Watson: Syracuse's Ennis ready for next level at NBA Draft

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Duane Watson
6/23/2014 12:40:41 PM
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The 2014 NBA Draft will be a historic one for Canadian basketball, with as many as seven players from Canada - three of them as high as the first round - possibly selected. In the days leading up to the draft, TSN.ca and TSN Radio basketball analyst Duane Watson looks at some of the names that will be headlining the event. Watch the 2014 NBA Draft on TSN, Thursday at 7pm et/4pm pt.

Name: Tyler Ennis
From: Brampton, Ontario
Played: Syracuse University
Height: 6'2
Weight: 180
Position: Point Guard
2013-2014 Stats: 12.9 points, 5.5 assists, 2.1 steals
Breakout Game: 14 points, 9 assists in win vs. Duke Feb 1st.
Accolades: 2013 - '14 All-ACC Defensive team, Second team All-ACC, finished amongst 10 finalists for Naismith Player of the Year voting.
Draft Projection: Mid-late first round.
Comparable NBA player: Jrue Holiday

While all attention was focused on the impact Andrew Wiggins would make in his first season as a one-and-done player, Tyler Ennis quietly and confidently did the same.

Maturity and poise are two things consistently said about Ennis, and with good reason. As a freshman the 6'2 Brampton, Ontario native expertly and efficiently lead the Orange to a 28-6 record and a No. 1 ranking in the country.

The only person who wasn't surprised by Ennis' breakout season was Ennis. It wasn't a case of over confidence, but merely confidence. His assuredness in his abilities and talents is what kept him cool in late game situations, where he able to make clutch plays or scoring game-winning baskets.

A point guard in every sense of the term, he looks for his teammates first and creates opportunities for them - yet is still able to find his own shot when necessary, keeping defenses honest.

For a 19-year-old, he plays a very cerebral game. Taking care of the basketball, he averaged a miserly 1.7 turnovers, reads the floor very well and knows when to pass or make the play himself. Ennis doesn't shy away from the moment, and has a quick enough first step to get to the basket and possess a reliable jumper with good range. He is a legitimate triple threat with a competitive spirit.
 
His strength and explosiveness are questionable, yet strength is always a concern for many collegians moving to the next level. He isn't the quickest point guard, but makes up for lack of speed in a number of different areas. Defensively, he will have to grow as he has had the luxury of sitting in Jim Boeheim's zone defense, picking passing lanes and not facing one-on-one match-ups, that he will see in the pros.

Ennis has slipped out of the lottery, yet is still the best point guard in the draft. He has the poise and skill set to step into a starting situation right now in the NBA and run an offense, not just getting by on his physical gifts. Ennis again is seemingly flying under the radar, with the entire attention on other one-and-done prospects, with good reason.

There is no doubt or wonder in what you will get, which is why he will make the jump to the next level. For Ennis, the belief in himself wouldn't let him do otherwise.

Tyler Ennis  (Photo: Chris So/Toronto Star/Getty Images )

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(Photo: Chris So/Toronto Star/Getty Images )
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