The Suns took Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis with the 18th overall pick in last week’s draft.
We’ve delved deeper into the impact the 6-2 standout made in college and why Phoenix made him their man with their second pick. Five things stood out.
If a teammate was in a prime position to score, chances are that Ennis had him in his sights.
The freshman guard led the ACC in assists per game (5.5) as well as assist percentage (32.3), which measures the amount of teammate baskets scored when a particular player is on the court.
In other words, Ennis was directly responsible for one out of every three Syracuse buckets made when he was on the floor.
Conversely, Ennis was equally aware of who had the ball on the other team. His ball-hawking and anticipation resulted in 2.1 steals per contest, best in the ACC.
His resulting 2.2 defensive win shares ranked eighth-best in the conference and his 3.9 steal percentage (number of opponent possessions that end in a steal) was second only to teammate Trevor Cooney in the ACC.
Ennis dished out a truck-full of dimes, but he did so without committing mistakes that would negate them. Assist-to-turnover ratio helps talent evaluators judge how well players (especially guards) command the ball.
Syracuse’s playmaker sported a 3.2 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranked ninth-best in the nation last season. This comes as a huge bonus for the Suns, who hovered in the bottom five of the NBA in turnovers per contest in 2013-14.
Ennis is most well-known for his buzzer-beating, game-winning 35-footer at No. 25 Pittsburgh in the season, but that was hardly the only feather in his crunch-time cap.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Ennis was 8-for-9 from the field, 14-of-14 from the free throw line and had zero turnovers in the final five minutes of one-possession games through the middle of February last season.
If the game’s tight, chances are the Suns’ rookie won’t be fazed.
“Poise” is the most oft-mentioned word when it comes to descriptions of Ennis, and the numbers back it up.
Despite running the most psychologically demanding position for his team (point guard), he averaged over 35 minutes per game, ranking fifth in the ACC.
Why is that notable? He and Clemson’s K.J. McDaniels were the only freshmen in the ACC’s top 20 in minutes per contest.