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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.
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Thursday / June 20.
  • Syracuse-Bound Ennis Looking for Two Championships

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    If all goes well for Tyler Ennis this weekend, his high school team and his future college team could both win national championships.

    The 6-foot-2 Syracuse-bound Ennis will lead St. Benedict’s Prep into the ESPN National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep in North Bethesda, Md. The No. 4 seed Gray Bees will face No. 5 La Lumiere on Thursday at 2 p.m. on ESPNU.

    The semifinals are Friday and the championship game is Saturday, the same day Syracuse meets Michigan in a national semifinal in Atlanta.

    “Hopefully, we beat Michigan and if we play Louisville again, we can get some revenge for the Big East Tournament,” Ennis said of Syracuse’s loss to the Cardinals in the Big East final.

    As we reported earlier, Ennis figures to slot in as the starting point guard at Syracuse next season with Michael Carter-Williams likely headed to the NBA Draft lottery. Carter-Williams has elevated his level of play recently, going for 24 points in Syracuse’s win over No. 1 Indiana in the East Regional semifinal and 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals in the final against Marquette.

    “I’ve been watching him all year doing the things he’s doing, the things he does good and the things he does bad,” Ennis said. “Pretty much I’m going to go in and play my game but learn from his mistakes as well.”

    He believes playing at St. Benedict’s and with Andrew Wiggins and company on the CIA Bounce AAU team has prepared him for Syracuse and the ACC.

    “For the last three years I’ve been playing with the best players in the country and you got Anthony Bennett going in the first round in the draft and he’s an NBA player, so pretty much those are the same people I’ve been playing with up until right now,” he said. “It will be an adjustment with the speed and the physicality of the players [in college], but basketball-wise I’m not worried about it.’

    Asked if Ennis could replace Carter-Williams next season, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told SNY.tv, “He has to, he has to. He has to.”

    While several players in the NHSI are competing in Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago, Ennis was snubbed for the game that will star Wiggins, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon and the Harrison twins.

    That could work out to his advantage, though, as he has had all week to practice and prepare with his team, which also includes Pittsburgh-bound forward Michael Young, Old Dominion commit Denzell Taylor and uncommitted sophomore guard Isaiah Briscoe.

    “I don’t really use it as motivation,” Ennis said of the McDonald’s snub. “I’m not going to use it as a personal thing.”

    Yeah, right.

    If it all comes together for St. Benedict’s and Syracuse, Ennis could be celebrating big-time come Saturday night.

    “I know we got a lot more work to do down there,” Ennis said. “Hopefully by Saturday night if we win the whole thing and if [Syracuse] ends up being in the championship, it’s either going to be a great day or a bad day for my basketball.”

    ESPN NHSI Schedule

    Quarterfinals: Thursday, April 4
    Noon ET (ESPNU & WatchESPN): No. 3 Prime Prep (Texas) vs. No. 6 Blanche Ely (Fla.)
    2 p.m. ET (ESPNU & WatchESPN): No. 4 St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.) vs. No. 5 La Lumiere (Ind.)
    4 p.m. ET (ESPNU & WatchESPN): No. 2 Montverde (Fla.) vs. No. 7 Oak Hill Academy (Va.)
    6 p.m. ET (ESPNU & WatchESPN): No. 1 Findlay Prep (Nev.) vs. No. 8 Montrose Christian (Md.)

    Semifinals: Friday, April 5
    2:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2 & WatchESPN): Prime Prep/Blanche Ely winner vs. Montverde/Oak Hill winner
    4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2 & WatchESPN): St. Benedict’s/La Lumiere winner vs. Findlay/Montrose winner

    Championship Game: Saturday, April 6
    1 p.m. ET (ESPN & WatchESPN): Semifinal 1 winner vs. semifinal 2 winner

     

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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.

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