Name: Tyler Ennis Age: 19 School: Syracuse
Height: 6’2 Weight: 180 Projected Position: PG
12.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.5 apg, 2.1 spg, 1.9 tpg (35.7 minutes per game)
41.1 FG%, 76.5 FT%, 35.3 3FG%, 3.2:1 A/TO
51.1 TS%, 45.3 eFG%, 21.9 USG%, 32.3 AST%, 3.9 STL%
SKILLS & ATHLETIC BREAKDOWN
Ennis’ perimeter shooting is one of the major areas he needs to improve. He does a good job getting square to the basket and his shooting motion is smooth with good follow-through, but his release is slightly low and out in front of him, and somewhat slow. Often, it seems like he is trying to precisely place his shot, instead of just shooting the ball. He has the ability to hit his jumper off the pass or dribble, and if he has time to get set, can be a good spot-shooter, though consistency is an issue. Ennis uses screens and his dribble well to set up his jumper, but by the time he gets into and through his shooting motion, defenders have recovered enough to close well. He needs to work on not drifting when he shoots off the dribble, and he has a tendency to fade away in the mid-range area, even with no defenders close enough to make a play. Ennis has developed a nice floater for when he gets into the lane, and it’s a shot that should continue to improve over time.
Ennis can be effective when he looks to get into the lane and to the basket, though he doesn’t have great speed. He has a good first step, especially to his right, and he shows good body control to get by defenders. Ennis will rarely look to go to the rim when he gets into the lane, instead preferring to shoot a floater, which he has had some success with, or to go away from the basket a bit and use angles and the backboard to get his shot off. He does a good job keeping his head up and seeing the defense when he gets into the lane, though he still will likely try to find his shot instead of finding an open teammate. He has shown that he can hit the mid-range jumper if he chooses to only take a few steps past his defender, though he is much more comfortable looking to get into, or around, the lane area. Ennis does a good job using screens to create some separation from his man and get to the basket, though he can work on coming off them a bit tighter and quicker.
Ennis is a very good ballhandler, able to use both hands well and having shown some advanced dribbles to keep the defense off balance. He has excellent control, keeps the ball low and close to his body, and takes very few risks with the ball. Ennis prefers to make moves to the basket going to his right. When he goes to his left, he will rarely look to finish his move to the basket, and will either pass or try to bring the ball back to the right. While he uses his left hand regularly to handle the ball, I would like to see him look to attack the basket more with his left hand. Ennis uses his dribble well to create space for his jumper or a floater when he gets into the lane. Ennis sees the floor very well and is a very strong passer. The key area he needs to show is that he can find open teammates off of penetration into the lane, and being able to make proper, and quick, reads in pick-and-roll situations. As often as he makes good passes off of penetration, he makes late passes which put his teammates in tough scoring position.
Free Throw Shooting
Ennis is an average free throw shooter, with a consistent routine, good shooting motion and follow-through. Like his jumper, his release is a bit low and his shots could use a bit more arc. Though, it was a small sample, Ennis was a good free-throw shooter down the stretch of close games and didn’t shy away from important moments. With the amount of shots he takes in the lane and around the basket, he should get to the line more (.4 per 1 field goal attempt), but he prefers to avoid contact and makes moves that take him away from the basket and help defenders.
Perimeter Defense (On/Off Ball)
As with all Syracuse players, it is tough to get a real read on Ennis’ ability to play man defense at the NBA level, but there are clues available. Ennis has good defensive awareness, both on and off the ball, and, for the most part, is an active defender. He positions himself well between his man and the basket, and moves well laterally over the area he needs to cover. However, he can become complacent and it looks like he goes through the movements of bouncing between where he needs to be in the zone depending on where the ball is. When he is playing the ball, he needs to work on assuming more of a defensive stance instead of standing straight almost straight up. Also, when forced to move laterally for more than a few steps, he has trouble staying in front of the ball. Ennis can do a good job looking to get over screens, though often he is helped by another teammate in the zone. Off the ball, Ennis positions himself well, though he can find himself cheating too much towards help position. His good awareness pays off often though, as he knows how to position himself to pick off errant passes caused by the length of the Syracuse zone. Ennis is a good help defender, and can move back and forth between the top of the zone and trapping low or on the sidelines easily. He has to watch falling for shot fakes, often leaving the shooter with a clear shot.
Ennis is a decent rebounder for his size, though the long rebounds caused by the Syracuse zone give him plenty of opportunities. He does a good job looking to put a body on someone, anticipating where rebounds will go to and getting to the spot. Ennis is quick after long rebounds and is capable of pushing the ball in transition himself once he gets it.
Ennis is very good in transition, on both offense and defense. He pushes the ball up court quickly, keeps his head up to see his options, and is capable of taking the ball himself to the basket. If the defense looks to stop him, he gets the ball out quickly to a teammate, usually in position for them to take a good shot.
Ennis showed great poise and control of the offense from the beginning of the season. The stories of his ability to make big plays down the stretch of games made him a national story. He sees the floor well, and while he hasn’t shown much of an ability to create for others, he makes smart plays and protects the ball. Ennis likes to try to get into the lane area to score, and has developed the beginning of a nice floater, a shot many older guards still don’t realize they need. Ennis prefers to use angles and the backboard instead of looking to go right at the basket and draw contact, often ending up having to try and make difficult shots. Perimeter shooting and defense are two areas where he needs to show a lot more than he did this past season, as well as becoming much stronger physically. He has a high basketball IQ and is a strong competitor, though he has a long way to go before he shows he can be a starting point guard in the NBA. He does deserve a lot of credit for the major role he took on from Day 1 of his time with Syracuse.
Draft Value: Middle 1st – #15-22
Many like Ennis to go in the lottery, though I think he will have a lot of trouble if put into a situation where he has to play big minutes right away for a team. He would do best with a team with a solid starting point guard that Ennis can learn behind for a couple of seasons and see if he can adapt to the NBA game. Still, the middle of the 1st round is good value for a decent backup point guard option who could possibly be much more.
Leave your comments below, or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter – @NBADraftBlog
Photo: Mark Konezny/USATODAY Sports