Tyler Ennis: Getting Out Ahead of the #NARRATIVE

Mike Stobe

You're probably going to hear a bunch of things about Tyler Ennis this fall... I'm just preparing you for them now.

As Syracuse fans, we always feel like we're being attacked by the sports media for various reasons -- despite the fact that Orange alums make up a good amount of that same sports media. This leads us to try to preempt the #NARRATIVE at times, and call things out before they even happen. Sometimes angrily.

This isn't one of those times.

But that said, there will be a pretty lazy narrative bandied about the interwebs in the coming months, and I wanted to make sure it was called out now, rather than waiting for it to come from somewhere else. We need to prepare for this:

"Tyler Ennis is Yet Another Example of Syracuse Players Not Translating to the Pros"

No, this isn't true (the Ennis part, or the "yet another" part). But it will happen. Here's why:

  1. Former Syracuse players like Wes Johnson and Jonny Flynn haven't panned out after being picked high in their respective drafts (this will ignore Michael Cater-Williams's Rookie of the Year award from last yer)
  2. Syracuse plays a 2-3 zone (perhaps you've heard about it), which is a cowardly scheme to hide shoddy defenders (/sarcasm font)
  3. Ennis's stock fell prior to the 2014 Draft -- though Ennis was still drafted 18th overall by Phoenix

Those are the less substantive reasons. Now the more substantive reasons, which will inevitably be traced back to those less substantive ones:

  1. Phoenix is a perfect landing spot for Ennis, because they play a guard-heavy system that could actually help him push the pace a bit (obviously not his strong suit just yet)
  2. Ennis is only averaging six points, five boards and three assists per game in the NBA Summer League
  3. The Suns recently traded for Sacramento Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas
  4. Related to the bullet above, the Suns are now likely to employ four point guards (Ennis, Thomas, Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic) next season.
  5. So yeah, this probably means Ennis is headed to the D-League next season while Phoenix waits to see who they end up retaining out of Bledsoe (free agent this offseason) and Dragic (free agent next offseason). Grantland's Zach Lowe even brought up as much yesterday.

Now obviously that's not a bad thing for a young guard like Ennis. As we all know ourselves, he's a very good point guard, but still has some work to do in transition and finishing. He won't get that chance to correct things while riding the bench in the NBA. He will running by running the point for the Bakersfield Jam. This is NOT a bad thing for Tyler -- just maybe not the way things were originally envisioned.

The above is the realistic version of how things should be discussed when he ends up in Bakersfield all season. But we all know how #NARRATIVE and #HOTTAKES work. Because of the nonsensical bullets up at the top of this post, and the factual points that follow, the logic behind it all will be ignored. "Tyler Ennis is relegated to the D-League because Syracuse players can't hack in the NBA" will be a post you read by November/December.

***

Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I just need to put some more faith in the internet and sports media world overall that sometimes #NARRATIVE can give way to the real narrative. Please let me be right, internet.

But if not, you've been warned, Syracuse fans. Just prepare yourselves accordingly.

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