Toronto Raptors: The Rap Up

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The War Room

Jan 4, 2014; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Tyler Ennis (11) grabs a loose ball with Miami Hurricanes forward James Kelly (35) looking on during the first half of a game at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Last week I profiled Doug McDermott, the senior All-American from Creighton. This week, I will cede to the momentum of the day and profile a freshman.

Tyler Ennis, the freshman point-guard hailing from Brampton, ON (my home town) is quickly making noise as another first year player to watch. While not getting nearly the same amount of hype as fellow Canadian Andrew Wiggins, Ennis is proving that he is due for consideration in this years draft.

As the starting point guard for the 2nd ranked Syracuse Orange, Ennis is playing alongside a senior in CJ Fair who takes on much of the scoring load. This has left Ennis in his shadow, but Ennis’ play has been generating buzz all the same.

Possessing flashy ball-handling skills and the ability to get to the rim and finish in a variety of ways, Ennis is in the new mould of athletic point guards who are just as likely to put up 30 points as they are of dishing 15 dimes.

While his jump-shot is not at an elite NBA level yet, his all-around game projects nicely to the pros.

If you look at players like John Wall and Derrick Rose, you can see that shooting seems to be the weakest parts of their game, but it is one of the few things you can get better at with practice.

Being exceptionally athletic is as much genetic as it is about hard work, but shooting is something that can be learned, after thousands of hours hoisting up shots.

While Ennis is not in the same league athletically as Rose and Wall, his game appears to be more cerebral, and his decision making will leave defenders in his dust just as his (quick) first-step will.

With Kyle Lowry in the last year of his contract, Ennis may be a good grab, as he could grow with the remaining core and possibly take this team to the next level.

The Toronto Raptors are currently slotted to have the 16th pick

Thank you for joining me for The Rap Up. See you next week!