It is only the 5th time in the 81 game history between Syracuse and Villanova that they will meet as non conference opponents. We all know the obvious storylines: Both teams are undefeated at 11-0. It is their 1st meeting in more 30 years that they both are not members of the Big East Conference. It is nationally televised on CBS at 2pm. It is the 3rd time in 5 seasons that both squads will meet when each is ranked in the top 10.
Here is what some of you may not know about the match up. Tyler Ennis will not be the only Ennis on the floor today. Villanova has an Ennis of their own. Dylan Ennis, the older brother of Tyler, is a member of the Villanova squad. A 6’2″, 192 lb. guard, Dylan is a transfer from Rice University. Although he is not the impact player that Tyler is, they both post surprisingly similar numbers:
FG% 3PT FG% PTS./GAME MIN./GAME
Tyler Ennis .421 .435 12.1 21.4
Dylan Ennis .405 .385 9.1 31.5
Let’s hope that this family rivalry will serve as motivation for Tyler. This is the 1st game in a week for the Orange and kicks off a span of 4 games in the next 11 days. Let’s not forget that last season Villanova won 75-71.Oh yeah,and what about the crowd? As of Friday at noon, ticket sales surpassed the 26,414 sold for the Indiana game, but had not reached 30,000 yet. If sales reach 30,000, it will mark the first 30,000 plus game in the months of November and December since 1990, when Syracuse was ranked #1 and they played Temple, who was ranked #16 at the time.
Tyler Ennis will have a lot on his shoulders this year, straight out of the gate. There is little doubt that he will be starting at the point this year, the first time a true freshman started at the point since Johnny Flynn. That year, the ‘Cuse went to the NIT. So how good is Tyler Ennis? He is a four star recruit and ranked 38th overall on the ESPN Top 100. His senior year in high school he averaged 21.1 points per game, 5.1 assists per game,3.8 rebounds per game, and 2.2 steals per game. Ennis was recruited by some big time programs. Louisville, Memphis, Illinois, and UCLA all wanted him. At 6’2″, he is smaller than MCW, which may be the most obvious difference. Here is how they compare so far:
You may be surprised at how closely they compare. Here are the stats from the 13 games Ennis played over the summer (9 – under 19 and 4 in Canada)
Tyler Ennis’ combined stats over 13 games this summer
||TOs per game
Syracuse Athletics and USA Basketball
Michael Carter-Williams’ 2012-13 stats
||TOs per game
Ennis may have some options available to him that MCW did not have. Carter – Williams had CJ Fair, but not many options beyond him. Ennis will have not only Fair, but Jerami Grant as well. Jonathan Givony, with DraftExpress.com, has Grant going in the 1st round of a mock 2014 draft. We can’t forget Trevor Cooney, either. Cooney and Ennis proved at Orange Madness that they can work together very well.
The key to Syracuse this year will no doubt depend on the play of Tyler Ennis. With the talent that Syracuse has this year in nearly every position, they could very well be a contender for ACC Champions their first year in the league. Oh yes, and let’s not forget how disruptive that 2-3 zone can be, especially to our new foes in the ACC, who are far less familiar with how to dismantle it.