They preach patience in the Ennis family up in Toronto. If things aren’t going your way now, keep learning and eventually your opportunity will come.
Before Dylan Ennis steps onto the court when Villanova facesBucknell, he’ll quickly glance into the stands to see his little brother Tyler — first round draft choice of the Phoenix Suns — in the house. Then they’ll probably both smile knowing that patience has been rewarded
After transferring from Rice — which was simply too far from home — Dylan struggled for Jay Wright & Co. last season, averaging 5.1 points while shooting just 41 percent. But following a summer in which he stayed on campus to learn Wright’s “concepts’’, rather than play for the Jamaican National team, he’s already making an imprint for the No. 12 ranked Wildcats.
Stepping into departed James Bell’s spot in the lineup the 6-foot-2 Ennis is Nova’s leading scorer (14.5) through two games. More importantly he has a clearer picture of his role.
“I never thought with James leaving there’s a starting spot open,” said the 22-year-old Ennis, who left Toronto to begin his high school career in the Bronx, before shifting to Chicago’s prestigious Lake Forest Academy. “I just came into summer focusing on what coach wanted me to do.Last year was tough year for me, not only basketball-wise but thinking the concepts. Summer really helped. Coach took me aside and showed me what I have to work on.He said ‘We’re gonna rely on you now.'”
Just as the Ennis brothers have always relied on each other.
Last year it was Tyler constantly picking up Dylan with daily phone calls. Now, it’s come full circle, with Tyler buried on the Suns’ depth charts to the point he recently was sent to the D-League to get some playing time before being recalled.
Just in time for a road trip that brings Phoenix here to face the Sixerstomorrow. But first a family reunion.
“I’m going to his game. He’s coming to mine,” smiled Dylan, a redshirt junior who has three other siblings he talks to regularly. “It’ll be good to spend some time with him.Tyler’s a patient guyHeunderstands he has to wait his turn, but when his name is called he’s definitely gonna be ready. Last year he picked me up when I was down. This year I pick him up when he’s down.We understand it’s a long road. We’re just there to support each other.We love basketball,but we’re brothers first.”
Except for that one time last year when they faced each other with Tyler scoring 20 points to Dylan’s four in Syracuse’s 78-62 win. While Dylan had a hard time adjusting to Villanova, Tyler continued to flourish under Jim Boeheim, eventually making him the No. 18 pick in the draft as well as a potential candidate for Team Canada.
But now it finally appears to be Dylan Ennis’ turn. He intends to make the most of it.
“I don’t think we did a good enough job teaching him our stuff, so he played last year like a freshman,” said Wright. “Now he’s very comfortable with what we’re doing.His ability is starting to show within the team concept and it’s pretty impressive.”
It’s been a long time coming for Dylan Ennis, who’s out to prove Mom and Dad knew what they were talking about.He’ll be worth the wait.