Articles

James Ennis

Long Beach State 49ers                   Senior                        Small Forward/Shooting Guard     #11

 

6' 7"                210 Pounds                22 Years Old             From: Ventura, CA

 

16.5 PPG        6.7 RPG          2.1 APG          1.3 BPG          1.8 SPG           49.1 FG%

 

Overview: Ennis is one of the quickest risers among NBA draft boards at the moment. He's an extremely explosive athlete who is still learning some of the finer nuances of the game. His speed, size, and length are unreal and if he can learn a few more of the offensive aspects of the game, he could be an extremely valuable guy off the bench for a good team. He had an extremely impressive showing at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament which has really helped him out in the minds of a lot of scouts.

 

Offensively, Ennis' athleticism and explosiveness are his absolute best assets. He has an average first step but when coupled with his length  he's very tough to keep out of the paint when he tries to get into the lane. His go to move right now is his between the legs move, but he needs to develop a few more moves in order to continue to help him get into the lane once defenders start to adjust. His pullup jumper is quickly becoming an asset as he's able to stop on a dime and explode quickly up. His touch is beginning to improve and one of the more promising signs is that his field goal percentage remained about the same this season despite Ennis taking about 4.5 more shots per game. His jumper and his release are pretty good and while he's still not a great shooter from long range, he's capable of getting hot. His jumpshot is streaky, which certainly needs work because he can be very hot or very cold at times. That said, he does have very good shot selection and he doesn't aimlessly jack up shots when his jumper isn't working. He was certainly the best player on his team and the offense always ran through him. He is a good passer but he could use some work on not forcing passes. This may come naturally though when he's not far and away the focal point on his offense; when he's able to play within a more balanced team, some of that will take care of itself. He's decent in the post. His quickness and his wingspan make it easy for him to get shots off against post defenders. That said, he needs more bulk in order to truly bang in the post at the next level. His offense needs work in order for him to carve out a niche, but his improvement in the last few years has been promising.

 

Ennis will get playing time in the NBA because he's a solid defender. His athleticism, size, and explosiveness will be invaluable in helping him contain NBA-caliber wing players next season. His 6'11" wingspan will definitely help him contest shots and get his hands in passing lanes. His lateral quickness could be a little bit better but his size certainly helps him overcome that and he is still able to stay in front of a lot of his matchups. He plays aggressively and isn't afraid to get physical with his matchup which is a plus. He averaged over 1 block and 1 steal per game, which certainly displays high defensive potential. He's still learning a few of the team defense nuances as is the case with a lot of the other parts of his game, but he has improved steadily in each of his last two years at Long Beach State which is a promising sign. He rebounds well for his position as well; he's displayed that he's unafraid to mix it up when going for boards. He is a versatile hybrid 2 or 3 man who can guard either position. As with any prospect, adding bulk and speed could only help, but he's already a solid defensive prospect.

 

Overall, Ennis' stock has risen a lot lately. His age may limit his perceived upside; he will be 23 by the time the NBA season starts. The relatively weak schedule he faced in the Big West will make his workouts and interviews extremely important. His offensive game is beginning to come around and he makes smart, mature, unselfish plays but he needs to develop a more reliable way to put the ball in the hoop. His drive is continuing to improve which is important because he will have a size advantage if he's placed at the shooting guard position. He needs to improve his offensive consistency, but he may be chosen to be a lockdown defender on the wing where any bit of offense he provides is a bonus. Right now, he's a solid mid-Second Round pick, with a little room to move up, but he won't be a first rounder.

 

 

 

Key Strengths:

·      Ennis is extremely explosive and can get above the rim relatively easily.

·      He is a very good defender. His size, athleticism, and wingspan make it easy for him to be disruptive on defense.

·      His percentages remained the same despite a much higher usage rate this season, which is promising.

·      His shot selection is very good. He knows he isn't an elite shooter and therefore won't try and force the issue.


Areas to Improve:

·      He's a streaky shooter who needs to develop more consistency.

·      His quickness makes him an asset in the post occasionally, but he'll need more bulk if he wants that to be a part of his game in the NBA.

·      His lateral quickness could use a little improvement.

·      Can't really improve, but the fact that he's old for his draft class will work against him a little.