Syracuse freshman point guard Tyler Ennis will forego his final three years of eligibility and declare for the NBA draft.
The school announced the news Thursday afternoon. His mother wrote in a text message to USA TODAY Sports that he made the decision after discussing it with his family.
“I’d like to thank Coach (Jim) Boeheim, the coaching staff, my teammates and the amazing fans of Syracuse for the opportunity to play at a great university like Syracuse,” Ennis said in a statement. “I feel this experience has helped prepare me to fulfill my lifelong dream – to play in the NBA.”
Ennis averaged 12.9 points, 5.5 assists and 3.4 rebounds for the Orange this year. Syracuse lost to Dayton in the NCAA tournament’s round of 32 last weekend.
Ennis is projected as a mid-first-round pick in June’s draft.
Earlier this season, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim spoke with USA TODAY Sports about the importance of waiting until the end of the season to discuss the pro potential of his players.
“Carmelo (Anthony) was the best example of this,” Boeheim said in January. “We never talked about the NBA. We never gave it a thought. We thought about winning, winning, winning. That’s all. I’ve seen it happen many times; you can see when players are playing to impress the NBA. That actually works to your disadvantage. NBA people want to see you play with your team. They don’t want to see you doing something out there to help yourself.
“Tyler is the same he’s been all year. He’s got to get bigger and stronger. He’s got to keep working on his shot. Those things are all NBA things. He’s good now for college. But if you talk about the NBA, that’s something different. He’s doing what he needs to do. He’s focused on college. If more players would do that, they’d be better off and they’d get to where they need to go.”