Given the recent success of Syracuse’s freshman point guard Tyler Ennis, it is only right to take a look at how he stacks up next to the Orange’s point guard of a year ago that has found instant success at the NBA level, Michael Carter-Williams.
In nine games, Ennis has averaged 11.3 points, 4.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.7 steals per contest for the Orange. More impressively, the freshman has managed to turn the ball over once per game, giving him an impressive assist-to-turnover-ratio of almost 5-to-1.
Carter-Williams saw minimal time in his freshman season at Syracuse, but shined the following year at the helm of the Orange’s offense. In 35 minutes per contest, MCW averaged 11.9 points, 5 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 2.7 steals.
Despite comparing Ennis and Carter-Williams, the two have far from similar playing styles. Carter-Williams, at 6-foot-6, relied on his length to lockdown perimeter scores and get into the passing lanes to jumpstart the offense. In transition, MCW was near impossible to stop due to his ability to finish at the rim or willingly drop it off to an open teammate. Ennis, on the other hand, is just 6-foot-2 but shoots the ball significantly better than Carter-Williams did in college. Ennis is shooting the three-ball at an impressive clip of 42.9%. Perimeter shooting was the glaring weakness in MCW’s game, shooting under 40% from the field and 30% from deep.
While the size of Carter-Williams proved beneficial to him at the defensive end and on the glass, Ennis has shown the anticipation and instincts to be just as effective. Carter-Williams will undoubtedly be the better rebounder at the college level and beyond, but Ennis is farther along than MCW was at this stage in his career.
Regardless, both were crucial to top-five caliber Syracuse teams. A year removed from another Final Four appearance, Jim Boeheim’s squad looks destined to do so again. All predictions aside, with the point guard play of Ennis, the versatile game of C.J. Fair, and the rest of the supporting cast that rounds out the Orange’s roster should be a force to be reckoned with behind the strength of that 2-3 zone.