t fit the profile of what we’ve been trained to look for in an NBA prospect, and even though we’ve become enamored with his poise and decision making, it’s odd for a player without standout physical abilities to leave after one college season.
There’s no doubt that Ennis can stand to get stronger. He’s not the most physically powerful player, and he started to wear down late in the season, which is a sign that he needs to get stronger. A summer spent with the Syracuse weight coaches could have gone a long way towards giving him the body he needs to have a great sophomore season and then being ready to make the jump to the NBA.
Point guards that are a little undersized need to be great jump shooters to make it in the NBA, and Ennis isn’t there yet. He made 35 percent of his three-point attempts this season, but most were open looks and high-percentage shots. He needs to be able to make tough, contested jump shots in important spots before he’s NBA ready, and Ennis simply isn't there yet.
We know Ennis can score when his team needs him to, but how about when he wants to. It’s not necessarily in his personality, but he needs to become a more aggressive player, especially early in games. Until Ennis can attack the basket and score points simply because he wants to, he won’t be ready to make an impact in the NBA, and that's something he could have worked on with another year at Syracuse.
Without being stronger, a better shooter, and a more aggressive scorer, Ennis is only a backup point guard at the next level, and he will need quality players around him in order to succeed in the NBA. Teams aren’t going to spend a lottery pick on a backup point guard, especially considering the depth in this year’s class, which is why Ennis should have stayed in college and come out next year when he knows he’ll step into the NBA as a starter.
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