Tyler Ennis: Closer

Syracuse true freshman Tyler Ennis came in with high expectations, yet he has exceeded them with his stellar play. Even more impressive is his ability to step-up in crunch time.

With 6:30 to go in the game, Syracuse was trailing Miami 47-46. The Hurricanes had all the momentum having come back from a 18-point first half deficit. That's when Tyler Ennis took over.

Ennis grabbed a rebound off a Davon Reed missed jumper and took the ball the length of the floor. He sped by two Miami players and laid it in over another as he was fouled. Ennis hit the free-throw and put Syracuse up two.

After Miami tied the game just 30 seconds later, Ennis scored again to put Syracuse in front. The Orange would not look back as they pulled away for a 64-52 win to improve to 19-0. Ennis also hit a pair of free throws to help put the game away down the stretch.

Syracuse's true freshman point guard has basketball IQ and savvy beyond his years. He plays with the calmness and poise that you rarely see from any player, let alone a freshman. His court vision is spectacular, and he rarely turns the ball over.

But what truly makes Ennis remarkable is his ability to turn it on when Syracuse needs him the most. Against Pittsburgh, he made two huge layups to key an Orange win. When Syracuse was struggling against Miami, he made clutch buckets to regain momentum.

Ennis has "it," whatever "it" is. The clutch gene. The ability to flip a switch and take his game to another level, when the normal level is pretty darn good. He is Syracuse's closer.

With the game on the line and the Orange in need of a big play, Jim Boeheim calls on a true freshman to make that play. His ability to take his man off the dribble and either finish at the rim or get a great look for a teammate makes him the clear choice to have the ball in his hands when it matters the most.

Ennis continues to deliver in those situations.

He had a solid night when you look at the box score. 14 points on 5-11 shooting with four assists and five rebounds. His season averages are similar, at 12 points and 5.5 assists per contest. Yet his impact on the game goes well beyond that. His impact is maybe the most immeasurable of anyone in the country.

Ennis is a super freshman. He is Syracuse's best player. He is Syracuse's closer.

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