Apparently Jim Boeheim’s selfish advice wasn’t heeded.
Syracuse’s freshman point guard Tyler Ennis — projected to be taken in the middle of the first round of the NBA Draft, maybe late lottery — announced on Thursday he is turning pro and entering this June’s draft.
“I’d like to thank Coach Boeheim, the coaching staff, my teammates and the amazing fans of Syracuse for the opportunity to play at a great university like Syracuse,” Ennis said in a released statement. “I feel this experience has helped prepare me to fulfill my lifelong dream – to play in the NBA.”
Ennis likely will be the third point guard taken, behind Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart and Australia’s Dante Exum.
If your goal is to play in the NBA and you’re a solid first round pick like Ennis, then jumping to the pros is the smart move — Ennis will get guaranteed money over multiple years on his rookie deal, plus making basketball your full time job and working against a higher level of competition will develop your game faster.
How good can Ennis be? A lot of scouts see him as a solid NBA point guard — he showed an incredible amount of poise during the season running the Syracuse offense, he averaged 12.9 points a game, shot a respectable 35 percent from three, and he averaged 5.5 assists a game.
However PBT’s draft expert — Ed Isaacson of NBADraftblog.com — is not as sold and doesn’t see him as a lottery pick because he lacks the athleticism:
“He’s everything you want in a backup point guard, but is that worth a lottery pick?”
Isaacson notes it’s hard to gauge how good Ennis is on defense — he racked up a lot of steals but did that playing center field in the Syracuse zone. It’s hard to gauge the NBA defense of everyone coming out of Boeheim’s system.
But Ennis is coming out and moving on to the NBA.