Name: Tyler Ennis
Position: Point Guard
Height: 6’2.5″ (with shoes)
Weight: 182 pounds
Ennis is probably the best pure point guard in this class. He possesses exceptional court vision and pairs it with the ability to make plays for his teammates. He doesn’t turn the ball over very often, and always appears under control with the ball in his hands. Ennis has shown he can be deadly in the pick-and-roll, even able to hit shots of his own off-the-dribble if need be. He’s shown he can be the player you want with the ball down-the-stretch, as more often than not he’s going to make the right play and won’t cough the ball up. His demeanor is what you want out of your point guard. Ennis won’t try to force the action, which helps him to keep turnovers down.
Defensively, his massive wingspan helps him disrupt passing lanes and generate turnovers.
Ennis’ most glaring weakness is probably his lack of elite athleticism. He doesn’t have the burst necessary to finish consistently around the basket, and doesn’t have the blow-by skills you’ll often see in NBA point guards. Adding some strength to his thin frame could help him against stronger point guards and contact, though that remains to be seen. Some guys just aren’t wired to bulldoze their way through hard contact. While he’s not a bad shooter by any means, he’s also not particularly consistent, and will need to work on his touch, specifically from deep.
While his long arms give him some solid defensive potential, we really don’t know what kind of man-to-man defender he is because Syracuse almost exclusively employs a zone. I would imagine the steals numbers will translate to the pros, but does he have the lateral quickness necessary to stay in front of other guards on the perimeter? Very few teams in the league use a zone, and those that do only do so sporadically.
As we’ve seen, you don’t necessarily need to be a spectacular athlete in order to succeed in the NBA as a point guard. However, the guys that aren’t top-tier athletes (like Steph Curry) tend to have one thing they do exceptionally well that helps keep their defenders off-balance. Ennis isn’t nearly the kind of shooter that Curry is, though I do think he’s good enough to be a capable shooter at the next level. He reminds me of a quicker, better version of Kendall Marshall. Marshall’s lack of burst keeps him from doing much penetrating of his own, but his court vision and passing ability help make up for that. Ennis has plenty of the tools to be a solid starter in the NBA, though likely not a star. He seems likely to be drafted somewhere in the middle of round one.