Syracuse’s recruiting cupboard for the class of 2013 had been bare entering the third week of August. That is, until St. Benedict’s point guard Tyler Ennis put an end to the drought.
The 5-star New Jersey floor general pledged his commitment to Syracuse on Thursday via a YouTube announcement, marking SU’s first commitment in the 2013 class. And with Ennis now firmly on board, you can bet this won’t be the school’s last.
You can watch Ennis’ official YouTube announcement below, beginning at the 3:40 mark.
Following his official announcement, Ennis texted me that he plans to recruit fellow 2013 recruits to SU. Atop his shopping list: Sparta (NJ) power forward Jermaine Lawrence, an SU lean, and Chester (PA) small forward Rondae Jefferson, who is also considering Syracuse.
Lawrence, a fellow Garden State standout with outstanding athleticism and rangy length, is arguably the top 2013 prospect from the state. He would be a natural complement to the passing-minded Ennis, completing the back end of a deadly alley-oop combination. Several people close to the situation informed Busting Brackets last month that Lawrence, at the time, was an SU lean. These same sources also revealed back in June (you can read the Ennis excerpt on the link provided in the sentence above) that Syracuse had emerged as the favorite to land Ennis as well.
In addition to its favorable position with Lawrence, Syracuse is in good stead with Jefferson, who one source believes is also a Syracuse lean. This recruitment, however, is much wider open. Arizona and Temple too are heavily involved with Jefferson, whose brother, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, is a current player for the Owls.
Given positional conflicts—Lawrence and Jefferson are both long, athletic face-up forwards who would play one of the corners at the base of the 2-3 zone, were they to choose Syracuse—the Orange is unlikely to come away with both. But with Ennis now in tow and taking recruiting into his own hands, it’s even more unlikely that SU will come away with neither.
Ennis, a native of Canada, is the third Canadian to choose SU since the turn of the century. Former Syracuse sharpshooter Andy Rautins and recently graduated forward Kris Joseph each has Canadian roots.
Ennis is a natural facilitator with pure point guard instincts and an exceptional handle. A true floor general, Ennis is a capable scorer that defenses must honor, but he lacks the big-time scoring ability that some of the other top-flight guards in his class possess. He has a show-me tear-drop in the lane, which is a point on the floor he gets to frequently, and a solid outside jumper as well.
The desire to remain close to his family, including his brother, who plays basketball at Villanova, played a hand in Ennis’ decision, as did his attachment to Syracuse itself. But available playing time in the backcourt as soon as he arrives on campus ultimately won over the Benedict’s star.
With rising senior Brandon Triche on his way out at the end of next season, SU is armed with only two guards for the 2013-14 season. And that’s assuming Michael Carter-Williams returns for his junior season, which is no guarantee given his high upside, which NBA scouts and the Syracuse coaching staff are fawning over.
Then-junior (redshirt) Trevor Cooney should get the bulk of SU’s minutes at the 2-guard in 2013-14, and if Carter-Williams is back, he’ll run the show. But with zero competition for backup minutes, Ennis could see 20 to 25 minutes off the bench as a freshman.
Topics: 2013, Brandon Triche, Chester, Jermaine Lawrence, Jim Boeheim, Michael Carter-williams, New Jersey, Newark, Nj, Orange, Point Guard, Prospect, Recruit, Recruiting, Ronade Jefferson, Sparta, St. Benedict's, Su, Syracuse, Trevor Cooney, Tyler Ennis