Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By ALEX KLINE
As St. Benedict’s finished their last game of 2010 with a 10-point loss to Lincoln, they knew trouble was brewing. The team is now a disappointing 5-3 in under first-year coach Roshown McLeod. The Gray Bees have already dropped contests to Hun, Life Center and now the Railsplitters.
In need of a true point guard to come in and run the show, McLeod made some calls. Send in Canadian sophomore Tyler Ennis. Ennis, who enrolled at Lake Forest Academy in Illinois for his sophomore year, decided to take on his latest challenge and enroll at St. Benedict’s.
“He is happy and excited to join his new teammates,” said his AAU Coach Tony McIntyre of Team Takeover Canada. “Tyler is excited to run the point for Coach McLeod.”
Said McLeod: “Tyler gives us a skill set as a true point guard that our team has been craving. We have guys that can score but we needed a guy to get guys the ball in their element. He also gives us a guy that is accustomed to guarding other point guards.”
According to McIntyre, Ennis will start school in Newark this Monday. Once he gets in five practices, Tyler will be able to play. This gives him just enough time to get ready for the huge game against St. Patrick a week Jan. 9 at Kean University.
“It was just a better spot for me,” said Tyler on his decision. “This is better for my future and becoming a better player.”
St. Benedict’s has been the home to a number of Canadians over the years, including Texas freshman Tristan Thompson, a friend of the sophomore.
“I asked Tristan about it and he told me it’s a good move and a good school,” Tyler said. “My AAU coach knew Coach McLeod for a while.”
Ennis’ older brother, Dylan, is a 2011 Rice signee. Tyler is being recruited by a number of schools including Northwestern, Rice, Iowa State, Wake Forest, Santa Clara, Oregon State and others.
He joins a talented nucleus of players for the Gray Bees that includes sophomore Mike Young, along with seniors Tyler Harris (N.C. State) and Vaughn Gray (George Mason).
When Harris found out that he would be paired with a very talented point guard, he exclaimed, “That’s what we need!”
RECRUITING RUNDOWN**Rasheed Sulaimon, a 6-4 shooting guard from Texas, picked up a huge offer on Saturday night. The Duke Blue Devils had shown major interest in the junior but had not pulled the plug on an offer just yet. As Rodney Purvis committed to Louisville a few weeks back, Sulaimon’s stock rose favorably and now he could potentially be the next Duke shooting guard.**6-5 junior combo guard Katin Reinhardt of Mater Dei committed to Southern Cal. Reinhardt picked USC over interest from UCLA, Cal, Arizona State, Notre Dame, Boston College, Oregon State, San Diego State, Utah, Colorado and Syracuse, according to Dinos Trigonis.**Angelo Chol, a 6-8 power forward from Herbert Hoover High in San Diego, is on his third official visit this weekend. One of the most talented unsigned seniors in the country, Chol is at Chapel Hill this weekend for an official visit to North Carolina. He took officials to Alabama and Kansas in the fall. He will trip to Arizona and Washington in a few weeks. Angelo has already had dinner with Coach Roy Williams and staff, along with a fun bowling event as a team. While the Tar Heels could not pick up committments from power forwards Cody Zeller and Adjehi Baru, the San Diego native would be a good addition.
**Wayne Selden, a 6-4 forward from Tilton School in New Hampshire, may be a freshman but schools are already showing love. Selden attended the UConn game against South Florida Friday night. The talented 2014 product, who is averaging around 18 points per game, picked up a scholarship offer from the Huskies on New Year’s Eve, according to a source close to the situation. UConn is the second school to offer Wayne as Pittsburgh offered him earlier in the season.
**Speaking of Selden, he attended the Providence game Friday against St. John’s. Wayne went with his BABC teammates, Rene Castro and Nerlens Noel; both of whom are sophomores. Castro and Noel both have offers from the Friars. Along with those three, recent Providence commit Ricardo Ledo was in attendance for the game.
**Amir Maddred, a 6-7 sophomore who left St. Patrick for Trenton Catholic earlier in the year, will play a big role for the Iron Mikes. Maddred will be eligible for tomorrow’s game against his old team, St. Patrick, ironically. The two teams face off Sunday at Rider University. Amir gives Trenton Catholic some much needed size against St. Patrick’s depth and size featuring 6-10 freshman Dakari Johnson, 6-9 sophomore Austin Colbert and 6-7 Kentucky-bound Michael Gilchrist. While 6-8 junior Brandon Taylor of TCA will need help on the boards, Amir Maddred may play a huge role in this game.
**Ben McLemore, a 6-5 shooting guard from Missouri, is still having a tough decision deciding between Kansas and Missouri. Currently attending Oak Hill Academy in Virginia for his senior year, Ben got a chance to go home for winter vacation and focused on his recruitment a little. On New Year’s Eve, McLemore attended Missori’s game against Old Dominion. On Sunday, Ben will attend Kansas’ game against Miami of Ohio. There is still not favorite to land the talented senior.
**Ray Lee, a 6-2 junior guard from Michigan, added an offer from Rhode Island.
**Joey De La Rosa, a 6-10 senior center from Florida, added an offer from Florida International.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.