When the McDonald's All-American game roster was announced, there was a prominent name missing. 5-star point-guard Tyler Ennis has long been considered one of, if not the, best pure point-guard in the 2013 class. However, the talented floor general took the news in stride.
"I knew nothing is guaranteed unless you're the number one player in the country," Ennis outlined. "A lot of things go into the decisions for those things. I was pretty much on edge just like everybody else. It happens. I'm blessed to make the Jordan game. I'm blessed to be invited to some other all-star games. The McDonald's game was something I really wanted to be in. As far as my career and going forward, I think I can go on without it."
Despite the humble words, Ennis is a competitor. As a strong willed competitor, he responded in a big way the next time he stepped onto the floor. He set a school record with 52 points, proving his omission from the roster was a mistake.
"It was really nice," Ennis admitted. "Just to make a statement and show everybody that I should been one of the players selected for the (McDonald's) game. As far as the actual game, we played a team from New Jersey. Somewhere in East Jersey. I didn't know how good they were or who they had. I just wanted to come in and make a statement. At halftime somebody told me that Dajuan Wagner had the record for the points scored in that showcase a couple years back.
"When I heard that it was at 50 (points), I definitely wanted to break that record. Andrew (Wiggins) had 57 a few days before me. I pretty much wanted to compete with that, and I just happened to be hot that day."
While Ennis wasn't chosen to the McDonald's game, he was chosen to participate in another prestigious event. That all-star game is the Jordan Brand Classic.
"I was really excited that I was chosen to play in that game," Ennis recalled. "It has 24 of the best players in the country. It's a blessing to be able to play in games like this. It's a reward and gives me the ability to showcase my talent all in one gym. I'm going to go in to have fun because I only get to do this one. But I definitely want to prove to everybody that I should've been in the McDonald's game and I'm one of the top point guards in the country for sure."
Throughout the entire season, Ennis has kept his focus on winning. It has led to an extremely successful season with possibly more to come.
"I think we are 26-1 or 27-1," Ennis explained. "We won our season for the state prep in New Jersey. We won that. We had a rematch against Blair Academy (in the championship game) that we had lost to. We beat them by 30 or more. We're pretty much practicing right now. We have a couple games coming up. We are hoping to get invited to the ESPN game."
The future Orange guard has kept tabs on Syracuse throughout the season. Despite their recent struggles, he still has confidence in what the 2012-13 version of the Orange can do going forward.
"I'm not worried about them going into the tournament," the 5-star ‘Cuse signee said of his future team. "I know we have things we need to fix as far as chemistry wise with James (Southerland) coming back after missing some games. DaJuan (Coleman) has the injury. But I think we've shown the country that we're one of the more talented teams and one of the best teams in the country.
"The Big East is really hard especially this year when everyone's good. I'm not surprised that we've lost some games, but I definitely think we could be doing better."
While following the Syracuse season, he was able to watch in person as they took on Seton Hall. He enjoys watching current point-guard Michael Carter-Williams play. The two have developed a solid relationship. Whether MCW stays or leaves, Ennis believes he will be ready to contribute.
"I went to that game (Syracuse at Seton Hall)," Ennis said. "Me and Mike have become good friends ever since I took a trip up to Syracuse and met him. I just like watching him and learning from the things he does that makes him so successful in coach's (Jim Boeheim) system. Watching him lets me know everything I have to work on and things like that.
"I think I have the confidence to run things. As far as Mike staying or Mike leaving, either way I will get a positive out of it. If he stays, I'll be able to learn from one of the best in the country. I'll have a point guard that's proven himself in college to play with me in the backcourt. If Mike does decide to enter the draft, then that puts more pressure on me.
"But I am looking forward to that," Ennis continued. "It's something that I knew coming in and was one of the reasons why I committed to Syracuse. Either way, there's pressure on you and you have to rise to that."