Tyler Ennis Hopes Big Move, Pays Big Dividends
Published by Michael Henry on January 21, 2011
It was a risky move looking to change prep schools after only one semester into ones prep school career. I was fortunate enough to catch up with St Benedict Prep’s newest acquisition, Brampton native, Tyler Ennis to hear what he had to say about a move that will surely impact the path of his High School career.
It hasn’t yet been a year since the former Henry Carr Crusader decided to leave home and try his hand at Lake Forest Academy. Back in late August, he had reunited with his older bother Dylan Ennis, where the plan was to rekindle some of the magic of their youth. “It was so fun playing again with my brother,” recalls Tyler. “We had been playing together since we were young at the YMCA and stuff, so there was a lot of chemistry.” Unfortunately that connection wasn’t enough for the ambitious Sophomore, and he began to yearn for more. “Midway through the semester, I just didn’t feel as though the school was for me.” It wasn’t as though he disliked any of the players, but that he got the impression that his growth may be limited at the Prep school located just north of Chicago. “I just didn’t feel as though it was going be better for me basketball-wise.”
After speaking it over with his family, he was urged to stick it out, perhaps with the hopes that his point of view might have changed. So Tyler decided to try to hang on to see just where things may evolve, and to be sure he wasn’t making a rush decision. “I talked to my family and they were saying to try to feel it out, but when Christmas [break] came, I just felt I should move so that I could get into a place where I could stay for my whole [high school] career.”
His first impressions so far of his new digs are ones with glowing reviews. “Oh yeah, I could see myself spending the rest of my high school career at this school” says the 6-foot-2, 185 pound Guard. And it shows. Tyler Ennis has been raising may eyebrows since he had first donned the Garnet and Grey of the Grey Bees. He also has the blessings of his AAU Coach and father, Tony McIntyre “He loves it down there” and is also proud of how Tyler is handling his on court duties by mentioning that he has “been playing excellent”. As importantly, he has appeared to have made a good first impression on his new coach Roshown McLoed. In his first year with St Benedict, Coach McLoed is already beaming about Ennis’ natural ability which shone through in his performance against The Peddie School. The newest St Benedict Grey Bee accounted for 14 assists in that game, a total that was the team was averaging prior to Ennis’ arrival. Coach McLoed has also gone on record about Tyler’s energy and his passion to win.
That great first impression plus adding 13 points and 4 assists in a game against the number 2 ranked team in the U.S. and in State rivals, the St Patrick Celtics, has the future looking so bight. So, what was it that Tyler would say is different from what he went through early in the season? In Tyler’s eyes, it appears to be the off court bonding the team seems to have. “There is only one player that doesn’t live in the dorm on campus.” He compared that to Lake Forrest, where he says “We only had like two players. [Now] we kind of have more of a family chemistry, where at my old school, it was like we were playing together for the first time, every time we went out. This is more like a basketball family.” That bonding that Ennis mentions he’s experienced so soon, can only get better as the season progresses. Stepping into this kind of scenario and seeing his team only loose 73-65, is viewed as a positive. “Regarding St Patrick, had we been together for a few more games, I really think that we would have been able to beat them so I think that if we meet them again by the end of the season, we’d be able to beat ‘em”, he said optimistically. “We only had four practices before we played them so I think that if we get a little more ‘on the court chemistry’, I think we be able to at least make it a little closer”.
Ensuring that he uses his time at St Benedict’s wisely, Ennis is strategizing to be as complete player as he can. Being a Guard, and having the ball in his hands a great deal, Ennis realizes he needs to take care of the ball. When recounting his game against St Patrick Ennis scrutinized his play by mentioning “I think I need to cut down on my turnovers.” He also is looking to tighten up his defense. He feels as though playing tough defense for a whole 4 quarters might result a couple extra stops. With those extra stops, his team could have certainly taken advantage, and by tightening up he says “I think that if we played hem again on another night we be able to make it closer than 8″. Realizing the amount of work to be done is also not lost on his father. “”I am proud but we got a lot of work to do to make it where he wants to go.”
When asked about the added pressure that would seemingly come along with this kind of move, and the extra eyes that will be on him by being a team member of a school with a much high profile than where he just transferred from, Ennis gives the impression as though he has that aspect under control. “During AAU, there are a lot more coaches and stuff” remembers Ennis, “so now that I’m at this school, I am kind of used to it already, but there are a whole wave of new coaches new that are on my list now.” That list is one that looks to have recruiters and scouts boxing out in order for his services. “Just from the past week since I’ve been here, Rutgers has offered, Seton Hall (Seton Hall offered as well), Florida and Kentucky has been talking to one of my coaches” All of this in the short time he’s been at his new New Jersey school. They all add to the list of those that were already interested including Northwestern, Purdue, Wake Forest as well as future visits planned by Arizona State and Oregon State.
So far, Tyler is hopeful that he has made the right decision by making this change and all signs point accordingly. Its pretty obvious that he realizes that in life, we all miss 100% of the shots we don’t take.