8 SYRACUSE

November 18, 2013

2012--13 RECORD 30--10 BIG EAST 11--7 (T-5TH) WHAT'S BACK MINUTES: 52.8% POINTS: 47.7% REBOUNDS: 56.2%

From Pearl Washington to Jason Hart to Sherman Douglas to Jonny Flynn to Michael Carter-Williams, Jim Boeheim has guided plenty of precocious point guards in his 37 seasons at Syracuse. Add Tyler Ennis to that group. Says Boeheim, "He's probably the most advanced freshman I've coached in terms of running a ball club."

Ennis won't score like Pearl, defend like Hart or dish like Douglas—at least not right away. But his basketball savvy is exactly what the Orange need as they enter the ACC without backcourt mainstays Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche.

With no capable backup, Ennis will play at least 38 minutes a game. He's comfortable as a distributor, having played AAU ball with such top talent as Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins, but the Brampton, Ont., native can score if needed. He led all players at the FIBA U-19 Championships this summer, with 20.9 points per game.

Boeheim predicts his frontcourt will be even better than it was last season, when Syracuse reached the Final Four. Senior forward C.J. Fair is the ACC preseason player of the year; sophomore wing Jerami Grant should be a breakout star after polishing his jumper; and bruisers DaJuan Coleman (280 pounds) and Rakeem Christmas (250) will anchor the low post. "Tyler understands that he's playing with really good players," Boeheim says, "and he gets them involved."

Ennis says he went unrecognized around campus before classes started, but now everyone asks, "Are you the new point guard?" If he also stands out on the court, the Orange will have a sixth straight season with at least 27 wins. Boeheim, who turns 69 this month, has been energized by the move from the Big East to the ACC, and he does Pilates twice a week to stay in shape. With so much core strength returning, a solid year by Ennis should produce familiar results.

Projected Lineup (2012--13 STATS)

PG TYLER ENNIS†

FR. 6'2" 21.1 PPG 5.1 APG

SG TREVOR COONEY

SOPH. 6'4" 3.4 PPG 0.6 APG

SF C.J. FAIR*

SR. 6'8" 14.5 PPG 7.0 RPG

PF DAJUAN COLEMAN*

SOPH. 6'9" 4.8 PPG 4.0 RPG

C RAKEEM CHRISTMAS*

JR. 6'9" 5.1 PPG 4.6 RPG

BENCH

F JERAMI GRANT

SOPH. 6'8" 3.9 PPG 3.0 RPG

G MICHAEL GBINIJE‡

SOPH. 6'7" 1.7 PPG 0.2 APG

*RETURNING STARTER

†HIGH SCHOOL STATS

‡2011--12 DUKE STATS

COACH SPEAK

JIM BOEHEIM (38TH SEASON)

SI What can we expect from ACC preseason player of the year C.J. Fair?

JB C.J. was our leading scorer and rebounder without really getting the ball a lot. Each year he puts it on the floor and shoots better. He'll have a breakout year.

SI Your offense hasn't run through the frontcourt since Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku in 2009--10. Will you pound it inside a bit more?

JB Last year we went a long ways without getting much inside. I think we're going to make more of an effort to do that with this group. DaJuan Coleman and Rakeem Christmas and Baye Keita are all better. Fair is still going to be a focal point.

SI You've averaged 29.8 wins for the past five years. Is this your best run?

JB This has been the best talent and success that we've had. Previously we were around 24 wins, which is a significant difference. I just think it's been the consistency of the program. [And] the move to the ACC helps recruiting.

Tournament Tracker

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

SWEET 16

ROUND OF 32

ELITE EIGHT

FINAL FOUR

ELITE EIGHT

'09--10

'10--11

'11--12

'12--13

'13--14

PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (BOEHEIM) PHOTOMARK KONEZNY/USA TODAY SPORTS (ENNIS) PHOTOROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MASCOT) CHART

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)