It's amazing how tangible an effect something as intangible as attitude can have on a team.
The Newark (NJ) St. Benedict's Prep Gray Bees are currently 23-1 on the 2011-2012 season. They're one of the top high school teams not just in the state of New Jersey, but in the country. Most opponents are unable to even keep things close, let alone achieve victory.
St. Benedict's is well-coached and loaded with talent - these things are true. But to the mind of Tyler Ennis, there's another key ingredient to their success.
To put it simply, they like each other.
"I think this team has a lot of chemistry, and I think that's why we're able to play so well together," the junior point guard said. "The guys like playing well together, and everyone likes playing with each other."
Ennis himself is having a big season, something for which he is quick to shuffle the credit off onto his teammates. The Gray Bees possess an exceedingly talented backcourt, including such players such as Class of 2012 prospect Melvin Johnson and freshman star Isaiah Briscoe.
"I've been scoring a lot more, being more aggressive," Ennis said. "I've been playing well and I have a lot of talent around me, so it's easy to kick it out to shooters or give it up to someone else on the fast break."
On the recruiting front, Ennis is rated a five-star prospect by Scout.com, one of the elite point guards in the Class of 2013 with an offer list a mile long. Recently, he added four schools to that list, as Maryland, Memphis, N.C. State and Syracuse all stepped up with offers.
He'll visit Syracuse unofficially this weekend, as the Orange prepare to take on UCONN.
Ennis is familiar with the basketball situations of most of the programs recruiting him - their style, their staffs and their available playing time. Now, he's interested in looking for other factors, though he made it clear he's not rushing a decision.
"I pretty much want to see campus life," Ennis said.
One program that was on him early was the University of Kansas. The Jayhawks offered him in late September, and members of the staff - including Head Coach Bill Self - have visited the Newark campus on several occasions since the season began.
"I know they're interested in me, and they're a very good school as well," Ennis said. "Hopefully I'll be able to take an unofficial out there after the season is over, if that's what my coaches and parents can agree upon."